People experience knee pain at some points in their lives. In fact, it is a common complaint among people in various ages. Knee pain is generally not a cause of concern. It may just go away on its own after a few days of self-care and rest. This is specially true in minor knee pain cases.
Knee pain may be due to an injury such as a torn cartilage or a ruptured ligament, or a medical condition like infection, gout and arthritis. The problem may range from acute injuries to complicated medical conditions.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
The pain may be localized or felt throughout the knee and the surrounding areas. Oftentimes, the pain is accompanied by other symptoms and physical restriction. The knee pain varies, from minor ache to disabling and severe pain.
Some of the common symptoms accompanying knee pain include the following: redness, swelling, difficulty walking, limping, discomfort, and inability to extend or bend the knee.
Causes of Knee Pain
The causes of knee pain may be divided into three major categories: acute injury, medical condition, and condition due to overuse. More specifically, the common causes include fractures, ligament injuries, meniscus injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, patellar tendinitis, osteoarthritis and Osgood-Schlatter disease.
Minor knee fractures can cause knee pain. Most knee fractures can also limit the movement of the knee and cause other symptoms like swelling. Fractures need medical attention not only for the pain, but to restore the overall health and function of the knee. Ligament injuries also cause knee pain. The most common of which is the ACL injury, which is often a sports-related injury. Meniscus injuries are also pretty common. This happens when the meniscus, which acts as natural absorbers of the bones in the knee, get injured, causing pain in the area.
The most common medical condition associated with knee pain is rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune medical condition which affects the joints in the body. If the joints in the knee are affected by this condition, it can lead to severe pain, swelling and restricted movement. Another form of arthritis that causes severe pain in the knee is gout. While it this condition is common in the feet, it can also affect the knee. When the gout flares up, it can be extremely painful.
Chronic use or overuse of the knee may also cause knee pain. The most common of this condition is patellar tendinitis, which is inflammation of the tendons that connect the kneecap to the bone. This is common among cyclists and runners. Another condition is patella femoral pain syndrome, which is caused by stress or degeneration of the area where the kneecap and thighbone meet. In some cases, osteoarthritis and Osgood-Schlatter disease may also cause knee pain and inflammation.
Since there are various possible causes of knee pain, there are also different treatment options depending on what’s causing the pain. The most common pain treatment is medications, either over-the-counter pain meds or prescription drugs. However, medications must be taken in low dosage and only as required.
Physical therapy is also a helpful part of the treatment program. This helps restore the stability, strength and flexibility of the knee muscles. This is especially true if the cause of the pain is injury.
For chronic pain, injections may be an option. This is a helpful treatment for arthritis and other conditions that cause pain and inflammation in the knee. In severe cases, surgery may be required. For instance, if the knee needs replacement, total knee replacement or partial knee replacement may be opted. Other non-invasive and invasive treatment options are also available, depending on the result of diagnosis and the underlying cause of the knee pain.
Why You Should Reach Out to AZ Pain and Spine
If your knee pain persists even after self-care and medications, don’t wait for it to get any worse. Contact a pain specialist immediately. Pain specialists best understand the complexity of pain and are highly qualified in providing safe and effective pain management solutions. Make an appointment with AZ Pain and Spine Institute to have your knee pain and condition treated.