Stopping Knee Pain Without Surgery

Surgery is not always the best option for knee pain and most people would prefer to avoid surgery if at all possible. But how do you stop knee pain without surgery?

For many people, as they age, they develop issues with their knees that involve inflammation and pain, especially when active. Their knees may crack and pop when moving and may even make a grinding sensation. It’s difficult to perform your day-to-day activities if you suffer from problems like these. 

Unfortunately, knee pain is common and it can affect people of all ages. It may be from an injury – like a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage – or it could be from a medical condition, such as arthritis, gout, or infection. 

Thankfully, surgery can often be avoided, especially if you respond to the pain quickly, before it gets out of hand. You can try changing the shoes you wear, rehabilitative exercises, along with a trip to your chiropractor, among other options. 

What Are Symptoms Related To Knee Pain?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may benefit from chiropractic care, stretches, or exercises:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Redness
  • Warm to the touch
  • Weakness or instability
  • Popping or grinding noises

In some cases, you’ll need to see your doctor, such as if you can’t bear any weight on your leg or if your knee gives out when you try to put weight on it. If you’re unable to straighten your leg or there’s an obvious deformity in your knee, seek medical attention. Or if you’re running a fever along with redness, swelling, and pain. 

What Are Knee Pain Risk Factors?

While injury is the most common cause of knee pain, there are a number of risk factors that may contribute to knee pain, including:

Excess weight: Being overweight or obese can put undue stress on your knees, resulting in knee pain. Ordinary activities such as walking, going up and down stairs, and even just getting in and out of the car can put extra strain on the joints in your knees if you are overweight. Excess weight also means that your risk of getting osteoarthritis is increased due to the breakdown of joint cartilage. 

Lack of strength or flexibility: Both strength and flexibility are required for ease of motion and healthy, happy knees. If you don’t have one or both, you are at risk of injuring your knees. Use exercises aimed at strengthening your knees to help stabilize and protect your joints and stretches for flexibility to maintain a full range of motion.

Specific occupations or sports: Certain jobs can put a strain on your knees, such as farming or construction, while some sports put greater stress on your knees. Basketball – with its repeated need to run up and down the court, jump to shoot, and pivot with a planted foot – can increase your risk of knee injury or pain.

Previous knee injury: Having a previous injury to your knee makes you more susceptible to injuring it again. 

How Can I Fix My Knee Pain Without Surgery?

There are some simple steps you can take to reduce knee pain without resorting to surgery. 


First and foremost, consider the shoes you wear daily. Most people realize that heels are bad for your back, but they also affect your knees. So do options with too much cushion or ones that make you walk differently. 

These types of shoes can put extra stress on your knees. Instead, choose shoes that offer proper cushioning to soften the steps you take and prevent jarring your knees. Also, replace your shoes as the cushioning becomes worn to prevent losing support for your feet and joints.


Get plenty of activity each day. It’s tempting to rest, and while a little rest is good, too much rest will make your knee pain worse. If you don’t use your muscles, they grow weak and tighten up, making it even more painful when you do go to move again.

Consider knee-friendly stretches and exercises to strengthen your muscles and build flexibility. If you’re not sure what is safe for your situation, speak to your chiropractor, who can provide you with helpful tips for sore knees, stretches and exercises to try at home, and even offer manipulation techniques which may ease the pain that you are feeling. 

Chiropractic Care

Because the body’s systems are interconnected, it’s possible that your knee pain is caused by a misalignment elsewhere in your body, which is why a visit to the chiropractor is advised. A spinal alignment could adjust the joints in your back and return the nerves to their proper location, restoring any pinched nerves, or adjusting imbalances in how your body stands when erect, which may have been causing pain in your knees.

Dr. Tim Swift proudly serves San Clemente, San Juan, Dana Point, and the surrounding areas of Orange County, California.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.

Picture of Dr. Tim Swift

Dr. Tim Swift

Dr. Tim Swift combines his chiropractic expertise with regenerative medicine to bring a passion for restoring health, mobility, and vitality to help his community feel and function better.


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