Although surgery has a role in repairing traumatic injuries and broken bones, surgeries such as arthroscopic lavage do not provide significant or lasting improvements to either pain or function to people with knee pain, and therefore should almost never be performed. Knee pain is pain caused by wear and tear, such as osteoarthritis or a meniscal tear. Effective treatments for knee pain include physical therapy exercises, pain-reducing drugs such as ibuprofen, knee replacement surgery, and weight loss in people who are overweight.
Acupuncture has also been found to be a potential treatment for those with knee pain There is evidence that acupuncture can be useful in reducing acute pain after a total knee arthroplasty, reducing the need for certain prescription drugs such as opioids. For those suffering from chronic knee pain, defined as pain lasting more than 3 months, acupuncture was found to be effective in reducing pain up to 12 weeks after acupuncture treatment.
Overall, a combination of interventions seems to be the best choice when treating knee pain. Interventions such as exercises that target both the knee and the hip, foot bracing, and patellar taping are all recommended for use with patients suffering from knee pain.
Current evidence suggests that psychological factors are elevated in individuals with patellofemoral pain. Non-physical factors such as anxiety, depression, fear of movement, and catastrophizing are thought to have a linear correlation with increased pain experience and decreased physical function. Catastrophizing is defined as imagining the worst possible outcome of an action or event Furthermore, psychosocial factors may have either a positive or negative impact on adherence to rehabilitation programs for managing knee pain