Who should I consult about persistent knee pain?

Hi folks,

I did my knees in from running in and haven't run since early April - about two and a half months. Everything the physio told me to do - stretching, cycling, etc - just makes the pain worse, so I ended up giving up trying to do anything. While it subsided a bit, it's re-emerged again after I did a short cycle ride last week - and ran for the train the other night. I'm so frustrated and can't do anything without aggravating it, it seems, yet I am not in agony - can walk etc.

Who do I consult about this? A physio, or is this problem beyond physio now? Should I go back to my GP? I am not sure the pain is severe enough but I can't exercise or do anything without it causing discomfort. Surely that's not good?

Thanks for your advice.

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16 Replies

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  • Oh, and the physio was an NHS physio who discharged me, as I'd been to see her originally about calf pain. The knee pain flared up later. It took 10 weeks for my first appointment to come through and I don't want to wait that long again if I can help it. I can pay for private physio but don't want to waste £60 if this is not a physio issue, but something that requires a different specialist. Anyone got any ideas?

  • Have you tried (R.I.C.E) Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate. I have a friend who is a paramedic and that's one he uses a lot, he does a lot of cycling and has one or two sprains and strains , hope this helps and hope it gets better soon.

  • Haven't done this for ages as I just assumed it wouldn't make any difference at this stage, but I will try it again - thanks!

  • It has been superseded by MICE (M is movement, gentle and gradually increasing)

  • Those two issues may be connected. If you see a physio mention both problems you have had.

  • Yes, good idea - I'll do that. Thanks

  • If you don't want to wait weeks for an NHS physio then a private physio could still be your first port of call. They should certainly be able to tell if you need a scan and will refer you back to your doctor if they feel you need treatment they can't offer. My husband had chronic knee pain for months and like you, felt the minute he tried to do anything he was back to square one. What made the difference for him was a series of strengthening exercises for quads, calve etc. He followed it religiously and has since been able to return to running (now up to 7k with no issues at all). I know you must feel so frustrated at the moment but I am sure you will get back to running with the right support. I sought private physio for treatment following a calf tear (a couple of years ago) and am seeing her again now as I have a bad back. She is also a runner and is worth her weight in gold! Hope you get things sorted.Good luck! 🙂

  • Thanks Sandra. It's encouraging to hear stories like your husband's. I am fine with paying for private physio - I just didn't want to waste the cash on that only to learn that I should have sought a completely different type of medical professional to start with, if you see what I mean. I don't suppose your runner physio is in London, is she? If she is, I wouldn't mind seeing her myself.

  • Sadly not, we are Surrey/Sussex border.

  • Consult an appropriately registered(qualified) physio. Locally here we pay £45 first appointment which includes a full assessment, and £35 for follow up appointments if required or requested.

    Some good specialist running shops may be able to recommend private physios who specialise in sports/ running.

  • Thanks Jacs. There's a physio practice near me and a couple of them are runners themselves. It costs £60 for an initial assessment and follow-ups are £49.Good idea about the running shops. There is one near my office that I could pop into at lunchtime.

  • Eeek, london prices! I used one at the running shop, he was independent of the shop but held a clinic there. Very good treatment and advice. My husband used a lady in our village, she was also great. We would use both again if needed.

  • Exactly!

  • Continue the physio exercises (a private physio will probably do the same - I assume quads exercises).

    It is probably worth seeing your GP, although many have not done much orthopaedics, they can refer you to one. The pain may not be severe but if it is stopping you exercising, it is affecting your fitness. It is always possible that you have a small tear in one of the menisci (cartilages) which would show on a scan.

    If you want to pay to see someone (not a fan of private medicine myself) then see a doctor who has specialised in sports medicine if possible.

  • Thanks nikkiwabit. I was wondering if there was something else going on that required something other than physio. Paying for a couple of physio sessions is one thing but I certainly can't afford to go down the private healthcare route. It's true that it's affecting my fitness because I can't do anything - everything aggravates it. I think I must have lost all my fitness now after not running for two months and getting bored with cycling and gym-ming. Oh well. I will probably seek out the GP's advice too. Thanks

  • I experience problems with my knees . I resorted to an osteopath and two treatments later all is well. Apparently my thigh muscles were so tight that it was holding the knee awkwardly when running . My knees were worse post run but eased after about 24 hours and the cycle began again . An osteopath can advise if your problem is skeletal or muscular . I cannot believe the difference it had made and the relief ! Some osteopaths will offer 15 free consultation to assess if they can be any help .

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