5 Easy Tips for Knee Pain in Children

Last Updated on August 31, 2023 by Lori Pace

Knee pain in children is a common problem that many factors can cause. It can be from a specific trauma or condition or, more commonly, an overuse injury. 

Specifically for overuse injuries, a change in activity level or sport may be related to the onset of symptoms. Per the research, under-preparedness to tackle high-level activities causes these types of injuries. The good news is that several easy tips can help relieve your child’s knee pain.

5 Tips to Help Child’s Knee Pain

1. RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation

The first step in treating any injury is to rest the injured area. This will help to decrease inflammation and pain. Ice should be applied to the injured area for 20 minutes, several times a day. Using an ACE wrap or similar product, compression can also help decrease the swelling. 

Finally, keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart to further reduce swelling.

2. Over-the-counter pain medication

If ice and rest aren’t enough to relieve your child’s pain, over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be helpful. Always read the labels carefully and follow the directions for use.

3. Physical therapy

Physical therapy can help if the knee pain is ongoing or doesn’t improve with rest, ice, and medication. A physical therapist can help your child strengthen the muscles around the knee and increase the range of motion.

4. Braces or supports

Braces or supports can help stabilise the knee and reduce pain. There are many different types of braces available, so speak with your paediatrician or orthopedist to find the best brace for your child.

5. Surgery

In very rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct a problem with the knee joint. Consult with your pediatrician or orthopedist if you are concerned about your child’s knee pain.

What are the symptoms of knee pain in children?

The most common symptoms of knee pain in children are: (1) swelling, (2) pain, (3) inflammation, and (4) stiffness. Often, the pain will worsen when the child is active and will improve with rest.

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help. The sooner the problem is diagnosed and treated, the less likely your child will be to experience long-term problems.

Symptoms of Knee Pain

What should I do if my child has knee pain?

If your child has knee pain, the first thing you should do is ice the affected area for 15-20 minutes every few hours. You can also give your child over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help relieve their pain.

It is also important to elevate the affected leg whenever possible and have your child wear a brace or support if they are experiencing pain and swelling. If the pain does not improve after a few days of home treatment, it is important to seek medical help.

What are some common causes of knee pain in children?

There are many different factors that can contribute to knee pain in children. Most commonly, knee pain is caused by: (1) overuse, (2) a specific trauma or injury, (3) a medical condition, or (4) arthritis.

Teenagers who are underprepared to take on high-level activities are more likely to experience knee pain from overuse. For example, teens who abruptly decide to tackle a marathon without prior training are more likely to feel pain from running

On the other hand, children who have sustained a specific trauma or injury are more likely to experience pain from a traumatic event. 

Medical conditions, such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis, can also cause knee pain in children.

It is important to remember that knee pain happens due to many different factors. And the best way to determine the cause of your child’s pain is to see a doctor.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!