It can appear to all people for all ages. Knee pain can be acquired through a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage acquired as a result of a previous injury. It can also be an effect brought about by arthritis, gout and infections. Knowing the reason why does your knee hurt is the fundamental step of curing it. There are some minor pain injury which can simply be cured with self care measures, therapy or knee braces to support and elevate knee pain. However, there are some cases in which surgery has to be done and to be able to know what to do to your knees; you have to know some facts at the same time visit professionals for health care treatments.
The symptoms may come in different ways depending on the cause of the knee pain. It can lead to swelling and stiffness, redness of knees and warmth to the touch, instability or weakening of knees, knee popping or crunching noises and inability to fully make your knee straight. In serious cases, you might opt to check with a doctor if your knee could no longer bear body weight that makes you fall as your knees “give out”, knee swelling, inflexibility of knees, with visible deformity of your knee or leg, and experiencing fever in addition to redness, pain and swelling of the knee.
Knee pain can be brought by an injury. Marathoners often suffer knee pain brought by the stress acquired from either wrong shoes, improper running postures or others. Knee pain can affect any of the ligaments or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround the knee joint, bones, cartilages and ligaments that form the joint itself. Another cause would be mechanical problems. At this case, certain abnormalities on the body structure had caused pain on the knee like having one leg shorter than the other, misaligned knees and flat feet can make you prone to knee disorders and pain. Some conditions would also include:
- Loose body. It can affect the knee when loose body interferes with knee joint movement as sometimes an injury or degeneration of bone or cartilage can cause a piece of bone or cartilage to break off ad float in joint space.
- Dislocated kneecap. It is brought about by slipping out of place (outside of your knee) of the triangular bone (patella), the one that covers the front of knee.
- Knee locking. This occurs as the cartilage tears apart. When this occurs, you may not be able to fully straighten your knees.
- Hip or foot pain. When you experience foot or hip pain, the tendency is that you will shift your way of walking to avoid stressing the painful part. However, this practice can alter the alignment of your kneecap and place more stress on your knee joint.
Arthritis comes in many types which are accounted mostly as a reason for knee pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis also called as degenerative arthritis. It occurs when the cartilages of knee deteriorates brought by use or age. Rheumatoid arthritis this is a very deliberating form of arthritis which affects any joints in the body. It is an autoimmune condition that though chronic, severity varies and may even come and go. Gout occurs when uric acid crystals build up at the joint. It normally affects the big toe but there are also instances that it occurs in the knee. Pseudogout is commonly mistaken as gout but is caused by calcium pyrophosphate crystals that develop in the joint fluid and it commonly affects the knees. Septic arthritis can sometimes affect the knee that leads to swelling, pain and redness. It commonly occurs with fever.
As said earlier, treatment can vary according to the cause. The primary step to be done is to consult your doctor to fully assess your condition and provide you with the most effective and efficient treatment for your knees.
- Medications can be given by health care professionals to relieve you from pain or treat underlying condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. However, if the cause is dislocation of bone or cartilage, the pain may be relieved but would still come back until the dislocation is fixed.
- Physical therapy can be done to strengthen muscle in your knees to make it stable. Exercises to improve balance and training for muscles in the front thigh (quadriceps) and back (hamstrings) are also suggested. If knee pain is brought by vigorous workout for knee (running), alternative workout in which the weight of our body will not be carried by the knee (swimming) as therapy in which water is also a good therapy for pain.
- Orthodontics and bracing are made for arch support to remove the pressure away from the side of the knee aching or affected. There are different braces to protect and support knee joint depending on what you need most.
- Corticosteroid Injections are drugs injected to reduce symptoms of an arthritis flare and relieve pain that lasts for months however; injections can lead to infection if not properly and hygienically done.
- Hyaluronic acid is a thick fluid acquired from healthy joints and injected to damaged ones that may serve as a lubricant and ease the pain. Though the process is still in research, it was proven that hyaluronic acid reduce inflammation though how is still a question. The relief may last as long as six months or a year.
- Surgery is for those who have injuries. However, you have to consider all factors and risks before going to an operation. There are nonsurgical rehabilitation that can be done so better check it out before going on to an operation.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin are used as a combination to relieve pain brought by osteoarthritis especially those undergoing moderate to severe pain.
- Acupuncture is also a way to relieve pain by injecting very thin needles to the so called “acupuncture points” that when injected is connected to the area and relieve you form pain. But it would require proper sanitation and expertise to effectively do this treatment.
Age or maturity, sex (girls are more prone to a dislocated kneecap while boys are more at risk for patellar tendinitis than girls), excess weight, mechanical problems, lack of muscle flexibility or strength certain sports (those that drastic change in movement such as basketball) and previous injury can make you at risk for knee problems. Preventive measure would be difficult to avoid knee pain because some of the causes are autoimmune. However, making your knees strong by proper exercise and nutrition will really help. Making your bones, joints and cartilages healthy and strong should be one of your priorities as your knees provide you support for movement. If cannot be avoided, early treatment will be a great help for a higher chance and cheaper way of treatment. For any questions on your knee, you can always ask a professional advice from health care providers near you.