What Is Knee Pain
Your kneecap is a thick, round bone that covers and protects the front part of your knee joint. It moves along a groove in your thighbone as part of the patellofemoral joint. A layer of cartilage surrounds the underside of your kneecap. This layer protects it from grinding against your femur.
When this cartilage softens and breaks down, it can cause knee pain. This is partly due to repetitive stress. The stress irritates the lining of the joint. This causes pain in the underlying bone.
Knee pain is very common. It’s even more likely to occur in highly active people who put a lot of pressure on their knees, such runners. It affects women more often than men. You may also hear this type of knee pain called patellofemoral pain, anterior knee pain, runner’s knee, or jumper’s knee.
Key Points About Knee Pain
- Knee pain is a common health condition. Irritation to the tissue around the kneecap causes the condition. Too much repetitive stress makes knee pain much more likely to occur.
- Your healthcare provider will likely be able to diagnose you with a simple health history and physical exam.
- Most people respond to treatment such as pain medicines, ice, stretching and strengthening exercises, and not doing certain activities for a while.
- In rare cases, some people need surgery to treat their condition.
- Taking simple steps, such as doing your physical therapy exercises, may help prevent your symptoms from coming back.
Clinical Contributors To This Story
Yair Kissin, M.D. contributes to topics such as Orthopedic Surgery.
Whether youre jogging, squatting or even taking a long drive, knee pain can strike. Perhaps surprisingly, its not just vigorous movements that can produce pain in and around the knee, but also everyday happenings that require sitting for long periods with knees bent, like watching a movie or riding on an airplane.
Common activities that trigger knee pain include climbing stairs, running and certain sports that involve quick changes of direction, such as basketball, football and soccer, says Yair Kissin, M.D., vice chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center. A lot of people, regardless of age, want to maintain their high levels of activity, which is great. But sometimes they hurt themselves that way.
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Who Is At Risk For Knee Pain
You might be at greater risk of knee pain if you:
- Exercise heavily, or have recently increased the intensity of your workouts
- Have a body mass index greater than 25
- Have poor alignment of your patella
- Walk with your feet turned overly out or in
- Have weakness in nearby muscle groups
- Have too much tightness in nearby muscle groups
- Have a recent history of injury to the area
- Are female
You cant change many of these risk factors. Losing weight and correcting excess muscle tightness or muscle weakness may help reduce your risk.
Daily Habits That Can Help Alleviate Your Knee Pain
Your knees bear the brunt of taking your body from place to place. The joints are constantly in motion with almost every move you make, whether its standing up, sitting down, walking, climbing stars, or crouching to pick something up. Knee pain can make every motion a misery.
At The Spine and Sports Centerat The Galleria in Houston, Sugar Land, and the Willowbrook/Cy-Fair area of Texas, Dr. Benoy Benny suggests lifestyle changes to mitigate your knee pain and provides noninvasive treatments to improve your mobility.
You can help reduce knee pain with these five simple daily habits:
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Treatments For Pain In The Back Of Your Knee
Healthcare providers usually treat pain in the back of your knee based on the underlying cause of the pain or injury.
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation
If you have sudden, intense pain in the back of your knee, the doctor may recommend that you rest and apply ice to your knee. In some cases, your doctor may also ask you to elevate your leg while youre sitting down to help improve the blood flow in your leg.
Exercise and physical therapy
Some exercises can help build muscle and relieve pain in the back of your knee. It is important to work with your doctor or physical therapist to determine which exercises are right for you so you can avoid potential injury.
Your doctor may ask you to make some lifestyle changes to help relieve pain in the back of your knee. This could include things like maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding activities like running or placing too much pressure on the knees.
Genicular nerve blocks
This medical treatment blocks pain signals between the knee and the brain, which offers relief from pain in the back of your knee. This is a nonsurgical option done by injecting an anesthetic into the affected area.
Peripheral nerve stimulation
This is a medical procedure where a surgeon puts electrodes and a battery pack near the nerves inside the knee. This creates an electrical current that tricks the body into turning off pain signals, which relieves pain in and around the knee.
What Is Runners Knee
Athletes and runners are particularly prone to knee injuries.
Symptoms of runners knee include:
- Pain behind or around the kneecap
- Pain when you bend your knee
- Pain that is worse when you are walking downhill or downstairs
- Popping or grinding in the knee
Treat by resting the knee and taking anti-inflammatory medications
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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament is a band of tissue that runs through the front of the knee joint, connecting the bones and helping keep the knee joint stable.
ACL strains often happen due to sudden stops or changes in direction. Similarly to meniscus tears, a strain in the ACL may cause a popping sound, followed by pain and swelling.
