Knee

Knee Pain

Sudden pain in one of the knees is usually the result of overusing the knee or injuring it. In many cases, you don’t need to see your GP.

The knee joint is particularly vulnerable to damage and pain because it takes the full weight of your body and any extra force when you run or jump.

You’re more likely to experience knee pain as you get older, and people who are overweight or do lots of sports have a higher risk of damaging their knees. Some sports that involve a lot of turning, such as football, netball and skiing, carry a particularly high risk of knee injuries.

Elderly Man Holding His Knee

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if:

  • you cannot put weight on your knee at all
  • you have severe pain even when you’re not putting weight on it, such as at night
  • your knee locks or painfully clicks (painless clicking is OK)
  • your knee keeps giving way
  • you’re unable to fully bend or straighten your knee
  • your knee looks deformed
  • you have fever, redness or heat around the knee, or it’s very swollen
  • you have pain, swelling, numbness or tingling of the calf beneath your affected knee
  • the pain doesn’t start to improve within a few weeks or you have pain that’s still severe after a few days of caring for your knee at home

Your GP will do a careful examination of the knee and take your medical history. They may also arrange further tests such as blood tests, an X-ray or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to help identify the problem. In some cases, you may need to be referred to an orthopaedic specialist.

Causes of knee pain

Living with Pain

Woman Stretching
Whether your pain has just come on or you’ve lived with it for years, we have a number of tried-and-tested self-help steps that can help bring you relief.

Service levels

Patient satisfaction 50%
Waiting times 50%

Self Referrals

Camden Lock
You can self-refer into community physiotherapy services. Simply call 0207 871 0545 to make an appointment. Your initial contact with one of our chartered physiotherapists may be over the phone, where you will either be given advice on appropriate treatment, or a face-to-face consultation will be arranged.

Should you wish to speak to your GP first, simply make an appointment with your local practice. If your GP refers you, one of our patient care advisers will contact you within 48 hours to arrange an appointment.