How To Treat Swollen Legs From The Knee Down
There are many ways you can treat swollen legs from the knee down, depending on the underlying cause. Some of the most common at-home remedies include elevating your legs periodically, wearing compression stockings, regular exercise, monitoring salt intake, and maintaining a healthy weight.
In more serious cases, surgery is an option should the underlying cause be related to varicose veins, venous insufficiency, or lymphatic system deficiencies. Speak with your healthcare provider to determine the potential underlying cause.
Why Can Swelling Be A Bad Thing
The body always responds to an injury with a predictable inflammatory response, as the first step towards healing. Redness, heat, swelling and pain are associated with this first stage. Redness and heat are caused by increased blood flow. Swelling is the result of the increased movement of fluid and white blood cells into the injured area. The release of chemicals and the compression of nerves in the area of injury cause pain. The pain and swelling can keep the athlete from using the injured part, serving to protect it from further injury. However, often times, the body’s response is excessive.
“Prolonged inflammation and pain can lead to atrophy of the muscles surrounding the joint and a decreased ability to activate the muscles,” states Lisa Kluchurosky, ATC, service line administrator for the Sports Medicine Department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “If not treated appropriately, the swelling can become chronic, or long term. Chronic swelling leads to tissues becoming more rigid and less pliable than their healthy counterpart. Less pliable tissues are more susceptible to further injury.”
How To Reduce Swelling In The Knee
Taking care of your knees is important because you use your knees for so many activities in your life. Pay attention to any pain in your knees, because it may be the sign of an injury or condition that can limit your mobility. Usually, this kind of knee pain comes with other symptoms, such as inflammation and swelling.
Your knee swells when its been injured or if a chronic condition is causing damage to it. The swelling is the result of your body releasing fluid to help cushion the injury and get more white blood cells to it. This is usually painful because swelling puts pressure on the nerves and limits your mobility.
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Take Over The Counter Medicine:
If the doctor has prescribed you some pain killer or anti-inflammatory drugs then it is best to use them as soon as possible for reducing swelling after injury or damage to the ligaments around your knee. Moreover, if swelling continues for more than 3 days then its better to seek medical attention.
What You Can Do To Prevent Knee Pain:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight increases your risk for knee pain. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. He or she can help you create a safe weight loss plan if you need to lose weight.
- Exercise or train properly. Use the correct equipment for sports. Wear shoes that provide good support. Check your posture often as you exercise, play sports, or train for an event. This can help prevent stress and strain on your knees. Rest between sessions so you do not overwork your knees.
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What Are The Signs Of Arthritis
- Joint becomes stiff and swollen, making it difficult to bend and straighten the knee
- Pain and swelling is worse after sitting or resting for long periods of time
- Vigorous activity increases levels of pain
- Deformities of the knee
- Loose fragments of cartilage and other tissue may interfere, causing the knee to lock or stick during movement
- Feelings of weakness and buckling of the knee, poor range of motion
Diagnosing your knee arthritis early can help you seek treatment and therapies that relieve pain and preserve your ability to move without pain or difficulty. Knee pain can also indicate that you have osteoporosis, in which your bones lose their density and become more fragile. This condition can cause pain and discomfort similar to that caused by arthritis. If knee pain is interfering with daily activities more frequently, see your doctor as soon as possible to test for more serious conditions.
Chronic Knee Pain Relief
If your swollen knee pain is from a chronic condition like osteoarthritis, gout or an auto-immune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, chances are it’s a recurring problem. RICE can help, but it should be just one part of your overall care plan.
Losing weight, if that’s an issue, choosing low-impact exercise activities and strengthening thigh muscles to improve knee function should all help, according to the Mayo Clinic. A research review published in May 2019 in the journal Sports Medicine found that both cardio workouts and mind-body exercises, such as yoga and tai chi, can ease pain and improve function for arthritis in the knee as well as the hip.
And according to the American Massage Therapy Association, knee self-massage may help alleviate pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee.
Also be aware that a swollen knee first thing in the morning could be a sign of arthritis. If you start to experience this on a regular basis, especially if it comes with pain and stiffness, see your doctor for an evaluation, according to AAOS.
