The knee joint is the most abused part of our bodies. We use our knees for sitting, standing, walking, running, etc.
The knee does everything: it bends, twists, rotates, etc. It is the biggest joint in our bodies, but also one of the most commonly injured parts.
The knee is exposed by default and on top of that, it carries all our weight. Having these qualities, it’s no wonder that the knee has the biggest risk to become painful.
Types of knee pain
Generally speaking, there are two types of knee pains:
- Acute knee pain – short-termed pain that lasts less than 3 months;
- Chronic knee pain – long-termed pain that lasts more than 3 months.
Acute Knee Pain
Acute knee pain can be really painful, but depending on what the cause is, it can also go away quickly. Acute knee pains usually ask for immediate medical help because some acute conditions can become chronic if they are not treated properly and on time.
Most often, acute knee pain can develop as a result of some knee injuries, such as fractures, ligament tearing or dislocation of the knee. Fractures are really painful injuries and must be treated immediately.
Same as fractures, dislocation of the knee and ligament tearing are also both serious injuries where you must be treated right after the injury. Apart from these above, there are many other causes for acute knee pain that if not treated – can be serious.
So, if you start feeling pain in the knee or it’s swollen or if you notice any deformity, the smartest thing you can do is to go and have your knee checked by a professional.
Chronic Knee Pain
You are diagnosed with chronic knee joint pain when you feel pain that is prolonged for more than 3 months. There are several diseases that might be the cause of your chronic knee pains. If you suffer from Osteoarthritis, you probably already know that this can be the cause for your knee pain. In fact, all kinds of arthritis can cause knee pain: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crystalline Arthritis, etc. Bursitis is another disease that causes knee pains.
Bursitis is most common in obese women, athletes and people who for some reason have to work on their knees. Iliotibial band syndrome can also cause knee pain. A condition called Jumper’s knee can also be the cause for knee pain. In this condition, the knee hurts when you’re jumping or roughly landing and by that pressuring the knee. Apart from these, there are many more other diseases, infections and conditions that can also cause knee pain.
If you suffer from acute knee pain, you already know the cause of the pain and this will be easier to diagnose. The bigger problems are with people with chronic knee pain. If you suffer from chronic pains, your complete medical history along with many other tests will be necessary. You will have to tell your doctor what caused or triggered the pain, where does it hurt, for how long, medical history, similar conditions in a family member and everything else that might be connected to your condition. Some other procedures such as physical examination of the knee and X-rays are also a part of the diagnosis. Make sure to tell your doctor everything that you think has contributed in some way for your condition.
Treatment of Knee Pain
How you treat the painful knee completely depends on the cause and the condition. However, there are a few things that are recommended when you are experiencing knee pain:
- Applying hot and/or cold can help if you have a swollen or inflamed knee, especially if it is only an acute pain
- Pain-killers can help you reduce the pain you feel in your knee;
- Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications can help if you are suffering from arthritis, bursitis or tendonitis.
- Light exercising can also help in some conditions of knee pain.
- Physical therapy is also an excellent way to get help from a professional. It will help you in a way that will strengthen the muscles around the knee and it will improve your motion and mobility.
- Stretching your leg muscles can sometimes also help you relax and strengthen your leg muscles.
How to prevent knee pain?
- Lose weight because when you are overweight or obese, you create extra pressure for your knees;
- If you feel knee pain during exercise, try to use knee support caps;
- When you exercise, especially when you lift heavy weight, be careful not to use your knees so much.