Knee Pain: Common Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Knee Pain
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

What is Knee Pain?

Knee pain is a complaint among people irrespective of their age. There can be various reasons for the development of knee pain and determining the exact cause is essential to obtain proper treatment.

Knee Pain Facts – How is the Knee Designed and What is its Function?

The knee joint is a combination of four bones namely femur, patella, fibula, and tibia. The knee also has four compartments. These bones and compartments are affected in case of injury, disease, or strain, leading to the development of pain in the knee region. The condition can start in the form of mild discomfort and then gradually worsen.

What are the Types of Knee Pain?

Knee pain comprises two basic categories.

  • The first type, which is the acute or immediate pain, can be caused due to fractures or tears of the ligament. This type of knee pain can be cured easily with medications.
  • The second type, which is known as long term or chronic knee pain, is caused as a result of an underlying disease like arthritis. To cure* this type of knee pain, you will have to cure* the underlying disease first.

What are the Causes and Remedies of Knee Pain?

The pain in the knee region can occur due to diseases or conditions that involve the soft tissues, bones that are seen near the knee joint. It can be caused due to injury, to a ligament or a cartilage.

  • Minor injuries that cause strain or sprain to the knee can also cause the development of pain in the knee.
  • Low level of activity is another main reason for the development of knee pain. Sitting for long hours without any physical movement can lead to the development of pain.
  • With an increase* in age, the movement of the knee will involve a great amount of friction between the muscle and cartilages. This can lead to the development of pain in the knee region.
  • A drop in the surrounding temperatures can also lead to the development of pain in the region of the knees.

If your knee pain is minor, then you can control the condition by self-care measures like performing physical therapy and wearing knee braces. If the condition of knee pain is severe, then you may have to opt for surgery.

When you feel pain, apply ice on the affected area. At first, you can apply it for 15 minutes every hour. When the pain subsides, you can then apply it for 15 minutes once in every 4 hours. To avoid getting frostbite, you can place a towel over your knees and then place ice over it.

Surgical repair is also available to treat* knee pain. The surgery is called open knee repair surgery or arthroscopic surgery. A total replacement of the knee joint will be essential if the condition is severe. Infections in the knee joint can be assessed by microscopic examination of the fluid surrounding the knees. The condition is then treated by using antibiotics and in some cases, joint surgery will also be required.

If you have swelling in the knee region, then raise your knees up as much as possible. Wearing an elastic bandage can also reduce* swelling and provide support to the knee region. You can use crutches for walking, so as to provide support.

What are Diseases and Conditions that Can Cause Knee Pain?

If you are suffering from medical conditions like arthritis, which affect the immune system, you will be very much prone to developing knee pain. Baker’s cyst is a main reason behind the development of knee pain. This is a fluid-filled swelling, which occurs behind the knee, along with the inflammation. Rheumatoid and gout are two inflammatory kinds of arthritis that cases pain in the knees. The degeneration of the cartilage surrounding the knee can lead to a condition known as osteoarthritis; this condition can be caused as a result of other major issues like arthritis.

A less common condition that can lead to the development of knee pain is bone tumor. Diseases related to the immune system that affects various body parts can also cause knee pain. Infections related to the bone are another serious, but rare case of pain in the knee region. The infections can be characterized by other conditions, which include chills, or even, extreme climatic conditions. Osegood Schlatter disease is another condition, which is characterized by the inflammation of the tendons near the kneecap. There will be local pain and tenderness that is experienced. This is the most common cause of knee pain development in children.

Can Knee Pain be Prevented?

You can take proper rest and avoid activities that lead to the development of pain in the knees. Do not stand for long periods of time. If you stand, then do so on a soft and cushioned surface. Obesity is one of the reasons for the development of knee pain. If you are overweight, then losing a few kilos will definitely help.

You can prevent knee pain by doing some exercises regularly. Follow the steps below:

  • Before exercising, you should do warm-ups. This will prevent the pulling of ligaments and muscles while exercising. After performing exercises, do a cool down session for 20 minutes. This is essential to prevent any extra strain on your worked up muscles.
  • Instead of running, you can either bicycle or involve in swimming. If you are running, then run on a smooth surface like a track, instead of cemented roads. Do make sure that your running shoes are well fitted.
  • Avoid placing weights on the injured joint to prevent the flare-up of the condition.

Expert’s Opinion

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases says that knee problems are a very common condition experienced by people. They suggest that an awareness of the condition will be useful in getting timely help for the condition of knee pain. A proper diagnosis followed by a well chalked-out treatment plan will help in alleviating the pain. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also absolutely essential to keep your knees healthy and fit.

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Author

Expert Author : Kelly Everson (Consumer Health Digest)

Kelly Everson is an independent editor, an award-winning writer and an editorial consultant in the health and fitness industries. Currently, she is a contributing editor at Consumer Health Digest.