Radiating knee pain

It is important to note that the knee is the biggest synovial or moveable joint in the body. The knee is composed of moving components that can be damaged due to wearing away or injuries. Once an individual end up with radiating knee pain, the pain is not only localized to the knee area but also spreads to the areas surrounding the knee. Being able to recognize this type of pain and the appropriate steps to perform can help provide relief to the individual.

Even though the knee is a supportive joint, it is not made for the demands placed on it. The knee is not designed to endure the intensity of various sports such as soccer or football as well as occupations such as carpentry or plumbing. Always bear in mind that frequent abuse can result to pain and potentially, radiating knee pain.

Sources of radiating knee pain

There are various structures linked to the knee that might be the cause of the radiating knee pain. These include tendons, ligaments, bone and meniscus. Aside from these areas, other parts of the body can also trigger pain such as the lower back that shares a common nerve with the knee. Due to this, physical examination is vital once an individual experiences radiating knee pain.

Radiating knee pain

There are various structures linked to the knee that might be the cause of the radiating knee pain.

Aside from the physical assessment, the doctor can utilize various testing methods to determine the exact source of the radiating knee pain. These tests include CT scan, X-ray and MRI. These tests examine various structures in the body that might potentially trigger radiating pain. In some cases, a blood test might be performed to determine the presence of any infection in or around the knee joint.

Preventive measures

Even though the radiating knee pain can cause limitations with movement, if the pain is not due to injury, it is recommended to increase the activity level. The individual should engage in injury prevention techniques such as proper warming up and cooling down in order to stretch out the muscles surrounding the knee.

For avid runners or those who engage in high-impact activities, it is vital to replace the athletic shoes used regularly to help relieve the pain as well.


If the individual experiences knee pain after a sports injury, he/she might have a torn cartilage, slashed ligament or a combination of both injuries. The best way to ease the pain before seeing a doctor is to apply an ice pack and elevate the limb to reduce the pain and inflammation.

In cases where the radiating knee pain progresses in a slow rate, over-the-counter pain medications can be given for relief. Always remember the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) when this type of pain is experienced. In case the pain persists, the doctor might recommend steroid injections, medications or even joint replacement surgery as the last option.


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