Navigating Knee Pain: What Type of Doctor Should You See?

By Luna
Navigating Knee Pain: What Type of Doctor Should You See?

Knee pain is more than a symptom or minor annoyance you can manage alone. According to a journal article from the American Academy of Family Physicians, it affects around 25% of all adults — with that number steadily climbing — accounting for four million primary care visits each year. 

But even with so many affected, knee pain raises an important but often confusing question: who is the right doctor to see? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think.

What Type of Doctor Diagnoses and Treats Knee Pain?

Whether your knee pain is a sudden sharp sensation or a slow-building ache, understanding who to turn to for help is key. The following doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating knee pain, each with a unique approach to treatment:


  • Orthopedic Doctor: Specializing in the musculoskeletal system, these doctors deal with various conditions, from minor injuries to complex surgeries. They are particularly adept at addressing structural problems within the knee that stem from severe injuries or require surgical intervention.

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  • Rheumatologists: If your knee pain is related to systemic conditions such as arthritis, a rheumatologist can provide more specialized care. They focus on autoimmune diseases and chronic conditions affecting the joints.


  • Sports Medicine Physicians: Ideal for athletes, physically active patients, and those with sports-related injuries, these physicians primarily work with patients on injury prevention, non-surgical treatment, and performance enhancement.

While these doctors are often the first port of call, another medical professional stands out in this narrative, often working alongside their treatments: the physical therapist.


  • Physical Therapists: Often overlooked, these movement specialists can be your first line of defense. They diagnose and treat knee pain through non-invasive methods, focusing on pain relief, restoring function, and long-term health.

When to see a Physical Therapist for Knee Pain

So, should you consult a physical therapist for your knee pain?

Many doctors work closely with patients to explore non-surgical or post-operative options like physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications. Preventative treatments for strengthening the knees are also commonly addressed by a physical therapist to prevent further strain or injury.

Here are some scenarios where a PT can be your best choice:


Additionally, physical therapists treat the following conditions relating to knee pain:


Through tailored exercises, manual therapy, and education, physical therapists alleviate pain and teach patients how to maintain knee health and prevent future issues.

How Physical Therapy with Luna Can Help

Every patient’s experience with knee pain is different, so your physical therapist will create a plan specifically designed for you. Physical therapy with Luna offers a personalized approach to managing knee pain, delivering expert care in the comfort of your home.

The convenience and true, one-on-one treatment means your path to recovery is effective and works around your schedule without the hassle of visiting a clinic.

Learn more about the common symptoms and causes of knee pain, and take the first step towards a pain-free life with Luna's in-home physical therapy!

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