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.
Not Following Through With Rehab And Rest
The rest and rehabilitation period after a knee injury is critical to avoiding future pain or reinjury. Depending on the type of damage and treatment, recovery could last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.
“During the rehab period, you need someone to help you tell the difference between something that just hurts, and something that’s going to do you harm,â says DiNubile.
He tells WebMD that many of his young athlete patients are too eager to return to regular play as soon as they stop limping. He advises patients to work with an orthopedic surgeon, a sports medicine physician, a physical therapist, an athletic trainer, or some combination of these pros, in order to ensure proper focus is placed on gradually strengthening the knees.
The Five Things That Will Affect Your Knee Pain
Here are 5 things we often discuss with our knee patients that can make all the difference in keeping the joint stronger and more comfortable. This is obviously general advice and may not be relevant to all knee problems. For a specific diagnosis and treatment for your knee pain call to make an appointment now to see one of our experienced knee physios and get moving again!
Read Also: Does Aflac Cover Hysterectomy
Why Do We Experience Knee Pain
There are many causes of knee pain from injuries such as strains, sprains, torn ligaments and cartilage tears, to conditions such as osteoarthritis, tendonitis and bursitis .
Knee injuries are common among athletes, for example, who often experience tears in the knee ligaments, leading to sudden knee pain. Runners knee is a condition that can affect anyone who does a lot of knee bends, for example while running, walking, jumping or cycling. It is felt as pain around the kneecap and can be the result of overuse, injury, abnormalities of the leg bones or feet and weak muscles.
Knee injuries can happen slowly because of osteoarthritis, for example. If you experience problems with your hips or feet that cause you to walk awkwardly, it can throw off the alignment of the knees leading to damage. If you have a knee injury, even if it is a minor one, it is more likely that you will have similar injuries in the future.
Locate the cause of your pain
Injuries to ligaments or tears to the menisci can cause pain in the side of the knees. Pain at the front of the knee can be due to bursitis, or cartilage problems. Osteoarthritis can lead to pain in the back of the knee.
Knee Pain And Problems
Knee pain is a common complaint among adults and most often associated with general wear and tear from daily activities like walking, bending, standing and lifting. Athletes who run or play sports that involve jumping or quick pivoting are also more likely to experience knee pain and problems. But whether an individuals knee pain is caused by aging or injury, it can be a nuisance and even debilitating in some circumstances.
Recommended Reading: Inversion Table Benefits For Knees
Stop Doing Whatever Makes Your Knee Hurt
If your knee hurts during certain exercises, and you havent been through some traumatic injury, then chances are good youre dealing with some kind of repetitive strain injury .
To understand why, we need to look at what happens to your body when you exercise in the first place.
When you lift weights, the tissues in your muscles, tendons, and joints sustain small amounts of damage. Between workouts, your body repairs as much of the wear and tear as it can and, provided you allow enough time for recovery, these tissues get stronger and more durable over time.
Sometimes, though, this wear and tear builds up faster than your body can repair it, and things start hurting.
As mentioned earlier, the single biggest mistake people make when dealing with repetitive stress injuries is they ignore the early warning signs and keep training as normal. Sometimes the pain goes away on its own, but most of the time, youre just digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole.
This is how a minor, niggling pain can grow into a debilitating injury that takes months to heal.
Luckily, the solution is simplerest.
Assuming you just have an RSI, and youre otherwise healthy, your body shouldnt have any trouble repairing itself.
Now, the annoying part is that some injuries can take a while to heal, which means taking weeks or even months away from the activity that caused the injury.
There are two approaches you can take to this:
Knee Pain And Posture
Poor posture just looks . . . unhealthy.
Poor posture is also immediately recognizable, easy to fix, and thus, a tempting scapegoat for all kinds of aches and pains.
This is why movement gurus everywhere say that small quirks in your posture, like putting more weight on one leg when you stand, gradually pull your body out of alignment. This forces other parts of your body compensate by altering their movement, which leads to knee pain over time.
If you fix your posture, they say, then everything will fall back into alignment and the pain will go away.
*Sigh* If only it were that easy . . .
It turns out that all of this is more or less hogwash.
Theres very little evidence that small irregularities in posture, movement, or the alignment of your joints increase your risk of any kind of joint pain.
One of the main nails in the coffin for this idea is evidence that people experience pain with no signs of physical injury or misalignment, and there are other cases where people have serious structural damage like dislocated vertebrae, but no pain.
The bottom line is that poor posture is almost certainly not the main cause of your knee pain.
Recommended Reading: How To Whiten Knees Fast
What Are The Symptoms Of Sciatica
Common symptoms that the sciatic nerve is being compressed include:
- Shooting pain from the back, through the buttock, and down the back of the leg on either side
- A tingling or pins and needles feeling in the toes and/or feet
- Numbness in the buttock or down the affected leg
- Difficulty walking
- Hip pain
- A burning sensation in the lower back
Sitting for more than a few minutes and then standing usually brings on very intense sciatica nerve pain.
How Can You Make Your Knees Stronger For Running
Bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges are great for strengthening the major muscle groups around your knees, to make your knees stronger for running. Single leg exercises that work your glutes and challenge your balance will also help to protect your knees.
I cant believe Ive made it this far into the article without talking specifically about exercises to strengthen your knees for running.
As I described in the warm up section above, its vital to work on stability of the joints above and below the your knees, to allow you to maintain proper knee alignment and control as you run.
That said, you also need to strengthen the muscle groups that cross the knee it self and influence the patellofemoral joint. So we definitely also need to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, adductors and calf muscles!
