When To See A Doctor For Your Knee Pain
At some time in your life you will probably experience knee pain. At least one in three persons over the age of 45 reports some kind of knee pain and it is a common reason people visit their doctor or go to the emergency room. Knee pain can be the result of an injury or other medical conditions such as arthritis, gout, infection or a host of other reasons. But the question is: “When should you go see a doctor?” If you have knee pain that is not severe or disabling, a good rule of thumb is to try treating it first yourself. Of course there are times when there is no question as whether or not to see a doctor immediately. If you have had an accident and a compound fracture (bone protruding either below the skin or through the skin) or there is an obvious deformity in your leg or knee, you can’t bear weight on your knee, have marked knee swelling, worrisome pain, have a fever in addition to redness, pain and swelling in your knee, which may indicate an infection, you need to seek medical attention.
Treating yourself for knee pain includes resting, icing and elevating the affected knee, and sometimes using nonsteriodial anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), including aspirin, ibuprofen, (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn) to reduce pain and inflammation. These medications can have side effects if you take them over a long period of time or exceed the recommended dosage. Besides, there is a limit to how much pain they will control and taking both at the same time won’t necessarily provide more relief, but may increase your risk of side effects. If you don’t notice any improvement in three to seven days, you need to see your physician or a specialists in sports medicine or orthopedics.
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