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Understanding the 4 Most Common Causes of Knee Pain

February 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — newengland @ 6:18 pm
Man walking up stairs, dealing with knee pain

The knees are the most powerful joints in the human body. Unfortunately, they are not immune to problems. If one of your knees is in pain, you should pay attention — pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong! Sadly, it cannot give you specific details. You may have to work along with your medical team to uncover the exact cause of your pain and find a solution. What are some of the most common causes of knee pain, and how are they usually treated? This blog post provides practical information.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition wherein the cartilage between the bones starts to deteriorate. This can lead to persistent pain and inflammation in various joints, including the knee.

Osteoarthritis is commonly addressed with physical therapy, NSAID pain relievers, and in severe cases, joint replacement surgery. However, many patients have also benefited greatly from regenerative medicine, which has been shown to greatly decrease inflammation and the associated pain. (No treatment can regrow lost cartilage. The primary objective of osteoarthritis treatment is to relieve pain and increase quality of life.)

Sprained or Strained Ligaments or Muscles

Sprained or strained ligaments and muscles are usually acute injuries that can occur during sports or as the result of a fall. These issues are associated with pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. With rest, icing, and other measures, some sprains and strains heal without professional care. In severe cases, however, physical therapy, regenerative medicine, or even surgery may be necessary.

Torn Cartilage

The meniscus is a type of cartilage in the knee joint that can be torn during accidents and falls. Swelling and pain are common symptoms of a torn meniscus. Depending on the severity of the injury, rest and bracing might be enough to facilitate recovery. In other circumstances, biologic injections (such as stem cell therapy) or even surgery might be necessary.


Tendonitis occurs when the tissues that connect the muscles to the bones (the tendons) become inflamed, usually due to overuse. Athletes often suffer from this issue. Rest, pain relievers, and bracing are often used to relieve tendonitis pain. Shockwave therapy and biologic injections can also be helpful in encouraging the body to heal.

Choosing Your Treatment for Knee Pain

If one of your knees is in pain, it is generally best to start with the most conservative treatments. However, if those methods are ineffective, or your doctor informs you that your condition is severe, you may need to explore other options. Regenerative medicine techniques are effective for many people and may be able to help you avoid surgery. Invasive procedures should be a last resort!

Meet the Practice

Dr. Paul Tortland is board-certified in regenerative medicine, and he is more than qualified to provide a range of non-surgical musculoskeletal treatments, including stem cell injections, shockwave therapy, and more. If you are struggling with knee pain, he and our team are ready to evaluate your condition and recommend your next steps. Contact the New England Stem Cell Institute at 860-430-2821.

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