Heres a great selection of exercises you can use to strengthen your knees to prevent knee pain when running:
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Knee Fat And Cellulite
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Pfp Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome causes pain under and around the knee. The pain often gets worse with walking, kneeling, squatting, going up or down stairs, or running. It may also hurt after sitting with a bent knee for a long time, such as in a long car ride or in a movie theater.
Some people with PFP syndrome feel a “popping” or creaking after getting up from sitting or when going up or down stairs.
Protect Your Knees By Not Over Striding As You Run
Both leaning forwards as you run, and increasing your running cadence will help to prevent you from over striding.
What is over striding?
Over striding is when your foot strikes the ground too far ahead of you as you run, effectively increasing the impact and braking forces your body experiences with each running stride.
Your knees will be one of the first places that experience this increased impact and breaking force as you over stride.
Ideally you should be aiming to land your foot beneath your centre of mass as you run, with your foot striking the ground beneath a flexing knee, rather than ahead of a more extended knee.
Dont worry too much about how your foot strikes the ground . When were looking to prevent Runners Knee, its more important to address where the foot strikes the ground in relation to the knee and the rest of your body.
Ive seen it myself many times in the runners that I coach learning not to over stride is a powerful way of protecting their knees, overcoming the early signs of knee pain, and keeping them running.
Its been well documented that the easiest way to achieve this is to increase your running cadence, as discussed in the section above!
In my experience, a lot of runners struggle to prevent themselves from over striding in two specific situations:
a) when they get fatigued on the back-end of a long run
b) when theyre trying to lengthen their stride to run faster
The solutions to these two issues?
Read Also: Bleach Dark Knees
How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
What Is Jumper’s Knee
Jumper’s knee also called patellar tendonitis is an overuse injury that occurs when a tendon is overloaded, causing it to thicken. I see this most often in younger patients who complain about pain in the front of the knee.
It can be especially painful when you squat, jump or land. Jumper’s knee typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood.
Don’t Miss: Knees Crack When Doing Squats
Brief Anatomy Of The Knee
The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.
The knee is formed by the following parts:
Tibia. This is the shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.
Femur. This is the thighbone or upper leg bone.
Patella. This is the kneecap.
Each bone end is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is 2 long leg bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
There are 2 groups of muscles involved in the knee, including the quadriceps muscles , which straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles , which bend the leg at the knee.
Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia .
Your Chair Is Uncomfortable
An uncomfortable office chair will likely leave you in some kind of pain even if you take breaks. Now, you might be asking:
What makes a good sitting chair?
In the most basic terms, a good chair should let you adjust at least the seat height and depth. Having an adjustable backrest also helps.
If your current chair doesnt let you change these settings, it may be best to buy a new one. It doesnt have to be expensive. But it should be able to adapt to your body.
Heres how to know if your chair settings are ergonomic:
- Sit on the chair with your back straight.
- Your upper and lower back must be in contact with the backrest
- Put your feet flat on the ground.
- Bend your knees about 90°.
If your current setting doesnt let you assume this position, change the height and depth.
You can also make your chair more comfortable with cushions or pillows. Put them on your lower back. Or sit on them to increase your sitting height.
Try different positions until you find the one thats most comfortable for your knee joints.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Aflac Pay For Ambulance Ride
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.
Knee Pain And Squatting
Heavy, strenuous squats look like they must be bad for your knees, and many doctors are quick to tell you that if you have knee pain, you should stop squatting.
The general idea is that every rep of a heavy, deep squat puts a little more wear on the cartilage and tendons in your knees. Over time this contributes to knee pain and potentially disastrous injuries like a tendon rupture.
Scientists at Duke University debunked this myth in a study that examined two decades of published research on this question.
They found that during the squat . . .
The hamstrings stabilize the shinbone in such a way that stress on the knee joint isnt harmful.
The actual forces placed on the connective tissue in the knee are well within the safe, acceptable range. In one study, the highest ACL force recorded when squatting was a mere 6 percent of its ultimate strength, and in another it was only 25 percent. The highest recorded PCL forces were well within natural strength limits as well.
Other research hasshown that powerlifters, who squat deep and heavy, often have greater knee stability than other athletes, and experienced weightlifters have joints that are just as healthy as the average person. These people were also training with loads that put more than six times their body weight on the knee joint.
The bottom line is that as long as you squat with proper form, squats arent bad for your knees.
Also Check: How Much Does Aflac Pay For Knee Surgery
Lack Of Sleep Makes Pain Worse
It can be easy to get stuck in a cycle where you cant sleep because of knee pain. That lack of sleep can actually make your pain worse. Sleep is vital for healing and rejuvenation. Without sleep, you have less energy to expend on healing as you need to focus your bodily processes on staying alert and awake.If nighttime knee pain causes you to toss and turn, you may end up accidentally further straining your knee by sleeping in an uncomfortable position.
Knee Pain And Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a kind of self massage that involves using a foam tube to rub and compress muscles.
Depending on who you ask, one of the main arguments for foam rolling is the idea that pain is caused by trigger pointspatches of connective tissue called fascia that get become overstimulated, tight, and painful. Fascia is a web of connective tissue beneath the skin that attaches, protects, and separates muscles and other internal organs.
In theory, kneading these trigger points with a foam roller, tennis ball, or a stick helps release these tight patches of fascia, thus reducing pain.
There are several parts of this theory that dont add up, though:
Foam rolling aficionados also generally say that you should target the iliotibial band, but, as you now know, tight iliotibial bands arent what causes knee pain.
Also Check: Inversion Table After Hip Replacement