Although knee pain is an ailment more common than fever, it is not always simply a ‘knee pain’ that eventually fades away. There are a huge number of knee-pain causes, ranging from injuries to age-related wear and tear. The location of the pain, severity, duration, and impact will affect the diagnosis and the treatment will depend on the type of knee pain.
Let us look at some of the most common causes of knee pain, what causes them, how to identify them and the treatment pattern for each.
Not necessarily caused in athletic runners, Runners Knee is one of the most common causes of knee pain around the front of the knee due to the kneecap problem.
- Causes: Runners knee usually develops due to a combination of muscle weakness, flat feet, and hip angle
- Symptoms: The most common symptoms are kneecap pain, knee swelling, and pain during climbing stairs.
- Treatment: One of the most effective treatments for Runners Knee is exercises to strengthen and stretch the knee muscles. Massaging with ice or the use of knee braces can provide relief.
Gout is a type of arthritis and is one of the causes of knee pain that can come up due to high levels of urate crystal formation in the joints causing intense pain.
- Causes: Common causes of gout include diet, obesity, genetics, metabolic disorders like diabetes or injuries.
- Symptoms: Gout symptoms revolve around hot, swollen, painful red knee development at night time.
- Treatment: Appropriate medication is one of the best available treatments for gout. Resting and ice massage can help in pain relief.
Jumpers Knee is one of the common causes of knee pain, affecting athletes, caused by tendon damage below the kneecap.
- Causes: Repetitive jumping and/or kicking can place lots of strain on the tendons. This weakens the tendon and makes it prone to further damage.
- Symptoms: The most common symptoms include pain below the knee braces, especially after prolonged rest or activity. Morning stiffness is also one of the critical symptoms.
- Treatment: Rest from knee-related activities and using a kneecap gives temporary relief in case of Jumper’s knee. In severe cases, surgery is preferred.
Knee Arthritis is the most common of the causes of knee pain in people over the age of 50.
- Causes: Knee Arthritis is caused by wear and tear to the cartilage that lines the joint, leading to friction and inflammation between the joint bones. Injuries of the knee can also cause arthritis.
- Symptoms: Arthritis in the knee can progressively cause pain, swelling, weakness, limited movement and difficulty with everyday activities.
- Treatment: Knee Arthritis treatment varies according to the severity of the disease. Common treatments for arthritis include using knee braces, exercises, natural remedies, pain medications and surgery in severe cases surgery.
Housemaids Knee, medically called Prepatellar Bursitis, affect people who spend long periods kneeling, and cause front knee pain and swelling.
- Causes: Excessive kneeling causes swelling in the prepatellar bursa region of the knee.
- Symptoms: The most common symptoms are pain at the front of the knee, swelling, and difficulty in walking, bending the knee, and kneeling.
- Treatment: As with other bursitis causes of knee pain, a combination of rest, ice massage, medication, injections, and exercises tend to be most effective.
Osteochondritis Dissecans is one of the less common causes of knee pain. Reduced blood supply to parts of the joints causes loose fragments of cartilage and bone.
- Causes: Repetitive minor damage to the joint from activities such as jumping and kicking can lead to osteochondritis at the knee. Genetic causes may also play a part.
- Symptoms: Besides knee pain, symptoms involve locking and clunking sensations in the knee, limited movement, and swelling.
- Treatment: Non-surgical treatment pattern includes rest, physical therapy and the use of knee braces. In severe cases, surgery is necessary
At the end of the day, rest and physiotherapy certainly give relief from the pain but as soon as one goes back to doing normal activities, the knee starts hurting again. When these cases turn chronic in nature, patients are often suggested by the doctors to undergo Total Knee Replacement (TKR)surgeries as a permanent treatment to their ailment. But understanding the problem beforehand can provide relief to the patient from deciding upon risky surgical procedures like TKR. With advancements in regenerative therapy, early diagnosis of knee pain can provide the patient with a wide range of alternative regenerative medicine products like PRP, SYNOJEL, and BMAC. To impart more knowledge and hands-on training on these alternative therapies, Advancells Group, India, along with Kent Musculoskeletal Clinic, USA, is organizing a unique S.T.A.R workshop on the applications of regenerative medicine products and MSK ultrasound-guided injection techniques in the field of orthopedics. Taking up regenerative therapies for your knee pain can help you lead a pain-free lifestyle with the added benefit of tissue healing/repair. Always remember, treating the cause is the only permanent relief rather than treating the effects, but not at the cost of your safety.
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