Did you know that 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain? On top of that, one-third of Americans report experiencing knee pain at least once in their lifetime. According to the CDC (The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), these cases have been continuously rising since 2014.
Therefore, if you or your loved one’s experience knee pain, it is essential to understand its signs and take immediate treatment. Otherwise, minor pain might turn into a severe medical condition such as arthritis, gout, and infections.
Symptoms Of Knee Pain
The degree of the pain might range from mild to severe, depending on the root cause. Still, there are numerous signs that can help diagnose the issues. These include,
- Instability or weakness
- Inability to straighten the knee
- Popping or crunching sound
- Uncomfortable sensation
When To Visit the Orthopedic?
It is crucial to meet your doctor as soon as you observe any of the above signs, especially if you have difficulty walking or hear the popping sound. It might be due to muscle injury, tendon tear or rupture, or fracture. The orthopedic knee surgeon will run a few tests to diagnose your condition. After fully understanding the root cause of pain, they will create a treatment plan for you. It might include some precautions, exercises, or even surgery for faster recovery.
Causes Of Knee Pain
Generally, knee pain is categorized into three parts, i.e., Injury, Type of arthritis, and Mechanical problem.
Injury: The knee injury might affect the tendons, ligaments, or bursae surrounding the knee joint and bones. It usually includes:
- Anterior cruciate ligament Injury (both tear and sprain)
- Knee bursitis
- Patellar Tendinitis
- Torn meniscus
Type of arthritis: Did you know that there are more than 100 types of arthritis? The common type of arthritis that affects knee joints are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis)
- Septic arthritis
Mechanical problem: The reason behind the unexplained pain could be due to any of the following mechanical problems.
- Iliotibial band syndrome
- Dislocated kneecap
- Loose body
- Hip or foot pain
Besides these, the pain could be due to patellofemoral pain syndrome. In simple terms, it means pain between the kneecap and underlying thighbone. This syndrome is very common in sportspeople (particularly young adults). Apart from this, older adults can also develop this syndrome due to kneecap arthritis.
In addition to all the reasons mentioned above, knee pain could be due to the following risk factors:
- Obesity: It increases the stress on your knee joints even if you are doing everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs. It can also increase your risk of osteoarthritis as it accelerates the joint cartilage breakdown.
- Lack of muscle flexibility: Lack of flexibility increases the chances of injury. It causes instability and also restricts the range of motion.
- Certain sports: Sports like basketball and alpine skiing put extra pressure on the knee. These require repeated motions which increases the risk of muscle injury.
Wrapping it up!
Learning about the signs and causes is essential so that you can take immediate medical treatment. Because any delay might result in severeness of the condition. So, you must visit your doctor right away.