What Questions Might A Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Arthritis Of The Knee
Your healthcare provider will interview you when you report your symptoms. Some questions might include:
- Does anyone in your family have arthritis of the knee?
- Does your knee swell up?
- Is your skin often red?
- Is your skin often warm?
- Do you have symptoms in one knee or both?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- What medications do you take?
- How severe is your pain?
- Do you struggle to walk?
- Do the symptoms interfere with your daily activities?
My Knee Hurts Worse Than My Doctor Believes It Should
Sometimes we will see a patient who is reluctant to seek medical treatment for their chronic knee pain. The reason? I have tried everything, nothing has helped. My MRI is not bad enough for me to get surgery and my doctor is recommending I get counseling. My doctor says my tests, my MRI, my examination, nothing warrants the amount of knee pain I am having.
It is clear to see how a sense of hopelessness and depression can impact this patients ability not only to heal but to even understand if they can ever heal their knee pain. In our clinic, we see a lot of difficult knee cases. The first thing that we want to convey to patients is that for most people, we can help a lot. The first step towards healing is to help people understand their pain, what is causing it, and how we can help.
What Should I Do If I’m Experiencing Pain At The Back Of My Knee
If you are dealing with back-of-knee pain, Dr. James makes the point that it is imperative to “see your healthcare provider to rule out some of these more serious causes.” Dr. Holder agrees, recommending a “clinical assessment of the knee is comprehensive and includes for instability, edema, and clicking or popping along with pain.” Dr. James mentions that if the diagnosis is related to overuse or muscle imbalances like tendonitis or bursitis, an exercise regimen that “focuses on proper form, good posture, and rebalancing the muscles around the knee” would be very helpful. Whether the pain is due to something more serious or not, Dr. Holder asserts that an orthopedic assessment and a physician evaluation are crucial to providing an accurate diagnosis, and that it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.
Don’t Miss: What Are Gel Injections For The Knee
Knee Pain Prevention: First Steps
Despite the above risk factors, you can prevent knee pain by keeping off the weight. Stay light and maintain a healthy weight. Work regularly to build and strengthen your muscles. Injurymap has a great program to help you do this. Build up your muscles and keep them flexible through consistent training. Follow the right technique and stay the course.
Start slowly. Do exercises that are easy on the knees. You can get enough cardio through swimming or water aerobics. Not all cardio is hard on the knees. You can always swap out your exercises when your knee pain gets worse. For those dealing with chronic knee pain, youll find that self-management through a regular program can work wonders for you.
Anterior Knee Pain In Middle
Osteoarthritis : Arthritis of the patella causes pain because the cartilage under the kneecap is thinning. Arthritis, which only involves the patella in your knee, is more common in women. Physical therapy can be very effective in the early stages of osteoarthritis of the patella. Injections and over the counter medications may have a role in some patients. In some situations, when the arthritis is severe, a patient will need to consider a tibial tubercle osteotomy, replacement of the patella, or a total knee replacement if the arthritis is elsewhere within the knee.
You May Like: How To Stop Knee Pain
Whether You’re Active Or Not Stretching Is Good For The Knees
Stretches that focus on the calf, hamstring and quadriceps muscles take pressure off of the knees and kneecaps. “Many people often say there is no aerobic value in stretching, so they see it as a waste of time,” says Bush-Joseph. “But a well-conditioned, flexible body is less likely to develop overuse problems in the knees.”
Some good stretches to protect the knees include step-ups, hamstring curls and straight-leg lifts. Additionally, stretches that focus on building flexibility in the hips, including a butterfly stretch and a standing hip flexor with a resistance band, can help alleviate knee pain.
People who do not like to stretch before a workout can still protect their knees by slowly ramping up to top speed rather than jumping full speed into their workout.
Types Of Pain Behind The Knee
There are a number of health conditions that may result in pain behind your knee. Two common conditions that cause it are a:
- posterior cruciate ligament injury
- popliteal cyst, also called Bakers cyst
A posterior cruciate ligament injury can happen if you overstretch or tear this ligament, which runs across your knee from your thigh to your shin bone. It often results from a heavy blow to the front of your knee while its bent. This can happen if you hit your knee on the dashboard during a car accident, or over-straighten your leg and bend your knee backwards. Doctors call this hyperextension.
A cyst is a collection of fluid or material inside a thin layer of tissue. A popliteal cyst is a cyst in the shallow pit at the back of your knee. Its often linked to other conditions that affect the knee, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or cartilage injuries. If you injure your knee, it can cause a collection of fluid to develop within your knee. Sometimes you can feel this in the depression at the back of your knee.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is another common cause of knee pain. The smooth, shiny cartilage that lines your knee joint becomes worn and rough. This causes pain and damages your knee over time. It mostly affects people over 50. The older you are, the more likely you are to get it.
