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The knee joint is quite complex and it is not easy and dangerous to make a diagnosis based only on external symptoms. But, nevertheless, you can make a preliminary diagnosis to know how not to worsen the problem with the knee before medical intervention.
Knee pain is a typical problem that impacts people of any ages. Knee pain may be the outcome of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — consisting of arthritis, gout and infections– also can cause knee pain.
Numerous types of small knee pain respond well to self-care procedures. Physical treatment and knee braces also can assist eliminate knee pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require surgical repair work.
The place and seriousness of knee pain might differ, depending upon the cause of the issue. Symptoms and signs that often accompany knee pain include:
- Swelling and stiffness
- Redness and heat to the touch
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or crunching noises
- Inability to completely correct the alignment of the knee
Main Causes of Kne Pain
Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical issues, kinds of arthritis and other issues.
A knee injury can impact any of the ligaments, tendons or fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that surround your knee joint as well as the bones, cartilage and ligaments that form the joint itself. Some of the more common knee injuries include:
- ACL injury. An ACL injury is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — among 4 ligaments that link your shinbone to your thighbone. An ACL injury is especially common in people who play basketball, soccer or other sports that require sudden changes in direction.
- Fractures. The bones of the knee, consisting of the kneecap (patella), can be broken during motor vehicle collisions or falls. People whose bones have been weakened by osteoporosis can in some cases sustain a knee fracture just by stepping wrong.
- Torn meniscus. The meniscus is formed of tough, rubbery cartilage and functions as a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. It can be torn if you all of a sudden twist your knee while bearing weight on it.
- Knee bursitis. Some knee injuries cause inflammation in the bursae, the little sacs of fluid that cushion the outside of your knee joint so that tendons and ligaments move smoothly over the joint.
- Patellar tendinitis. Tendinitis is inflammation and inflammation of several tendons — the thick, fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones. Runners, skiers, bicyclists, and those associated with leaping sports and activities may develop inflammation in the patellar tendon, which links the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the shinbone.
Some examples of mechanical problems that can trigger knee pain include:
- Loose body. Sometimes injury or degeneration of bone or cartilage can trigger a piece of bone or cartilage to break off and float in the joint space. This might not develop any problems unless the loose body interferes with knee joint movement, in which case the impact is something like a pencil caught in a door hinge.
- Iliotibial band syndrome. This occurs when the tough band of tissue that extends from the beyond your hip to the outside of your knee (iliotibial band) ends up being so tight that it rubs versus the outer portion of your thigh. Distance runners and cyclists are specifically vulnerable to iliotibial band syndrome.
- Dislocated kneecap. This takes place when the triangular bone (patella) that covers the front of your knee slips out of place, usually to the beyond your knee. In many cases, the kneecap might remain displaced and you’ll be able to see the dislocation.
- Hip or foot pain. If you have hip or foot pain, you might change the method you walk to spare these painful joints. But this altered gait can place more stress on your knee joint. In some cases, problems in the hip or foot can trigger knee pain.
Types of arthritis
More than 100 various kinds of arthritis exist. The varieties probably to affect the knee consist of:
- Osteoarthritis. Sometimes called degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It’s a wear-and-tear condition that takes place when the cartilage in your knee degrades with use and age.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. The most debilitating kind of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can affect almost any joint in your body, including your knees. Although rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, it tends to vary in intensity and may even come and go.
- Gout. This type of arthritis takes place when uric acid crystals develop in the joint. While gout most frequently affects the big toe, it can also take place in the knee.
- Pseudogout. Often mistaken for gout, pseudogout is caused by calcium-containing crystals that establish in the joint fluid. Knees are the most typical joint impacted by pseudogout.
- Septic arthritis. Often your knee joint can end up being infected, resulting in swelling, pain and redness. Septic arthritis often occurs with a fever, and there’s typically no injury prior to the onset of pain. Septic arthritis can rapidly cause extensive damage to the knee cartilage. If you have knee pain with any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a general term that describes pain developing between the kneecap (patella) and the underlying thighbone (thigh). It’s common in athletes; in young people, particularly those who have a slight maltracking of the kneecap; and in older adults, who normally establish the condition as a result of arthritis of the kneecap.
Risk Factors to Consider
A number of factors can increase your risk of having knee problems, consisting of:
- Excess weight. Being obese or obese increases stress on your knee joints, even during ordinary activities such as strolling or going up and down stairs. It likewise puts you at increased risk of osteoarthritis by speeding up the breakdown of joint cartilage.
- Absence of muscle versatility or strength. An absence of strength and versatility can increase the risk of knee injuries. Strong muscles assist to stabilize and protect your joints, and muscle versatility can help you achieve full variety of motion.
- Specific sports or professions. Some sports put higher stress on your knees than do others. Alpine snowboarding with its stiff ski boots and possible for falls, basketball’s dives and pivots, and the repeated pounding your knees take when you run or jog all increase your risk of knee injury. Jobs that require repeated stress on the knees such as building and construction or farming also can increase your risk.
- Previous injury. Having a previous knee injury makes it most likely that you’ll hurt your knee again.
Not all knee pain is severe. However some knee injuries and medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, can result in increasing pain, joint damage and disability if left untreated. And having a knee injury– even a minor one– makes it most likely that you’ll have similar injuries in the future.
Although it’s not always possible to prevent knee pain, the following recommendations might assist forestall injuries and joint deterioration:
- Keep extra pounds off. Keep a healthy weight; it’s one of the best things you can do for your knees. Every extra pound puts additional strain on your joints, increasing the risk of injuries and osteoarthritis.
- Be in shape to play your sport. To prepare your muscles for the demands of sports participation, take some time for conditioning. Work with a coach or trainer to guarantee that your technique and motion are the best they can be.
- Practice perfectly. Ensure the strategy and movement patterns you use in your sports or activity are the best they can be. Lessons from a professional can be very handy.
- Get strong, stay flexible. Because weak muscles are a leading reason for knee injuries, you’ll take advantage of building up your quadriceps and hamstrings, which support your knees. Balance and stability training helps the muscles around your knees work together better. And because tight muscles likewise can add to injury, stretching is essential. Attempt to include versatility exercises in your exercises.
- Be clever about workout. If you have osteoarthritis, chronic knee pain or recurring injuries, you might require to change the method you exercise. Consider changing to swimming, water aerobics or other low-impact activities — a minimum of for a couple of days a week. Sometimes merely restricting high-impact activities will offer relief.