As a physiotherapist, you understand the challenges involved in treating knee pain. Patient misconceptions can complicate matters, as outdated or false information can hinder their recovery. Educating patients is crucial to achieving the best outcomes. In this article, we’ll address six common fallacies about knee pain, debunking these myths and emphasizing the importance of evidence-based approaches for successful treatment and improved quality of life.

Fallacy 1: Persistent knee pain is always due to arthritis, and arthritis only.
Reality: Knee pain can stem from various factors, making it illogical to solely attribute it to arthritis. To accurately identify the underlying cause, it is advisable to consult with a family doctor or physiotherapist who can conduct a comprehensive assessment.

Fallacy 2: Surgery for knee pain is better than physiotherapy.
Reality: Instead of immediately opting for surgery, exploring alternative options is recommended. Physiotherapy, among other non-surgical treatments like injections, infusions, lifestyle modifications, and nutrition adjustments, can effectively address knee pain. Prioritizing conservative approaches is a prudent choice.

Fallacy 3: If physical therapy hasn’t provided relief within a few weeks, surgery is necessary.
Reality: While physical therapy is a common approach, it’s not the only non-surgical option. Patients should remain open to alternative treatments and realistic about the potential outcomes. Injections, infusions, and other interventions may still be viable alternatives to surgery.

Fallacy 4: Being overweight doesn’t contribute to knee pain because my body is accustomed to it.
Reality: This notion is a delusion rather than a fallacy. Weight can directly impact knee pain, as excess weight places increased pressure on the knees. Losing weight is the most significant change individuals can make to alleviate knee pain and reduce stress on the joints.

Fallacy 5: Scans will precisely identify the cause of my knee pain.
Reality: Scan results have limited correlation with actual pain and disability. The presence of cartilage damage, meniscal degeneration, or arthritis doesn’t necessarily indicate the level of pain experienced. Studies reveal that individuals without knee pain may exhibit meniscal tears, highlighting the poor association between structural issues and pain.

Fallacy 6: Exercise will worsen my knee pain.
Reality: High-quality evidence supports the use of knee pain exercises to alleviate discomfort. Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impact of exercise on pain management. However, it’s essential to avoid exercise during the acute phase or when pain is severe or associated with acute joint inflammation.


Debunking misconceptions surrounding knee pain is crucial for effective treatment and patient recovery. By promoting evidence-based approaches, physiotherapists can help patients achieve optimal outcomes and improve their overall quality of life. Whether working with athletes, seniors, beginners, or experts, it is vital to equip ourselves with accurate information and guide patients toward the truth, leaving fallacies behind for successful knee pain management.


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