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What is referred knee pain?

Pain that is experienced in a part of the body that is different from its origin is known as referred pain. Pain can be referred to the knee from the lower back where there are nerves supplying the lower limbs. Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for referred pain in the knee.

How does referred knee pain happen?

Certain levels of the lumbar spine (lower back) have nerves supplying the muscles surrounding the knee joint. If any of these nerves become damaged, referred pain in the knee may be experienced. Nerve damage can be due to a number of reasons including arthritis, trauma and prolapsed discs.

What are the symptoms of referred knee pain?

Pain in the knee and surrounding area is the most common symptom of referred knee pain. Other symptoms of referred knee pain include:

What should I do if I have referred knee pain?

You should receive a professional diagnosis of your condition so the correct management plan is followed. This may involve having various tests such as X-rays, MRI and CT scans. You should visit a physiotherapist as soon as possible to optimise your recovery and help you return to your normal activities of daily living.

Physiotherapy treatment for referred knee pain

Your physiotherapist will decide on the best programme to suit your needs. Treatment options include:

What shouldn’t I do if I have referred knee pain?

Do not delay seeking professional help as this could delay your recovery. It is important not continue with your normal sports and activities until you have received advice from your physiotherapist as this could cause further damage.

Could there be any long-term effects of referred knee pain?

If you adhere to your personalised physiotherapy programme, you should recover without any long-term problems. However, if the referred pain in the knee is more chronic (long-term), your rehabilitation will take longer.

To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call on 0330 088 7800 or book online.