8 Common Culprits Behind Knee Pain
Knee pain not only results in difficulty moving and being active but also hampers your ability to perform important daily tasks. Though some individuals develop knee pain due to an injury, many just start to experience it gradually as a result of age-related wear and tear.
Knee pain can occur for a wide range of reasons, including the following ones:
Osteoarthritis typically results in pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the joints of your knees. If untreated, this condition can misalign the affected joints. The aforementioned symptoms occur due to the protective cartilage of the knee joint being worn away or damaged. Osteoarthritis can be triggered by an injury, age, and genetics.
2. Rheumatoid arthritis
This arthritis type is an autoimmune and inflammatory disorder that causes your body to attack itself. Certain parts of your joints are particularly vulnerable to this damage. They can become swollen, painful, and stiff, eventually resulting in decreased mobility in your knee.
3. Ligament or cartilage tear
Usually affecting those with diabetes, a ligament tear or meniscus tear can occur in a matter of seconds. Ligaments are essential to keep your knee stable when you're running, walking, or standing. Your meniscus cushions and helps stabilize your knee joint, but if twisted the wrong way, it or one of your knee ligaments can become torn. This can result in severe knee pain and loss of stability in your knee.
4. Strain or sprain
Knee strains or sprains can cause lots of pain but aren't dangerous. These mild injuries can result from accidents like falling, slipping, or just from overexerting yourself. Your treatment may include plenty of rest and appliance of cold compresses to the affected area.
Just like sprains, bursitis is an acute condition that causes severe pain. Bursitis develops when the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between soft tissues and bones in your knee, becomes irritated and inflamed. This typically occurs due to overuse or too much kneeling. Bursitis causes swelling and burning sensations in the affected area. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor ASAP.
Similar to tennis elbow that develops in your elbow, tendonitis in your knee usually results from the inflamed patellar tendon due to overuse. This condition is prevalent in athletes, particularly in those participating in basketball and volleyball. It typically leads to pain and tenderness in your kneecap that worsens with movement.
If your knee pain has occurred after a serious and unexpected trauma like a motor vehicle accident or a fall, consider exploring your treatment options. If rest and physical therapy fail to bring any results, visit your doctor to identify if surgical treatment can stop your pain or other symptoms.
Another common reason for knee pain is a fracture in your knee. Visit your doctor and undergo x-rays to exclude a fractured bone in your knee. Your specialist will then recommend you an appropriate treatment.
The bottom line
Regardless of the events that preceded your knee pain, avoid letting it persist and reach out to an experienced knee pain specialist. These doctors are tremendously trained in diagnosing the precise cause of pain and discomfort in the knees and treating them accordingly. Your specialists will start with the most conservative techniques, like physical therapy, strengthening exercises, OTC anti-inflammatories, and rest. If your knee pain is severe, you'll be provided with other treatment options, including steroid shots, acid injections, surgery, and knee replacement. Remember that undergoing timely treatment is essential to avoid any additional symptoms and complications in the future.
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