One of the top sports injuries today is a knee injury. Athletes commonly suffer from knee injuries because their knees are unfortunately not protected and therefore more susceptible to injury. Sadly, for some athletes, knee injuries are not only painful they are also career ending. Because of this, protecting the knees becomes a priority. Athletes are not the only ones that suffer from knee related injuries. This type of pain affects many people. Read on for a basic guide to the knee problems that can affect you or those around you.
Where It Starts And What It Feels Like
Any pain in or around the knee can be very difficult to deal with. Stabbing pains are hard to ignore when trying to walk or move around, and dull, achy pains can wear a person down quickly. Whether a person is young or old, heavy or thin, an athlete or a couch potato, knee pain can strike. When it does, it is a pain that no one wants to suffer from. It is aggravating, irritating, and often hard to treat.
Sometimes people get just pains from a 'catch' in a muscle or a nerve momentarily misfiring. Most of the time, though, the pain comes from something that is already a problem or could develop into one. That being said, it may not be a serious problem and a little bit of extra care could easily take care of it.
List Of Common Causes And Conditions of Knee Pain
The most common causes of knee pain are listed below. Anyone who's suffering with this kind of problem can get some insight into what might be causing their discomfort. If you have knee pain, you are definitely not alone in your pain. There are a wide variety of knee problems that affect many.
• Cartilage injuries – when a person damages the cartilage in his knee, it can sometimes cause the bones to actually grind together rather than rest on the cartilage cushion that was originally there. Obviously, that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, and it's not something that can be easily adjusted or corrected. However, because of sports, exercise, and an active lifestyle, it's becoming more common today.
• Arthritis – because arthritis can strike in any joint, one of the main areas that people often notice it in is the knee. It can cause both pain and stiffness, and it can also keep a person from doing all the activities that he wants to do, simply because it's just so very uncomfortable. It can also get worse and cause serious debilitation.
• A sprain or strain – it's possible to injure the knee in such a way that it will heal and doesn't do damage to the cartilage. In other words, there isn't any permanent damage done but the pain and discomfort from it is very real. It can also take a long time to heal, especially because the knee is such an integral part of the body.
• Patellar Tendonitis – this is tendonitis around the knee joint. It happens to the patellar tendon, which is the large tendon over the front of the knee.
• Chondromalacia patella – this condition causes knee pain under the kneecap. It usually occurs because the cartilage begins to soften. Most of the people who suffer from this condition are between the ages of 15 and 35.
• Dislocating Kneecap – when the kneecap has been dislocated the individual can experience acute symptoms of pain during the dislocation. However, this condition can lead to chronic knee pain.
• Baker’s Cyst – this usually occurs because of the result of a meniscus tear. It causes swelling in the back of the knee joint, resulting in knee pain.
• Bursitis – this condition often affects people that kneel for work (i.e. gardeners or carpetlayers), and it affects the joint above the kneecap.
• Osgood-Schlatter Disease – this knee problem occurs in many adolescents and happens because of the irritation of the growth plate in the front of the knee joint.
• Osteochondritis Dissecans – this is another growth related problem that causes problems in the knees of adolescents.
• Gout – although not usually a cause of knee pain, the symptoms of gout can spread to the knees.
List Of Common Treatment Options for Knee Pain
Treating knee pain can be difficult, largely because a lot of people just try to live with it. They aren't sure what's causing it, and they worry that it might be something serious. Because they worry, they avoid going to their doctor and trying to get it corrected, when it could actually be something simple. These are some of the most common treatment options for knee pain:
• Surgery – while not something a lot of people want to think about, surgery for knee injuries is quite common. Because of doctors' ability to go in laproscopically through small incisions, knee surgery is much easier than it's been in the past. The recovery is faster and there is a lot less pain while the knee heals.
• Medications – arthritis can be treated with medications more easily now than it could in the past. That's great news for anyone who's dealing with knee pain as a result of arthritis and who doesn't really know what else to do in order to feel better.
• Knee braces and over-the-counter pain relievers are also good choices for knee pain.
• Rest is a common treatment for knee pain. One of the only ways that knee pain will heal is if the individual decides to stay off their knees. This might mean that they have to take it easy for a while.
• Physical Therapy is extremely important for many knee injuries because it will build back the strength in the knee area. There are a variety of different techniques that physical therapists use, however most of them are useful at allowing the sufferer to overcome knee pain and be able to walk again without pain.
• Ice and heat are also recommended to reduce inflammation in the knee area. Often, this is the best treatment for knee pain and many patients forget this simple procedure.
• Cortisone injections are a powerful medication that will help reduce and even treat inflammation. They are used commonly with people that suffer from knee problems. It is important to talk to the doctor concerning this option.
There are also alternative forms of treatment that may prove beneficial with specific knee pain. Many people choose to go this route, especially because knee pain is a constant problem that often does not disappear overnight. Here are some suggestions:
• Glucoasme and chondrotitin and two substances that aid in knee pain problems. They occur naturally in cartilage and can be purchased over the counter as supplements. They help relieve pain for a wide variety of conditions and can even reduce inflammation. Both are an effective natural remedy.
• Acupuncture is also a top holistic approach for knee pain. Research suggests acupuncture is one of the leading methods to treat knee pain. The needles actually help several people that are suffering with this issue. Most people believe that the pain relief comes from the release of endorphins. It is a good option for many cases of knee pain.
When To See A Doctor for Knee Pain
At certain times a doctor’s help may be required to treat knee pain. This is important to recognize. While some knee injuries are basic sprains or bruises that require rest or ice, others may need to be evaluated by the proper medical expert. The sooner it is evaluated the sooner healing will begin. Here are some guidelines to help individuals assess whether or not a doctor is necessary:
• Visit the doctor when it becomes difficult to walk comfortably on the leg that has knee pain.
• See the doctor if the knee pain is combined with a deformity around the joint. This is not normal and should be addressed quickly.
• Go to the doctor for knee pain that happens during the knee or during rest.
• Visit the doctor if the knee locks or becomes difficult or impossible to bend.
• See the doctor if the joint or calf area begins to swell.
• Let the doctor check out the knee if there are signs of infection such as fever, redness, and warmth.
• Go to the doctor if anything unusual occurs with knee pain or if it persists for a long time.
Managing Knee Pain
Since knee pain is difficult to treat unless the injury requires surgery, pain management must be kept up individually. This means that each person should listen to the advice of his or her doctor. What activities do they knee to avoid? What stretches and activities should they incorporate to promote healing? These types of questions will guide them as they seek to overcome the pain they experience from knee issues.
Lastly, try to avoid activities that place too much pressure on the knees to promote healing and avoid further pain.
I regularly add more detailed strategies I use to combat living with pain. Managing pain is more than one page of advice. I hope my strategies for managing my pain will help you too.