The knee is the largest joint in our body. It has the most complex functions and structure. After all, it facilitates the movement and is continuously engaged in wear and tear. Hence, its structure needs to be solid. However, knee pain is the most common pain people experience. Before we understand the underlying causes of knee pain, let’s start with the basics.
First things first, what is knee pain?
In the most simple terms, it is a pain in and around the knee. Our knee faces continuous friction and, at times, endures pain. However, Knee pain is more severe than usual wear and tear.
Our knee comprises of ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and knee joints. This knee joint consists of 4 bones, namely the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. The underlying cause of knee pain is usually associated with either of these components. However, it is the result of repetitive strain, injury, or medical conditions.
Knee pain is widespread among people and is observed in everyone, from children to older adults.
What are the signs of knee pain?
Now, the pain varies from a mild ache to chronic pain, depending on the condition. It can be concentrated in a specific location or an overall knee.
These are the signs and symptoms of knee pain-
- Limping and difficulty to walk.
- Swelling and Redness.
- Inflammation and infection.
- Difficulty in bending the knee.
- Difficulty in extending the knee.
- Inability to bear body weight.
- Consistent pain.
So how do you know if the knee pain requires consultation or not?
Well, these signs of knee pain require immediate attention.
- When the pain makes it difficult to walk or move.
- When you can observe swelling around the knee.
- Consult a doctor if you face difficulty flexing or extending a knee.
- When you can see obvious deformity around the knee.
- When there is a sports or accidental injury.
- Get a medical check-up if you cannot bear weight on the knee.
What causes knee pain.
Well, the reasons for knee pain could vary from acute injuries, infection to medical conditions. It includes,
When there is a crack or breakage in your knee bone, it stops mobility. It requires immediate attention and care. At times, you might have to undergo surgery for recovery.
- Injuries in the meniscus.
The meniscus is the shock absorber that protects our knee from daily wear and tear. However, injury in the meniscus causes chronic knee pain. There is a popping sound when there is an injury in the meniscus. Home therapies won’t work. Instead, you would require expert consultation.
- Dislocation of joint.
Dislocation of the kneecap causes swelling and obstructs movement. It can be caused by either accident, sudden fall, or even sudden jerks. Physical therapy could be of great help in treating it.
Gout is usually concentrated in the feet. However, it does cause discomfort when it moves upward. Dietary restrictions can help treat knee pain along with prescribed painkillers.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis.
It is an inflammation of knee joints and causes severe pain and discomfort. This condition is common in an old age group.
- Hip and foot pain.
Knee pain is the result of injury in the foot. When you change the way of walking, there is an inappropriate pressure on knee joints. It causes minor ache to acute pain in the knee and hip.
It’s usually caused by physical strain on muscles because of exercise. It makes walking upward or downward difficult and requires therapy treatment.
It is caused by inflammation in the knee sacs. It swells the knee and disrupts its functions.
- Baker’s cyst.
It causes pain in the back of the knee. It makes knee flexing difficult and painful.
There still exist hundreds of more causes for knee pain. For instance, one may experience knee pain if they continuously work in the cold. Further, even intense running may lead to knee pain. People with heavyweight are prone to knee pains because of extreme pressure on the knee. You see, from sudden jerks to significant accidents, there are numerous variants of knee pain.
What is the treatment for knee pain?
Well, just like the varying causes of knee pain, their treatment also varies. It ranges from home remedies to surgery, according to the conditions.
- Medications and drugs
At times, the pain is alleviated with pain killers. In many cases, it’s the only solution. However, regular intake of painkillers may harm your health.
Joint stretching exercises can subside the pain and improves mobility. It enhances and maintains the range of motion around the knee and hip.
It helps in improving the range of motion in your knee. Through manual manipulation, a chiropractor brings mobility to the area of restricted movements. It is especially useful for quick recovery after surgery. Additionally, it helps in reducing inflammation by relieving joint stress. It facilitates faster healing.
- Physical therapy
Physiotherapy is extremely useful in treating knee pain. It helps sportsperson in healing and restoring their knee mobility. Further, it also helps older people that are prone to knee pain. Doctors and physicians often suggest Physical therapy for therapeutic healing.
It is useful as a treatment for curing chronic and acute knee pain. It helps offer long term relief from pain. Moreover, it reduces the need for painkiller with its significant results.
When no other alternative works, surgery remains the only alternative. In Partial knee replacement surgery, the doctor replaces the damaged portion of the knee with plastic and metal parts. Full knee surgery replaces the entire knee joint. However, the recovery from surgery may take weeks and even months. The doctor suggests physical therapy for better and quick recovery post-surgery.
The combination of two or more of these methods helps in recovery from knee pain.
How to prevent knee pain?
Knee pain cannot be avoided altogether. Many times, knee pain is the result of consistent wear and tear with old age. However, you can prevent the extent of knee pain considerably, with few guidelines.
- Weight maintenance prevents knee pain from obesity.
- Keep changing your exercises. Because consistent running, walking, or even cycling may cause damage in the same tissues, over and over again.
- Practice precisely. You can avoid knee pain by training consciously and adequately for your sports. Besides, it’s better to take the guidance of a coach to perfect your techniques.
- Maintain a regular, healthy, balanced diet. For instance, gout that causes knee pain can be regulated with diet changes.
Conclusively knee pain is the most common functional disorder faced by people across the World. It’s not just pain. It’s a complete physical, mental, and emotional assault on your body. However, a corrective combination of various healing methods can improve the wellbeing of our knee.