Knee pain affects people in all ages. It may be due to an injury, a torn cartilage or a ruptured ligament. The medical conditions include gout, arthritis, and infections causing knee pain.
The knee pain is in many types responding perfectly to self-care measures. The knee braces and physical therapy can relieve knee pain and may also require surgical repair.
The severity of knee pain varies with the location and also the cause of knee pain. The symptoms and signs of knee pain mostly include:
- Stiffness and swelling
- Instability or weakness
- Crunching or popping noises
- Warmth and redness to the touch
- inability to straighten knee
When to see a doctor
There is a need to see a doctor if you find the self-care measures are not responding as required. You may see a doctor when:
- You cannot bear your knee weight
- You are unable to flex or fully extend your knee
- You notice a deformity obviously in your knee or leg
- You have knee swelling
- You feel knee ‘gives out’ or is unstable
- You have fever, swelling and pain, besides redness
Knee pain may be due to injuries, arthritis types, mechanical problems, and other problems.
A knee injury may affect the tendons, ligaments or fluid-filled sacs surrounding your knee joints, besides the cartilage, bones, and ligaments forming the joint. Some knee injuries commonly include:
- ACL injury.This is the (ACL) anterior cruciate ligament tearing. This refers to one of the four ligaments connecting your shinbone to thighbone. This injury is common in people playing soccer, basketball or other sports requiring sudden direction changes.
- The knee bones include the kneecap that gets broken during falls or motor vehicle collisions. This is crucial in people whose bones are weakened due to osteoporosis. They can sustain a knee fracture sometimes even merely due to stepping wrong.
- Knee bursitis.This refers to the inflammation caused in the bursae, the small fluid sacs that cushion your knee joint outside such that the ligaments and tendons smoothly glide over the joint.
- Torn meniscus.The meniscus is formed due to rubbery cartilage, acting as a shock absorber between the thighbone and shinbone. It gets torn if you twist your knee while bearing your own weight on it.
- Patellar tendinitis.Tendinitis is referred to the inflammation and irritation caused to one or more tendons. The tendons are the fibrous, thick tissues attached to the bones muscles. Cyclists, skiers, runners and others involved in sports and such activities are exposed to this development in the patellar tendon inflammation connecting the quadriceps muscle on the thigh front to the shinbone.
There are over 100 different arthritis types. The varieties affecting the knee include:
- This is referred to as degenerative arthritis; the most common arthritis type. This is a wear-and-tear condition occurring as the knee cartilage deteriorates with age and use.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.This is the arthritis debilitating form. Rheumatoid arthritis affects any joint and is an autoimmune condition affecting any joint, including your knees.
- This arthritis type occurs when the crystals in the uric acid build up in the joint. The gout mostly affects the big toe, and can arise in the knee.
- Pseudogout is due to calcium-containing crystals developing in the joint fluid. The knees joint are affected by pseudogout.
- Septic arthritis.The knee joints sometimes become infected, resulting in pain, redness, and swelling. Septic arthritis includes fever.
A few mechanical problems causing knee pain include:
- Loose body. Cartilage, bone degeneration or injury causes a cartilage or bone to break off and they float in the joint space. This causes problems only when body interferes with movement in knee joint.
- Dislocated kneecap.This is when your knee front slips out of place to your knee outside and there is a visible dislocation.
- Iliotibial band syndrome.This is when the tissue extends from your hip to the knee outside rubs against your femur outer portion. This syndrome is common in distance runners.
- Hip or foot pain.If there is hip or foot pain, it may cause knee joint pain as there is more stress on the gait.
A general syndrome common in young adults, athletes, and in older adults is the pain arising between underlying thighbone and patella, Patellofemoral pain syndrome.
Various factors increase the knee problems risk, including:
- Overweight causes knee joints stress even with regular activities and there is increased risk of accelerating the joint cartilage breakdown with osteoarthritis.
- Lack of muscle strength or flexibility causes knee injuries. Weak or tight muscles provide less knee support and do not absorb stress on the joint.
- Sports add knee stress and repeated knees pounding take on jogging or running the knee injury risk.
- Previous injury on the knee makes it susceptible to injure again your knee.
Knee pain is not always serious, but osteoarthritis may result in joint damage, increasing pain and if left untreated, it will result in disability.
- Keep off extra pounds.Maintaining healthy weight is the best things for your knees. Extra pound adds strain on the joints, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis and injuries.
- Stay in shape to play a sport.Prepare your muscles for sports participation. Work with a trainer or a coach to ascertain your movement and technique are the best.
- Practice perfectly.Ensure perfect movement and technique patterns for your sports or activity. Learning from a professional may be helpful.
- Stay flexible, Get strong.Weak muscles cause knee injuries. Build up hamstrings and quadriceps supporting your knees. Work on stability training and balance to help muscles enveloping your knees to work effectively. Stretching is important, so include flexibility exercises.
- Be smart about exercise.If you have chronic knee pain, osteoarthritis or recurring injuries, change your exercise. Switch to water aerobics, swimming or low-impact activities for a week or a few days.