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How Long Does It Take For Knee Swelling To Go Down
How soon swelling goes away depends on what caused it.
If it happened after doing too much physical activity, it could take a few days if you follow the steps above.
For tears of the ligaments or meniscus, its best to ask your doctor for individual details.
For rheumatoid arthritis, the swelling sadly comes and goes. Its best to treat the flare-ups with medication.
Articles On Knee Pain
You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury or arthritis you’ve had for years.
Follow these 11 dos and donâts to help your knees feel their best.
Donât rest too much. Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.
Do exercise. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Tai chi may also help ease stiffness and improve balance.
Donât risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.
Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
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Risk Factors For A Swollen Knee
- Being overweight or obese your knees are weight-bearing so any excess weight puts more strain on them, which can damage your knee joint over time obesity also increases the risk of osteoarthritis, which is a common cause of a swollen knees
- Playing certain sports if you take part in sports that involve pivoting, rotating or twisting your knees, youre at greater risk of knee injuries, which cause swelling
- Your age your risk increases as you get older
Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- your knee is very painful
- you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
- your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
- you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.
They’re also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.
You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.
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What To Do When You Have A Swollen Knee
A swollen knee is not always serious. Sometimes it occurs from overuse or strain. However, sometimes a swollen knee is the sign of a condition that required medical attention. You may need to see a doctor if home treatments are not working or if the knee is in severe pain, especially after a traumatic impact or twisting.
In less serious cases, you can treat your knee pain at home:
When To See A Doctor
If the swelling doesnt go down in one to three days of using the RICE method, its time to call a doctor.Also, call a doctor immediately if there are any of these symptoms:
- The knee is severely swollen or has a pronounced abnormality
- The knee cannot fully straighten or flex
- The knee is severely painful
- The knee feels like it will give out or cannot support any weight at all
- The skin near the knee is hot or red
- A fever
- Swelling has not gone down after three or more days
If youre experiencing knee swelling that will not go away or have pain, connecting with a specialist is always a good idea. Theres no need to rush into surgery. At Flexogenix, we specialize in cutting-edge, non-surgical treatment options, and can help you move past achy knees and into your best lifewithout invasive surgery. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
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Synovial Fluid Accumulated In The Bursae Around The Knee Joint
Doctors in Taiwan publishing their study in the medical journal Experimental Gerontology examined the effects of Platelet Rich Plasma on synovial fluid volumes, protein concentrations, and severity of pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Here is their research summary:
- Patients with knee osteoarthritis are often complicated with joint soreness, swelling, weakness, and pain. These complaints are often caused by the excessive amount of synovial fluid accumulated in the bursae around the knee joint.
- They examined the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma in treating patients with minor to moderate knee osteoarthritis combined with supra-patellar bursitis.
- Twenty-four elderly patients with minor to moderate knee osteoarthritis combined with supra-patellar bursitis were recruited.
- Aspiration of the synovial fluid was performed under ultrasound followed by subsequent PRP injections.
- Three monthly PRP injections were performed to the affected knees for a total of 3 months.
- Approximately after the 2nd PRP injection, significant decreases in synovial fluid total protein concentrations and volumes , and Lequesne index values were observed.
- Therefore, at least two monthly PRP injections may be beneficial for treating patients with minor to moderate knee osteoarthritis combined with supra-patellar bursitis.
When To Call Your Doctor
If your pain and swelling are gettingworse and you can no longer put weight on your knee, see your doctor. A simpleX-ray can show if there is osteoarthritis and, if needed, an MRI scan can checkfor meniscal tears or loose chips of cartilage.
Arthroscopic surgery can sometimes remove loose cartilage. Partial or total knee replacements are other surgical options, especially for those who can no longer stay as active as theyd like. Sometimes computer assistance is used for some complicated knee replacements.
Surgery is a last resort, though,says Dr. Nickodem. Its something to consider when nonoperative treatmentsarent helping.
