How a pain management doctor can help your knee pain

Visiting a pain management doctor is a crucial step in properly diagnosing and treating acute or ongoing knee pain. As there are numerous potential causes for pain, only a medical provider will be able to distinguish probable cause through a physical examination, discussion, and possible imaging studies and/or laboratory tests. Once the cause of the pain is identified, you and your doctor will be able to effectively identify and discuss beneficial next steps that can help alleviate pain and explore a variety of treatment options.


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Before a pain management doctor recommends a treatment plan, he or she will review your medical history, pain symptoms, previous treatments, and any relevant documentation. After reviewing your case, your doctor will perform a physical examination and discuss your pain management goals with you. Your doctor may order imaging and lab work to better identify the cause of your pain.

You can learn more about Capitol Pain Institute’s process and what to expect from your pain management visit at:

If you need help with managing your knee pain, Capitol Pain Institute can help.


X-rays, Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, Ultrasounds, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs) each offer unique visualizations that can support a pain management doctor in identifying the specific cause of knee pain. X-rays are often the initial imaging requested as they can help detect some types of joint disease and any bone fractures. CT scans compile X-rays taken from a variety of angles into a comprehensive image of the inside of the body and can detect more subtle causes, such as smaller fractures and gout that may not be visible with an X-ray alone. An ultrasound uses sound waves to allow the doctor to see the soft tissues in and around the knee moving in real time while the patient rotates the knee in different positions, which can be helpful for identifying some tissue injuries. MRIs use a combination of a powerful magnet and radio waves to create 3-dimensional images of the knee. The level of detail can be helpful in diagnosing specific injuries to the ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscles.


If your pain management doctor believes there may be infection or inflammation, he or she may order a blood test or arthrocentesis. For a blood test, a small sample of blood is taken from a vein and sent to a lab, where the blood will be tested and results sent to your doctor for review. Arthrocentesis involves using a needle to take a small sample of fluid from the knee joint for testing
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Treatment Options

Once your pain management doctor has reviewed your lab and imaging results, he or she will better understand the root cause of your pain and deliver a precise diagnosis. There may be several treatment options available that will help reduce your knee pain. Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.


Based on your specific condition, your doctor may recommend physical therapy in order to help your knee improve and recover. Physical therapy involves performing specific exercises that can help strengthen the muscles that surround and support the knee. Other exercises will help improve your balance and flexibility.


Your doctor may recommend a knee brace to help ease your knee pain. A knee brace can help reduce your pain by supporting the knee and helping offload stress on the affected joints. The brace will also help serve as a reminder to use proper posture and movement in order to prevent further damage or injury.

Learn more about bracing.


A pain management doctor may recommend injections to either reduce pain or to further help with identifying the root cause of your knee pain. Injections are used to deliver medication to the affected area, helping relieve pain in the immediate area.

Learn more about injections.


In some cases, surgery may be warranted to address the underlying cause of the pain. If this is the case, Capitol Pain Management will work with you to make the appropriate recommendation to a surgeon who will take on your case and provide any necessary surgical procedures. After your procedure is completed, Capital Pain Management will continue to work with you during your recovery.

At Capitol Pain Management, our doctors will work with you to determine if surgery is necessary or if a non-invasive approach using injections, over-the-counter medication or physical therapy is more appropriate.

The Capitol Pain Process

Once our pain management doctors have your imaging and lab results, they’ll carefully review and deliver a precise diagnosis so you can collaboratively develop the best plan to alleviate your pain. Whether you tend to be more conservative in your medical decision making or you prefer a more aggressive approach, we want to work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.

Imaging, lab tests, therapy, bracing, injections and surgery have the potential to allow proper diagnosis and long-term treatment for knee pain, but these can only be accessed and utilized by your doctor. Identification of the root cause of your knee pain can allow you and your doctor to discuss effective treatment options that can help alleviate knee pain and return to a comfortable life.