Recommended Reading: Does Cvs Rent Knee Scooters
What Causes Chronic Knee Pain
Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. Many people experience temporary knee pain as a result of an injury or accident. Chronic knee pain rarely goes away without treatment, and it isnt always attributable to one incident. Its most often the result of several causes or conditions.
Physical conditions or diseases can cause knee pain. These include:
- osteoarthritis: pain, inflammation, and joint destruction caused by degeneration and deterioration of the joint
- tendinitis: pain in the front of the knee that is made worse when climbing, taking stairs, or walking up an incline
- bursitis: inflammation caused by repeated overuse or injury of the knee
- gout: arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid
- Bakers cyst: a buildup of synovial fluid behind the knee
- rheumatoid arthritis : a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that causes painful swelling and can eventually cause joint deformity and bone erosion
- dislocation: dislocation of the kneecap most often the result of trauma
- meniscus tear: a rupture in one or more of the cartilage in the knee
- torn ligament: tear in one of the four ligaments in the knee the most commonly injured ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament
- bone tumors: osteosarcoma , most commonly occurs in the knee
Factors that may make chronic knee pain worse:
- injuries to the structure of the knee can cause bleeding and swelling and can create a chronic problem over time if not treated properly
Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
When Will My Kneecap Start To Feel Better
One broad caveat to keep in the back of your mind. Many of you are thinking that a few weeks are enough time to start to see improvements with treatments such as exercise or physical therapy. Sadly thats not going to happen. It is not unusual for it to take 3-4 months before you start to see significant improvement in your pain. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for it to take 8-12 months for a complete resolution of your symptoms. This is important I wouldnt want to seek a surgeons consultation because 4-6 weeks of therapy and exercise left you with persistent pain.
Down below.. under coping strategies, we list a few things to try that can calm down your pain while we give the exercise time to work.
Recommended Reading: What Causes My Knee To Hurt
How Patients With A Terrible Mri Had Less Pain And Patients With Better Mris Had More Pain
Lets go further into the complex MRI discussion.
Doctors from the Benha University School of Medicine in Egypt wrote in the European Journal of Rheumatology of how depression may make knee pain significantly worse than it should be, at least significantly worse than an MRI suggests.
In the research we cited above, the MRI suggested that the patients pain should be worse, in this research the MRI is suggesting that the patients pain should be less. The patients in the above study had worse MRIs and less pain, the patients as we will see in this study, had better MRIs and more pain. This is, of course, the inherent problem of MRIs: they do not always tell the true story.
These are the learning points from the Egyptian research:
- Knee osteoarthritis can lead to psychosocial deterioration in addition to physical inability, which makes it difficult to interpret the source of the patients complaints. It is becoming increasingly evident that structural changes alone do not account for all musculoskeletal pain.
- In other words, depression makes the knee diagnosis much more challenging.
Home Care For Knee Pain
Inflammation is the body’s physiologic response to an injury. In treating many types of knee pain, a common goal is to break the inflammatory cycle. The inflammatory cycle starts with an injury. After an injury, substances that cause inflammation invade the knee to assist in healing. However, if the injury and subsequent inflammation is not resolved, inflammation can become a chronic issue, leading to further inflammation and additional injury. This cycle of inflammation leads to continued or progressive knee pain. The cycle can be broken by controlling the substances that cause inflammation, and by limiting further injury to tissue.
Some common home care techniques for knee pain that control inflammation and help to break the inflammatory cycle are protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This regimen is summarized by the memory device PRICE.
PROTECT the knee from further trauma.
- This can be done with knee padding or splinting.
- A pad over the kneecap, for example, helps to control the symptoms of some knee injuries by preventing further repetitive injury to the prepatellar bursae.
REST the knee.
- Rest reduces the repetitive strain placed on the knee by activity.
- Rest both gives the knee time to heal and helps to prevent further injury.
ICE the knee.
COMPRESS the knee with a knee brace or wrap.
- Compression reduces swelling.
- In some knee injuries, compression can be used to keep the patella aligned and to keep joint mechanics intact.
ELEVATE the knee.
Don’t Miss: How Bad Is Knee Replacement Surgery
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Not all knee pain needs medical treatment, but delaying care when it’s needed can lead to more pain and disability. Symptoms to watch for are:
- Pain lasting more than 48 hours
- Inflammation lasting more than 48 hours
- Reduced range of motion
- Signs of infection
Your knee injury may need immediate care if:
- The joint looks deformed.
- You have sudden inflammation or swelling.
Can Knee Pain Radiate Down Your Leg
The symptoms may include a sharp or dull pain in the leg, sometimes radiating down or up the leg, stiffness, swelling, weakness, and or inability to straighten the leg completely. It is possible that there will be popping or crunching noises, tingling, numbness, pins, and needles.
