Knee pain is something every person suffers from at some point in their life. It can be caused by numerous factors starting with overuse. For the most part, overuse requires only sufficient rest to alleviate the pain. For example, climbing up or down a mountain can cause enough repetitive stress to trigger pain.
However, if the pain becomes repetitive and chronic, this is the time to consider other causes. Knee joint pain should never be ignored as this can lead to mobility problems in the future. Here are some possible causes of pain in the knee.
Fractures are sustained through blunt force trauma. It can be through a motor accident, a fall, or any other accident that put undue pressure on the joints, causing the bones to fracture. Treatment for this kind of pain includes allowing the bones to heal or surgical intervention. Pain pills may also be prescribed by the physician for management purposes.
Osteoporosis is essentially an instance when the bones and joint weaken through time. It’s a common condition for many older people as the years of use set in. Osteoporosis or weakening of the bones isn’t the cause of knee pain per se but rather, it tends toward fractures, hence the ache. People with osteoporosis may also feel pain in other parts of their body. Treatment for the condition is a mixture of pain pills, as well as medications to help fortify the bone. More often than not, it’s better to prevent osteoporosis by taking in calcium-rich foods while young.
This is a condition wherein the bursae or small sacs cushioning the joint become inflamed, resulting to pain with each movement. Inflammation is often caused by injuries and will start to fade away after some time. Treatment is usually rest and relaxation with the use of some medications to reduce inflammation. Compress may also be used, depending on circumstances. Unfortunately, those who are engaged in sports or any other knee-related activity may suffer from recurrent bursitis due to the repetitive trauma.
The medical term for this is chondromalacia patellae whereby the cartilage found at the bottom of the patellae starts to lose its cushioning capacity. It weakens, therefore causing the joints to grind together, triggering that very painful sensation. As the name implies, it often occurs on runners or people who love to run as the repetitive motion pushes onto the cartilage. Hence, runner’s knee is something even young people can suffer from. Of course, there are other causes of this condition such as improper alignment of the knee joints, blunt force trauma, muscle imbalance and even weak muscles of the legs. Treatment is a combination of rest, cold compress, and anti-inflammatory medications. Fortunately, the cartilage can heal itself after some time. For severe cases however, surgery may be the best solution.
Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the more common reasons for knee pain. This is actually just one of the four ligaments located at the knee – all of which can cause pain in the central area. Torn ligaments usually result from repetitive use, specifically for people who play basketball, soccer, football, and other similarly physical sports. The injury results from a sudden change in direction so that the ligaments are torn as a person quickly shifts position. The pain is persistent and intense, requiring surgery to correct the problem.
Quite common in older individuals, rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and responds best to rest and medication. It’s not limited to the knees as the arthritis can affect all joints of the body. The pain comes and goes and may be persistent. When not treated properly, it can lead to other issues such as bone erosion.
An inflammation of the tendon, this often results from repetitive motions such as running and climbing. Over the years, the tendons of the knee wears down, making it less efficient and therefore painful. The treatment is usually RICE with the addition of medication to help reduce the swelling.
Of course, these are just some of the possible causes of knee joint pain. It’s best to see a doctor as soon as the pain significantly reduces your quality of life in order to get proper treatment. Ignoring the pain and leaving it unattended only worsens the condition. Traditional joint pain relief treatments include the use of cold/warm compress, rest, and elevation which you can try. Using a knee pad for pain is also a good first aid solution. If you suffer from repetitive pain, it’s best to have a knee pad around in the home just in case.