If you suffer from chronic knee pain, there could be many reasons as to why.
Chronic means that your pain is long-term, and there may be swelling and/or sensitivity in one or both of your knees. Depending on the cause of the pain, your symptoms may vary but can include a dull, burning discomfort, constant ache, or sharp/shooting pain.
Below is a look at some of the most common physical conditions and diseases that are known to cause knee pain.
- Tendinitis: Pain that develops in the front of the knee. It is usually worse when walking (especially on an incline.)
- Bursitis: Inflammation that is caused by a knee injury or overuse of the knee(s).
- Osteoarthritis: Pain in inflammation, as well as damage to the joints due to degeneration and deterioration over time.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: A chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and swelling, as well as erosion of the bones and joints.
- Gout: Arthritis that is caused as a result of the build-up of uric acid.
- Meniscus tear: Ruptured cartilage in the knee. This can be caused as a result of pressure to the knee.
- Torn ligament: The knee consists of four ligaments; the Anterior Cruciate Ligament, the Posterior Cruciate Ligament, the Medial Collateral Ligament, and the Lateral Collateral Ligament. Torn ligaments often affect the ACL.
- Dislocated knee: Often seen in sports-related injuries or the result of some kind of trauma to the knee.
Other contributing factors of knee pain include overuse, sprains, strains, improper stretching of the muscles, and repeated injuries to the structure of the knees. In addition, bad posture can also contribute to knee problems.
There are also certain risk factors when it comes to developing knee problems, such as weight, age, if you’ve had any previous knee injuries or trauma, or partake in an athletic activity (such as sports.)
Treating knee pain is dependent on the cause.
For example, if you are diagnosed with bursitis, is it recommended that you ice the area for 15 minutes every hour for approximately 4 hours. Other things you can do to try and decrease knee pain is to avoid strenuous activity that puts pressure on the knees (as this will only exacerbate your pain), wear flat shoes, as well as try wearing a compression bandage.
When it comes to conditions like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis, the knee pain will often be permanent. If this is the case, the main focus is to try to relieve the symptoms as much as possible. Alternating between warm or hot compresses can be soothing, and you can also try taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, also known as NSAIDs. Some of these medications are specifically designed for arthritis-related conditions.
If your injury is temporary, rest and don’t do any activity that you aren’t required to do. It’s important to allow your knee injury to heal. Doing too much too soon, without being fully healed, puts you at further risk of developing more injuries in the future, as well as permanent knee problems.