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Key Factors of Knee Pain Issues

Knee Pain Pain Management in Knoxville, TN

According to a 2018 review published in the American Family Physician journal, a quarter of the adult population suffers from knee pain, with the issue becoming more widespread each year. Being overweight is a risk factor for developing knee problems due to extra weight pressure on the joint. Age, previous injury, and physical exercise also contribute to the occurrence of chronic pain in the knee. In this article, we will examine the knee anatomy, discuss the common causes of knee pain and their symptoms, and explore the available options for knee pain treatment in Knoxville TN.

What are the common causes of knee pain?

The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the human body. It connects the thighbone, the shinbone, and the kneecap. The bones in the joint are lined with cartilage, including the two pads of special tough and rubbery cartilage, called meniscus, that cushions the knee and acts as a shock absorber. The knee joint is supported by muscles, ligaments, and tendons that help control leg movements. This complexity gives rise to many potential medical issues. Here we will take a look at the most common causes of knee pain:

Strains, sprains, and tears

Trauma to the knee from a fall, an accident, or a sudden movement often leads to overstretching of the ligaments, in particular the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). An ACL tear, usually caused by a sudden twisting motion, is one of the most common knee injuries. PCL and MCL damage is typically caused by a direct blow to the area. Meniscus tear is another common knee injury that may occur from either contact sports trauma or degenerative changes in the joint.

Fractures and dislocations

Some injuries, such as falls or collisions, may cause fractures or dislocations in the knee. Most fractures and kneecap dislocations heal without the need for surgical treatment, but a knee dislocation is a more dangerous injury that requires surgery and should be treated as a medical emergency.


Bursae are small sacs filled with fluid that cushion the joint and help reduce friction. Knee bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae that can be caused by a direct impact on the front of the knee or by overuse from constant kneeling in occupations such as plumbing or gardening. The symptoms include pain during activity, swelling, and tenderness.

Patellar tendonitis

Patellar tendonitis, commonly known as jumper’s knee, is an inflammation of the tendon connecting the kneecap to the shinbone. It is often caused by overuse from sports or exercise. Athletes who play sports that involve repetitive jumping, such as volleyball or basketball, are at a higher risk of developing this condition. The main symptom is knee pain when walking down the stairs or squatting, usually felt under the kneecap.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, commonly known as runner’s knee, is a pain in the front of the kneecap caused by abnormal moving patterns inside the knee joint. This can result from overuse and overtraining of the knee or may occur due to a misalignment from an injury, excessive weight, or muscle weakness. The pain is usually worse after climbing the stairs or prolonged sitting.


Arthritis is a group of conditions that cause pain and inflammation in the joints and frequently affect the knees. The most common form of arthritis that develops in the knee joint is osteoarthritis. It is a degenerative disorder caused by the wear and tear of the joint due to aging and usually affects people over 50 years old. It develops gradually, with pain increasing over time. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, softening the bones and damaging cartilage and ligaments. Injuries to the knee may lead to arthritis (sometimes years later), in which case it is referred to as post-traumatic arthritis. The symptoms of arthritis include joint pain in the knee that is worse in the morning or after a period of activity and stiffness and swelling in the joint that make it difficult to bend the leg.

How to diagnose the root cause?

The diagnosis of knee pain depends on the patient’s medical history, a detailed symptoms description, and a physical exam. During the examination for knee pain, Knoxville doctors check for swelling, tenderness, any structural abnormalities, and the range of motion in the joint. If conditions such as fractions, dislocations, or arthritis are suspected, the doctor might use imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis. An X-ray can show damage to the bones, whereas an MRI scan provides images of the soft tissues.

How to treat knee pain?

Most cases of knee pain can be managed with the following pain relief methods:
  • Rest while maintaining some activity level to avoid stiffness
  • Ice packs and heat pads to reduce the pain and the swelling
  • Over-the-counter painkillers, such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and topical pain relief rubs
  • An elastic knee bandage or a knee brace to support and stabilize the joint
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the joint and increase flexibility
  • Injection therapy that delivers a treatment substance directly into the joint providing knee pain relief and facilitating recovery:
    • Steroid injections – a combination of anti-inflammatory corticosteroid and a local anesthetic
    • Hyaluronic acid injections – a supplement of natural lubrication fluid in the joint
    • Platelet Rich Plasma injections – highly concentrated natural tissue repair proteins from the patient’s own plasma
Surgery is likely to be recommended in the following cases:
  • A ruptured tendon or ligament, for example, an ACL tear
  • A knee dislocation
  • Progressive osteoarthritis
When the damage to the joint is severe, partial or total knee replacement surgery is performed. The procedure involves replacing the knee with metal and plastic parts. It is a very common procedure, with over 600,000 knee replacements per year performed by orthopedic surgeons in the United States.


Knee pain is a common and debilitating problem with many possible causes. Although milder episodes of pain in the knee can be managed at home, some cases require medical attention. If you have knee or leg pain that is not improving, a doctor can help you identify the underlying cause of the pain and come up with a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and help you regain mobility.

Knee Pain Treatment in Knoxville, TN

That’s where Omega Pain Management comes into play. Dr. Igor Smelyansky is one of the most recognized pain specialists in the state. He has a reputation to maintain running one of the best Knoxville pain management clinics. He understands highly technical knee anatomy and uses his wealth of experience to create personalized knee pain relief plan in Knoxville. He also develops the most effective pain management plans for individuals suffering from knee pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, spinal stenosis, tendonitis, and so many other debilitating chronic conditions. Click on the following links if you want to find out more about Dr. Igor Smelyansky and Omega Pain Management Clinic. Put your trust in Omega Pain Management and get back your life, minus the pain! Call 865-337-5137 today and start living!


Messier SP, Gutekunst DJ, Davis C, DeVita P. Weight loss reduces knee-joint loads in overweight and obese older adults with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Jul;52(7):2026-32. doi: 10.1002/art.21139. PMID: 15986358.

Bunt CW, Jonas CE, Chang JG. Knee Pain in Adults and Adolescents: The Initial Evaluation. Am Fam Physician. 2018 Nov 1;98(9):576-585. PMID: 30325638.