What Causes Knee Pain?
Knee pain is a very common issue that affects people of all age groups. Knee pain may be caused due to age, heavy physical activities, or injury, such as a broken ligament or torn cartilage, tendonitis. Ither reasons can be arthritis, gout and infections — also can cause knee pain.
Mostly, knee pain can be treated by taking precautions or through exercise. In some cases, however, knee may require surgery.
- Broken kneecap. The small, round bone called patella, that sits over the front of your knee joint breaks due to a bad fall or accident causing direct blow to the knee.
- Ligament injuries. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries usually result from a sudden twisting motion. Injuries to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are usually caused by a direct impact, like impact from a car accident or sports activities.
- Cartilage injuries and disorders. muscle weakness, misalignment, Injury, overuse, of the knee can soften the cartilage of the kneecap, or a blow to the knee may tear off a piece of cartilage.
- Tendon injuries. These can range from inflammation to a tear, most likely from overemployment in weightlifting, aerobics or from a fall.
- Osteoarthritis. The cartilage in the knee gradually wears away due to many factors including age, diet, inconsistent exercise routines .
- Rheumatoid arthritis. The knee may become swollen and cartilage may be destroyed.
- Exercise and physical therapy. Regular exercises can help build or stretch muscles and ease pain. One should know which exercises should be avoided because they could cause further damage to your knee. Its always advisable to consult a physiotherapist or yoga practitioner.
- Lifestyle changes. There are changes you can make to reduce your pain. For example, maintaining a healthy weight lessens stress on your knees. You may also need to avoid activities, such as jogging, skipping or weightlifting, that exert too much force on the knees.
- RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation). This can work for acute pain, but treatment is different for chronic pain and likewise. For chronic pain, rest may weaken muscles that need strengthening to reduce or eliminate the pain.
- Complementary therapies. Some people find relief using massag, relaxation, meditation, acupuncture, yoga, biofeedback or visualization.
- Regenerative therapies. Researchers are exploring options such as plasma injections and stem cell treatments. The research is still in its early stages and is not yet decisive.
- Genicular nerve blocks. This treatment blocks pain signals that the genicular nerves transmit between the knee joint and the brain. This procedure generates heat to coagulate the proteins in the nerve, which stops the pain signals.
- Peripheral nerve stimulation. A surgeon implants electrodes and a small battery pack near the peripheral nerves that transmit pain signals from the knee. The electrodes deliver a weak electrical current to the nerve (producing a tingling sensation) that tricks it into turning off pain signals to the brain.
- Medication. This includes over-the-counter remedies, such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and more powerful drugs like opioids. Some caution is also required with anti-inflammatory medications and steroids, which can weaken cartilage and knee joints.
- Surgery. If the knees have not responded to other methods of pain relief, surgery is an option. This is essentially used to fix structural damage. Surgery should be the last choice, but sometimes it is the only solution. Surgeries could be knee replacement, arthroscopic etc.