Knee pain is a frequent complaint that affects people of all ages. It can be the result of an injury, such as a torn ligament or a cartilage tear. Some diseases such as arthritis, gout and infection can also cause knee pain. Many types of mild knee pain respond well to personal care measures. Physical therapy and knee immobilization devices can also help relieve pain. However, in some cases, surgical repair may be necessary. Read this article to know the causes of knee pain by the pain management center.
The location and intensity of knee pain may vary depending on the cause of the problem. The signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain are:
Inflammation and rigidity
Redness and temperature to the touch
Weakness or instability
Sounds of clicking or cracking
Inability to completely straighten the knee
When To See The Doctor:
Contact your doctor if you:
can not bear weight on your knee.
have a marked swelling in the knee.
can not extend or fully flex the knee.
see an obvious deformity in the leg or knee.
have a fever, in addition to redness, pain and swelling in the knee.
feel like the knee is unstable or getting out.
Knee pain can be due to injuries, mechanical problems and some types of arthritis, among other problems.
An injury to the knee can affect any of the ligaments, tendons, or fluid-filled sacs (synovial bags). That are surround the knee joint, as well as the bones, cartilage, and ligaments that make up the joint itself. Some of the most frequent knee injuries are:
Injury of the anterior cruciate ligament. The lesion of the anterior cruciate ligament is the tear of that ligament, which is one of the four ligaments that connect the tibia with the femur. Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament is particularly common in people who play basketball, soccer, or other sports that require sudden changes in direction.
Fractures The bones of the knee, including the kneecap (patella) can break during a car collision or fall. Sometimes, people whose bones have been weakened by osteoporosis may suffer a knee fracture simply from stepping on it.
Meniscus tear. The meniscus is formed by a strong and rubbery cartilage, and acts as a shock absorber between the tibia and the femur. If you turn your knee suddenly while you carry weight on it, you can break your meniscus.
Bursitis of the knee. Some knee injuries cause inflammation of the synovial pouches, which are small sacs of fluid that cushion the outside of the knee joint and allow the tendons and ligaments to slide smoothly over the joint.
Patellar tendonitis. Tendinitis is an irritation and inflammation of one or more tendons, which are the dense, fibrous tissues that bind muscles to bones. Those who run, practice skiing, do cycling or activities or sports that involve jumping are more likely to suffer from inflammation in the patellar tendon, which connects the quadriceps muscle in the front of the thigh with the tibia.
Some examples of mechanical problems that can cause knee pain are:
Loose body Sometimes a bone or cartilage lesion, or the degeneration of these, can cause a fragment of bone or cartilage to detach and become lodged in the joint space. This may not cause problems, unless the loose body interferes with the movement of the knee joint, which produces an effect similar to what happens when a pencil is pierced in the hinge of a door.
Iliotibial band syndrome. This condition occurs when the band of resistant tissue that extends from the outside of the hip to the outside of the knee (iliotibial band) becomes tight and rubs against the outside of the femur. Bottom runners are especially exposed to iliotibial band syndrome.
Patella dislocation. This condition occurs when the triangular bone (patella) that covers the front of the knee slides out of place, usually out of the knee. In some cases, the patella may remain dislocated, and dislocation can be seen.
Hip or foot pain. If you suffer from hip or foot pain, you can modify your way of walking to feel less pain in these joints. However, altering the way you walk can cause more tension on the knee. In some cases, hip or foot problems result in knee pain.
Types of arthritis:
There are more than 100 different types of arthritis. The varieties that tend to affect the knee most are the following:
Arthrosis Sometimes called “degenerative osteoarthritis”, it is the most common type of arthritis. It is a disease by wear that appears when the cartilage of the knee deteriorates with use and age.
Rheumatoid arthritis. The most debilitating type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can affect virtually any joint in the body, including the knees. Although rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, it varies in intensity and may even appear and disappear.
Drop. This type of arthritis occurs when uric acid crystals accumulate in a joint. Although gout usually affects the big toe, it can also appear on the knee.
Pseudogout The pseudogout, a condition that is often confused with gout, is due to the formation of crystals that contain calcium in the synovial fluid. The knees are the joints that are most frequently affected by the pseudogout.
Septic arthritis. Sometimes, your knee joint may become infected, causing swelling, pain and redness. Usually, there is no trauma before the onset of pain. Septic arthritis often manifests without fever.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a general term that refers to the pain that arises between the patella and the femur below. It is common in athletes, in young adults, especially in those who have a slight deviation of the patella, and in older adults, who usually suffer from the disorder as a result of arthritis in the patella.
There are several factors that can increase the risk of knee problems, including:
Overweight. Being overweight or obese increases the demand on the joints of your knees, even during common activities, such as walking or going up and down stairs. In addition, it increases the risk of osteoarthritis by accelerating the rupture of the articular cartilage.
Lack of flexibility or muscular strength. The lack of strength and flexibility is among the main causes of knee injuries. Tense or weak muscles provide less support to the knee, as they do not absorb enough pressure exerted on the joint.
Some sports. Some sports are more demanding on your knees than others. Alpine skiing, with stiff ski boots and potential falls, jumps and turns of basketball and the repeated impact that absorb the knees when you run or jog increase the risk of knee injuries.
Previous injury Having a previous knee injury makes it more likely that you will hurt your knee again.
Not all knee pains are serious. But some knee injuries and diseases, such as osteoarthritis, can cause more pain, joint damage and disability if left untreated. And having a knee injury – even a minor one – makes it more likely that you will suffer similar injuries in the future.
While it is not always possible to prevent knee pain, the following suggestions can help prevent injury and deterioration of the joints:
Maintain an adequate weight, without extra pounds. Maintain a healthy weight; It is one of the best things you can do for the knees. Every extra pound implies extra pressure on the joints and increases the risk of injuries and osteoarthritis.
Stay in shape to practice sports. In order to prepare the muscles for the demands of the sport, take time for conditioning. Work together with a trainer to ensure that your technique and movement are as correct as possible.
Practice to perfection. Make sure that the technique and movement patterns used in your sport or activity are as correct as possible. Classes with a professional can be useful.
Gain strength, maintain flexibility. Because muscle weakness is the main cause of knee injuries, you will benefit from strengthening the quadriceps and hamstrings that support the knees. Training to improve balance and stability helps the muscles around the knees work together more effectively. And because tense muscles can also favor injuries, it is important to stretch them well. Try to incorporate flexibility exercises in your training.
Exercise with intelligence. If you have osteoarthritis, chronic knee pain or recurrent injuries, you may need to change the way you exercise. You could swim, do water aerobics or other low-impact activity, at least a few days a week. Sometimes limiting high-impact activities is enough to relieve pain.