The knee joint comprises three bones, the tendons that connect the bones to the muscles and the ligaments that stabilize and connect the bones. Two C-shaped pieces of cartilage called menisci act as pads in the joint, while fluid-containing sacs called synovial bursae allow fluid movement of the knee.
The knee is one of the great joints of our body and is vigorously tested by the weight of the body and by walking, so it is often exposed to trauma and pain of various kinds. Here we will analyze the causes, characteristics, and treatments of knee pain.
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Characteristics of knee pain
The extent and characteristics of knee pain can vary depending on the cause and severity. However, knee pain is a common problem for virtually everyone.
- Knee pain can occur if you try too hard or suffer from trauma.
- Knee instability and weakness, or the knee’s feeling about to fail, are common problems.
- Other symptoms may be stiffness, snapping, and difficulty bending or extending the knee.
What are the main causes of knee pain?
Knee pain is more common with aging due to years of wear and tear and microtrauma, especially if you are overweight (as this causes more significant strain on the joint) or play sports. Since your knees are essential for movement, knee pain may prevent you from playing sports or make it difficult for even simple activities, such as walking or climbing stairs.
Why do we suffer from knee pain?
The causes of knee pain are many: from trauma such as sprains, strains, and damaged ligaments or cartilages to pathologies such as osteoarthritis, tendonitis (inflamed tendons), or ruptured ligaments and bursitis (inflammation of the synovial sacs within the joint with an accumulation of fluid).
Knee injuries are common among athletes, who are often affected by, for example, ligament tears in the knee resulting in acute pain.
The injury of the cruciate ligaments (anterior, posterior, medial, and lateral), the most important of the knee, is a frequent problem in the world of athletes.
Runner’s knee is a condition that can affect anyone who puts heavy loads on their knees, especially when running or jumping. It is perceived as pain in the kneecap and can be caused by repeated exertion or trauma.
Although sportspeople are more prone to injuries, anyone can suffer a knee injury, especially people aged 50 and over. Alterations of the knee joint can occur progressively due to osteoarthritis, for example.
Osteoarthritis, or arthrosis, of the knee, is a degenerative disease that involves damage to the articular cartilages that can lead to wear of the articular heads of the femur and tibia.
Suppose you have problems with the alignment of the pelvis, femur, and tibia or knee with the foot, which force you to walk incorrectly. In that case, the knees are subject to repeated microtrauma that can compromise the joint earlier.
Identify the cause of the pain.
Trauma to the ligaments or injuries to the meniscus (cartilage that cushions and stabilizes the joint) can cause pain in the sides of the knees.
Pain in the front of the knee can be caused by bursitis, tendonitis, or injury to the patella. Knee osteoarthritis can cause persistent pain when bending and walking.
Based on the cause, there are several ways to treat knee pain. For pain accompanied by swelling, you can try PRICE therapy at home, including Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation of the knee to relieve pain. You can also take self-medicated anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by mouth or topically, which help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Suppose the pain is severe or lasts for a long time. In that case, you should see a doctor, who will perform a physical examination of your joint. The doctor may request further tests (such as X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, or CT scan) and pre-prescribe the most suitable therapy, including possible physical therapy exercises or knee braces.
At Imaging and Interventional Specialist, we treat all patients with any underlying cause of knee pain. Our experts are certified academically, and our reputation precedes us. Visit our website to book 15 minutes consultation with us for free.
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