Pain in one or both of your knees is termed as knee pain. Knee pain can be acute or chronic. Temporary knee pain often goes away by itself but if you suffer from chronic knee pain, you will have to undergo treatment.
What Causes It?
There are many medical conditions, disorders, and even infections that affect the knee joint, leading to pain, discomfort, swelling, and sensitivity. Some of the common causes of knee pain include:
- Overuse or repetitive motion
- Injury to the knee structure
- Sprain or strain
- Ligament tearing
- Dislocation of the knee joint
- Cancer or tumor in the knee bone
- Poor posture
- Excessive physical activity without sufficient rest, recovery, or warm-up
- Stretching the muscles in an incorrect manner
Sitting in the same position without stretching your legs can also place excess pressure on your knees, leading to pain.
The common risk factors for knee pain include:
- Obesity, as the additional weight has to be supported by the knee joint
- Involvement in strenuous physical activity that involves the knee, such as sports
- Trauma or injury
- Age, as the knees tend to weaken as people grow older
Knee pain can be characterized by a constant ache in your knee. Some other noticeable symptoms include
- Swelling of the knee joint
- Pain caused by touching the knee
- Shooting pain when moving or bending the knee
- Dull discomfort exacerbated by moving around
Overuse of the knee joint can lead to the cartilage between the bones wearing out and this can lead to chronic pain. Also, any changes in the structure of the knee, either due to injury or repetitive motion, also put you at risk of knee pain.
The ideal treatment option for your knee pain depends on the root cause. In case the pain is caused by osteoarthritis, you may find relief via a Corticosteroid Injection. Surgery is generally the last resort for treating knee pain and therefore, non-surgical treatments are recommended. You may also have to make some lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and managing your physical activity, to reduce the strain on your knees and reduce the pain. In case the pain is caused by an underlying medical condition, treating the root cause can help alleviate it.
Other treatments include the following prescription drugs:
- Muscle Relaxers
- Tricyclic Antidepressants
- General Pain Medications
When to Request an Evaluation?
If the pain in your knee does not go away with rest, elevation, medication or icing, you should see your doctor. If you are having trouble walking around, schedule an evaluation immediately. Keep in mind that even minor damage to your knee can result in chronic pain and may even lead to knee replacement. So, don’t ignore knee pain at any cost.
Preparing for Your Appointment
You should note down the symptoms you experience because of the knee pain. It is also a good idea to recall the time at which the pain started, the potential causes, and also the intensity of the pain so you can guide your doctor to provide the right course of treatment.