A torn ACL is a well-known, serious injury, often side-lining an athlete for a long time. Torn ACLs usually require reconstructive surgery.
Muscle Pain Behind The Knee: Tendinitis
Have you heard of the muscle biceps femoris? This muscle has two parts the long head, which is attached to the ischium , and the short head, which is attached to the femur. Both allow the knee to flex, but the longer muscle also helps the hip to extend. When knees are semi-flexed, the biceps femoris aids external rotation.
If you are a runner, it is possible that this muscle is damaged. This damage can cause pain and swelling in the area where the tendon inserts into the bone. If you feel pain when you bend your knee or when you have just exercised, you are possibly suffering from this tendinitis.
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Be Gentler When You Exercise
Running on roads can jar your knees, while a jog through a wooded trail carries the risk of falls and twists to knees and ankles. A better way to run is on a treadmill or track, or alternate jogging with walking, Dr. White suggests. Biking doesnt put as much strain on your knees, but it can cause pain if you ratchet up the resistance too high on a stationary bike or the saddle is pushed back too far or is too low. If you bike a lot outdoors, you might want to spring for a professional bike fitting, which can help you with seat and handlebar height and pedal strokes. Whatever exercise you do, just remember to warm up. You lose muscle strength as you get olderespecially if you sit at a desk most daysand that just increases your chances of injury when you head out to exercise.
Treat The Underlying Condition
What is the fastest way to relieve knee pain at night, you ask? This is it.
Theres no one-size-fits-all solution here. Treatment options will depend on the root cause of the pain.
For instance, sports injuries, excess/lack of exercise, and osteoarthritis each have a different treatment plan.
Most knee pain at night goes on its own. But, if youve been suffering for 4-6 weeks, the fastest way to get rid of it is by going to a physical therapist.
We can help you by:
- Reducing pain.
- Helping you return to the activities you love.
- Giving you specific recommendations for your daily life.
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When Should You See A Doctor For Knee Pain
Knee pain symptoms can be different for different people, and may change over time. You may feel knee pain constantly, or it may come and go. You might experience back of knee pain, or feel stiffness instead of pain.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, its important to see a doctor to prevent further injury:
- Redness and swelling in and around the knee
- Stiffness and inability to fully straighten the leg
- Popping, crunching and clicking sounds when you move or bend your knee
- Fever, which can be a sign of infection
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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Introduction To Knee Pain In Old Age
Joints and knee pain in old age are quite common to observe these days with tremendously active society functioning and everyday increasing workloads. Knee pain counts in critical musculoskeletal problems that have various specific causes, as well as treatments. If the pain becomes unbearable, one must need to visit a specialist orthopedic doctor immediately before it gets even worse. The team of Mewar Hospitals is here with some useful information to let you understand properly about this point.
How To Relieve Knee Pain Through Stretches And Exercises You Can Do At Home
Your knees are two of the largest, most heavily used joints in your body. It’s no wonder, then, that knee pain is both pretty common and pretty hard to ignore.
“In many cases, knee pain can be treated at home via stretching and strengthening exercises,” says Dr. Kenneth Brooks, orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee surgery at Houston Methodist. “However, some types of knee pain can also be the result of a serious injury that requires evaluation and treatment by a specialist.”
Whether your knee pain is due to aging, overuse, muscle tightness or muscle weakness, Dr. Brooks is here to help you understand how to alleviate your pain, as well as the signs indicating that it may be a sign of serious injury.
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What Treatments Can Provide Pain Relief
The nature of your injury will guide the treatment. So will your preferences. It is best to consider the full menu of options available. These include:
Physician anesthesiologists are committed to patient safety and high-quality care, and have the necessary knowledge to understand and treat the entire human body.
Pain Behind Knee Is Most Commonly Not A Problem Behind Knee
Keep your knees straight and touch your toes.
If doing this provokes pain behind your knee, you have a sciatic nerve problem, either coming from an entrapment along the sciatic nerves course or from the spine.
This post is not about sciatic nerve pain behind knee. Thats for another time.
Now, sit down.
Bend your knee, bringing your heel as close as you can to your butt cheek. If its really painful, you can use your handy dandy friend to help you perform this test. Notice in the below example, her knee flexion range of motion stops with her heel 4 finger-breadths away from her butt cheek.
If doing this provokes pain behind your knee, you have a wallet-stuck-in-your-knee-door.
Let me explain.
The wallet is medically speaking, a space-occupying-lesion. It is something that takes up space in the door hinge, not allowing it to fully close.
Most often, the wallet is a meniscus pathology, but it could also be osteoarthritis.
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When Should I See A Doctor For Knee Pain At Night
In the days after knee replacement surgery or another type of injury, it is normal to expect a little pain at night. A few nights of lost sleep are not anything to worry about.