The knee joint is the largest joint in the body, and it is also known as the largest synovial joint. Several structures within the knee may be causing your knee pain. In addition to ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, bone is considered a component of the body. In addition, lower back pain may cause knee pain as well. If your knee is radiate, it may be difficult to move however, if it is not an injury, you should increase your activity level. You can reduce inflammation and pain by elevating and ice the leg before going to the doctor. Over-the-counter pain relievers may provide some relief for radiate pain that has developed in the past.
Don’t Miss: Front Knee Pain When Bending
Knee Pain Can Get Better
You dont have to live all your life with knee pain. At some point, somethings gotta give and it doesnt have to be your knee. You cannot be dependent on pain medications forever. At Injurymap, we work closely with doctors and therapists to create a program for individuals with joint pain. Since knee pain is so common, we designed the app to answer all your pain questions and make it easier for you to get physical therapy without breaking the bank.
At present, physical therapy is one of the cornerstones of therapy for knee pain. The Orthopedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association lists physical therapy as a guideline in the treatment of knee pain. So much so they call them therapeutic exercises. Studies have confirmed that physical rehabilitation of the knee joint, improves the range of motion of the knee, quadriceps strength, reduces pain and functional disability.
Traditional physiotherapy, while great, is time constricted. Injurymap is quick, available and has programs designed by doctors with your knee pain in mind. So take the first step towards getting rid of that knee pain and sign up for a low cost program. Knee pain shouldnt last forever and we can help you do that.
Why Does A Bad Knee Make My Whole Leg Hurt
If you have ever experienced knee pain, you know that it can make it difficult to walk or even stand. But did you know that a bad knee can also make your whole leg hurt? There are a few different reasons why this may happen. First, if you have a condition like arthritis, the inflammation can affect not just your knee, but also the surrounding joints. Second, if you have a knee injury, like a torn ligament, the pain can radiate through your whole leg. Whatever the cause, if you are experiencing leg pain along with your knee pain, it is important to see a doctor. They can help diagnose the problem and recommend treatment options to help relieve your pain.
Osteoarthritis of the knee may cause the muscles in your thighs to weaken, making your legs thinner. It can also cause the knee to cede ground if you put too much weight on it, resulting in a joint that feels unstable.
This is due to wear and tear, overuse, injuries to joints or bones, or injury to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or other soft tissues in the leg. Your lower spine may be to blame for a number of different types of leg pain. There are also circulatory issues that can aggravate leg pain, such as blood clots or varicose veins.
Recommended Reading: Does Gout Affect Your Knees
Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee
There are a number of causes of pain behind the knee, which include:
- your knee joint wearing down as you get older for example, you may have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
- a benign or cancerous growth
You can access a range of treatments on a pay as you go basis, including physiotherapy. Find out more about physiotherapy >
Patellar Tendonitis And Tear
Patellar tendonitis is inflammation of the patellar tendon. That±s a large tendon connecting your kneecap to the top of your tibia.
Patellar tendonitis is most common in athletes who do a lot of running and jumping. Its often described as a constant dull pain that becomes sharp when youre active.
In some cases, a weak patellar tendon can tear. A patellar tendon tear causes:
- Swelling over the knee
- A tearing or popping sensation
If its a bad tear, you might notice an indentation at the bottom of your kneecap. The knee may give out when you walk.
Don’t Miss: Why Does My Knee Keep Popping
Researchers Suggest Understanding The Pain Issue Is Better Than Being Dismissive
Is it any wonder why people with knee pain are depressed? They feel pain that clinicians say should not be there. Remember what the researchers above said?
- Correlation between mechanical hypersensitivity and psychosocial factors seems to be small, despite its significance. People in this study did not seem to suffer for the most part from psychosocial factors. IT IS NOT ALL IN YOUR HEAD.
Less Common Causes Of Knee Pain
Less-common causes of significant knee pain include conditions and injuries. Injuries include:
- Dislocated kneecap: Causes are sharp blows to the knee or twisting. Severe pain in the front of the knee plus buckling, slipping, or catching during movement.
- Kneecap fracture: Causes are a direct blow or falling onto the knee. Pain, difficulty straightening the leg, bruising, and swelling can occur. Sometimes there’s visible deformity.
- Plica syndrome: Irritation of the synovium . Pain is in the middle and front of the knee. Worsens with inactivity or squatting, running, or kneeling. The knee may pop when bent.
- Osgood-Schlatter disease: Strikes after growth spurts in kids between 9 and 14. Pain is in the front of the knee. It improves with rest and worsens with activities like running and jumping.
- Osteochondritis dissecans: In children, lack of blood supply weakens the bone and cartilage. The knee may separate from the underlying bone. Causes pain with activity.
- Knee joint infection: Causes significant pain, swelling, warmth, painful movements, and fever. It may result from a bacterial infection in the bloodstream.
- Bone tumor: Very rarely the source of knee pain. Symptoms include fever, unintentional weight loss, and pain that’s worse at night.
Don’t Miss: What Running Shoes Are Best For Knee Pain