Knee Pain From Overuse

Patient

Q: I have been having recurring issues with my right knee. For the last several months, it will occasionally begin to hurt after extended athletic activity (such as 4 or 5 hours of ultimate frisbee, or a long run). However, the pain is transitory and will be gone after a day or two. I never have issues with swelling or limited motion, either. What could be the cause of this?

Doctor

A:   There are several reassuring points in your story that make me less worried and indicate imaging may not be required..  The fact that it only occurs with prolonged activity is reassuring.  The limited duration and eventual resolution of pain is also a good sign. The abssens of pain at rest and absence of other symptoms such as fever, swelling, and limited range of motion is also reassuring.
The most likely explanation is over use.  reducing your activity is required immediately.  Strength training activities to help your muscles become stronger and take away the stress forces from your knee joint should also be initiated.  This is best done under the supervision of a physiotherapist or chiropractor trained in sports injuries.  Once the muscles are strengthened, activity can resume as tolerated.
Some health care professionals also recommend the use of orthotics in addition to the above recommendations.

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