However, there are times when you should see a doctor for knee pain at night. Schedule a regular appointment if you experience the following symptoms:
- Unusual or significant swelling
There are also symptoms that warrant emergency treatment for knee pain. These include:
- Deformed appearance of the joint
- Pain that makes weight-bearing impossible
- Injury that causes your knee to make a popping sound
- Swelling that occurs suddenly
If your knee pain at night consistently interferes with sleep it could make pain during the day worse, too. When it comes to knee replacement surgery, poor sleep can also slow healing times. If pain is steady for three or four days, or intermittent for a week or two, best to schedule a follow-up with your doctor.
What Causes Pain Behind The Kneecap
Pain behind the kneecap is usually caused by a problem with the cartilage that lines the back of the kneecap. It may be Runners Knee, where a problem with how the kneecap glides causes friction and pain behind the kneecap.
In teenagers, pain behind the kneecap is often caused by Chondromalacia Patella, a condition where there is thinning of the cartilage on the back of the kneecap.
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How Is Knee Pain Treated
Your healthcare provider might suggest several different treatment strategies to help ease your symptoms. These might include:
- Not doing activities that make your pain worse for a while, returning to activity only gradually.
- Icing the outside of your knee when it causes you pain.
- Taking over-the-counter pain medicines.
- Wearing a knee brace or taping your knee to support it.
- Wearing special shoe inserts to help keep your feet in the correct alignment.
- Practicing special exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles around your hip and your knee. Your provider or physical therapist can show you how.
These steps help most people manage knee pain. Your healthcare provider might advise surgery if you still have significant symptoms after 6 months of trying these other therapies. Depending on the underlying cause of your knee pain, your provider might suggest one of several surgical options, such as surgically realigning your kneecap. You can discuss all of your surgical options with your orthopedic surgeon.
Symptoms Of Knee Pain
The symptoms of knee problems can vary and will depend upon the cause and severity. However, knee pain is common.
Sudden pain in the knee can occur if you overuse it or injure it.
Instability and weakness in the knee, or the feeling that your knee is about to give way, is a common knee problem.
Other symptoms may include stiffness, popping sounds, locking of the joint and inability to straighten the knee, depending on the cause.
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What Are The Common Complications Of Knee Pain
In most cases, knee pain will come and clear off before you even find the real cause of the problem.
However, depending on the cause of the pain, the problem can advance and lead to severe complications or injuries. The resulting complications might be long-term, which might lead to increasing difficulty in walking or severe pain.
Basic Treatment Options To Treat Knee Pain In Old Age
So now lets move on to some basic treatments for treating knee pain in old age. With their help, you can achieve some relief.
* Most doctors recommend icing the knee 2 to 3 times a day for 20-30 minutes. Using an ice bag always is good to save yourself from future possibilities of knee pain in old age.
* Some research suggests exercising for around 2 to 3 hours every day, especially those exercises which strengthen the upper thighs. Exercising every day can delay the development of osteoarthritis and benefit the knee joints, as its one of the most common causes of knee pain.
* Physical activities like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, tai chi, yoga, etc. enormously boost the health of cartilage tissue. Even when a person has osteoarthritis or not, while further strengthening the way the body supports the joints. Strengthening the leg muscles is especially beneficial for the knees.
Posture and Support
One can even take the following effective measures to minimize knee strain:
* Maintain a decent sitting posture, without slouching or leaning
* Avoid low chairs and couches that you sink into
* Avoid sitting for long periods without moving, as joints are prone to become stiff and painful without movement
* Sitting on a pillow to raise your seating level, if necessary
* Avoid footwear with broken arches and wear supportive shoes
Balanced Diet and Weight loss
Drug & Medications
Medications that may help manage knee pain in old age include:
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E Reconsider Your Exercise Routine
It is a must for you to restructure your workout routine from when you first feel pain behind your knee.
In other words, itâs a dangerous call to put a possible injury through strenuous exercises. Doing so may bring irreversible damage to your knee in the long run.
Restructuring your routine means revising your workout intensity, duration, and frequency. It also means reconsidering the type of exercise and the time you do it.
How Is Knee Pain Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will begin with a health history and ask about your other health problems as well as your current symptoms. Describe any activities that make your knee pain worse.
Youll have a thorough knee exam. This will include tests of your range of motion, strength, and areas of soreness of your knee. Your provider will also assess your knee alignment. Your provider will need to rule out other possible causes of your knee pain, such as arthritis or instability.
Often, you won’t need any more tests. If your diagnosis is unclear, you might need additional imaging tests to rule out other possible causes. These tests may include an X-ray or MRI.
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