How Can I Stop Knee Pain Without Surgery?

How Can I Stop Knee Pain Without Surgery?

So you want to know how you can stop knee pain without surgery?

If you’re like a lot of people over age 40, knees that have served you well for years gradually start hurting and swelling – especially once you increase your activity.

They may start making cracking or popping sounds, and you may even feel a grinding sensation in your knees as you move.

Most likely, you’ve developed “crepitus” or arthritis of the knee(s), something we see quite often at LEVEL4.

For instance, the other day I was on the phone with one of our regular clients, Jackie…

She’s 57 from the Encinitas, CA.

How Can I Stop Knee Pain Without Surgery?

Jackie’s Story On Knee Pain…

“I was making the most of the Labor Day weekend by visiting Torrey Pines and walking around Torrey Pines state park.

I was fine when I got home, but then the next morning when I woke up, my knees had a dull aching pain.

At first, I thought “oh it’s just aching knees, I’ve probably overdone it, it’s happened before… But the pain got worse as the day went on, and it’s still bothering me.

My knees ache when I walk and they have begun to make a crackling, crinkly, and grating sound when I squat or lunge… and now I’m finding it hard to go up and down the stairs.”

Days after, I decided to visit my doctor’s office where they performed x-rays of my knees.  His recommendation was to rest for two weeks and take prescribed pain medication.  I followed my doctor’s advice, but I have not felt any improvement.  So, I returned to my doctor’s office and have been disappointed, to say the least, because he now wants to refer me to an orthopedic surgeon. 

I have too many friends who have had a knee replacement and they are not the same active person after surgery… 

Is there anything else I can do to fix knee pain at home or to help stop knee pain without surgery?”

A Not-So-Uncommon Story

Now, this isn’t uncommon…

And when you consider that 77% of people are more active during the long weekends, that’s a lot of knees that could potentially become sore.

The thing is, many people will put up with bad knees for days, weeks, even months, hoping that the pain will go away on its own.

But the problem with that is, that 9 times out of 10, the pain gets worse and hangs around – which pains me when I know you really don’t have to suffer.

So, how about I give you three ideas to help you make knee pain much less of frustration in your life?

And even if you don’t go out walking often and suffer from knee pain – these knee pain treatment tips will still be beneficial to you in helping to ease knee pain.

What shoes do you wear on a daily basis?

Tip 1:

Believe it or not, the shoes you wear can have a big impact on all sorts of pain – knee, back, and ankle…

But when it comes to knees, wearing shoes with a heel, too much cushion or air (even a shoe that makes you walk differently) can encourage tight calf muscles and put pressure on your knee joint.

A tight calf can pull the foot inward to a position called pronation (“flat foot”), which causes your feet to collapse and your lower leg to roll in, placing more stress on your knees.

So, choose flat minimalist shoes and stretch out those calves.

On the flip side, replace your walking shoes frequently – every 300 miles, which could be three months or a year depending on your level of activity. This is a safe way to avoid wearing a shoe with poor cushioning support for your feet and joints.

Don’t just rest with knee pain

Tip 2:

I know it’s tempting to rest if you’ve got knee pain, but too much rest can actually make knee pain worse.

When you rest all day you’re not using your muscles which causes them to become weak, tight, and to ache even more when you go to move.

My advice would be to find a few exercises that are safe for your knees and stick to them daily.

We often recommend Pilates for our clients with knee pain because it’s an activity that unloads the knees while strengthening the necessary muscles to support your knee.  If you are local and want to try a free class to see all the great benefits Pilates can have for you, please click here and request a free taster session.

If you’re not sure what motions are safe and how much you can do, speak to a professional.

Gentle walking on flat surfaces around the house, cycling or even swimming frequently is safe options to keep your knees moving.

A simple exercise that works

Tip 3:

And here’s a simple exercise…

Grab hold of a chair or hold onto a stable surface for support.

Squat down until your kneecaps cover your big toes. Return to standing and then repeat 10 times.

As you improve, try to squat a little lower, but be sure not to go further than the height of your toilet or sofa.

If you start using these tips, you’ll be keeping your knees safe and your independence won’t be affected!

Here’s another great article I wrote to help you avoid 4 very common mistakes we hear from many of our clients following self knee pain treatment

< ”Knee Pain – 4 Things You Could Be Doing To Make It Worse” >

So, there you have it…

Some quick and easy tips with a specific exercise you can begin today to help improve your knee’s overall flexibility, strength, and function, which in turn, can help stop annoying, daily, irritating knee pain without having to jump into surgery first.

In addition, it can also help reduce how painful it feels and how much it gets in the way of day to day life.

How long should I wait before getting help?

If you’ve been struggling with any type of knee pain for more than 10 days, it’s very likely you’ll run into the same problems Jackie encountered.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help!

If you’d like to know more and want tips for easing your knee pain, here’s a free report with 7 top tips to keep active with less knee pain.

Knee Pain Guide

Learn how physical therapy can help your knee pain by clicking the link:  Learn More About Knee Pain and then click on the button for the free guide.

I hope this article is able to help you make a better decision for your health and if you think a friend or family member would benefit from reading this (or needs to read it), feel free to share it with them.


Dedicated to Restoring Your Health,

Dr. Oscar  🙂

San Diego’s Leading Knee Pain Specialist Physical Therapist in Encinitas.  



P.S.  Please leave your comments, questions and/or concerns below… we love to hear about your experience(s)/story with knee pain.

Latest posts by Oscar Andalon, DPT, STC, MTC, CSCS, CF-L1, MWOD, USAW, FMS/SFMA (see all)

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