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Is A Bruise Still Considered An Injury
A bruise is a traumatic injury of the soft tissues that results in breakage of the local capillaries and leakage of red blood cells. In the skin, bruising can be seen as a reddish-purple discoloration that does not blanch when pressed upon. This discoloration leads to the classic black and blue appearance.
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How Can I Sleep With A Swollen Leg
If you have swollen legs from the knee down, it is important to elevate your legs to keep the swollen area higher than the level of your heart. One way to do this is to place a pillow or two under your feet while you sleep.
You may also want to consider using a recliner instead of your bed. If the swelling is caused by a medical condition such as lymphedema, you may need to wear compression stockings or a compression bandage while you sleep.
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Why Do I Suffer From Gout
One word:hyperuricemia. Or, in other words, increased uric acid in your blood. This is the reason why your joints are painful and inflamed. Uric acid is a normal product in your body it is a substance that breaks down purines in your body which are found in certain foods that we eat, in addition to being found in human cells. When your body overproduces uric acid, youre at risk for developing gout. But, why would your body overproduce uric acid?
The triggers of hyperuricemia include:
- Eating large amounts of red meat and shellfish
- Drinking sugary sodas
It is these types of triggers that can create the hyperuricemia, which can result in gout. When you overproduce uric acid, your kidneys have to work harder to flush out the extra uric acid out of your bloodstream, as they would normally do.
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When To Contact Your Doctor
There are several symptoms that imply you should see a doctor or medical professional. These include
- Severe swelling
- If you can not straighten or fully bend the knee
- Severe pain, not adequately treated by OTC medications
- If you can not bear weight on the knee
- The skin over the knee is hot or red
- Having a fever of 100.4Â° F or more
- Knee swelling for 3 days or longer
From here the doctor will examine the knee pain and ask several important questions. It begins with a physical examination accompanied by a patient interview so that enough information is collected to make an accurate diagnosis.
If sufficient information is not available then you may need additional medical imaging, for example, an x-ray, or aspiration. This in-office procedure involves removing fluid buildup from the knee.
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Applying Pressure On The Area:
A simple thing that you can do is apply pressure on the swollen area around the knee using the palm of your hand. The aim is to press the blood out of the area and thus, reduce swelling.
Elevate your knee: You can put a pillow under the injured knee in order to keep it elevated for a few hours at a stretch. This would help in reducing swelling as well as pain that occurs due to injury or damage to the ligaments around the knee.
What Are The Potential Complications Of Behind Knee Swelling
Swelling related to cancers may have life-threatening consequences, which depend on the type and stage of the cancer. Left untreated, swelling due to abscesses or serious infections may lead to widespread infection in the body. Behind knee swelling and associated symptoms can be due to serious diseases, so failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage.
Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:
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How Is The Cause Of Knee Swelling Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you questions about your pain. These may include:
- What is the exact location of the pain the front of the knee, the back, the inside, the outside, above or below the kneecap?
- Do you feel better or worse at certain times of day?
- Does it hurt more when youre walking up or down stairs?
- How does it hurt? Is it a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing pain?
- Is the knee range of motion decreased?
Along with these questions your doctor will physically examine the knee and afterward suggest the next step in terms of diagnosing the exact problem. You may have a blood test or fluid taken from the knee with a needle for lab examination. Imaging tests may also be used to diagnose your condition.
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will perform a physical exam, and look at your knees, hips, legs, and other joints.
Your provider may do the following tests:
- MRI of the knee if a ligament or meniscus tear could be the cause
- CT scan of the knee
- Joint fluid culture
Your provider may inject a steroid into your knee to reduce pain and inflammation.
You may need to learn stretching and strengthening exercises. You also may need to see a podiatrist to be fitted for orthotics.
In some cases, you may need surgery.
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Getting A Diagnosis For Swollen Knee
Chronic swelling can cause permanent damage to the joint tissue, cartilage and bone. It is therefore important to ask your doctor for advice if your swelling doesnt go down.
They’ll discuss your symptoms and carry out a physical examination.
They may arrange for you to have some tests. These may include an:
They may also arrange for you to have joint aspiration. This is when a fine needle is inserted into the swollen area to check for blood, bacteria or crystals