Knee Hurts When I Bend It And Straighten It
Do you have daily knee pain despite having no major trauma or precipitating event? Has physical therapy, rest and NSAIDs failed to provide relief? It is very frustrating and can keep you on the sidelines. To learn more please read below to answer the following questions: What are the different types of knee pain that are associated with bending and straightening? What are the eight most common causes of knee pain? What common conditions cause your knee to hurt when you bend it or straighten it? What treatment options are available? Lets dig in.
Calf Pain: When To See A Docto
If you have been experiencing numbness or tingling while walking, consult with your doctor. If this is an indication of a more serious injury, it should be evaluated. The possibility that you have a calf or anhamstring strain or cramp is increased when your pain does not improve or worsens over a few days of at-home care, and it is most likely caused by a sudden activity or overuse. This type of pain is most commonly associated with movements that require you to push off or bend your knees excessively.
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What Causes Knee Pain Without Injury
Sometimes the cause of your knee pain is obvious: a twist, misstep or strain can strike at any time during a walk or a run. Other times, patients can suffer knee pain without injury and are unsure of the source of their discomfort.
Youll need to consult with a physician to determine the cause of your knee pain, but there are several common causes of knee pain without injury.
Tennis Leg Causing Muscle Pain And Swelling Behind The Knee
A condition called tennis leg can also cause pain in the back of your leg behind the knee.
Tennis leg is associated with damage to the gastrocnemius where damage to the muscle and the soleus muscle in the calf causes a buildup of fluid.
According to the journal Radiology Case Reports, tennis leg is often a result of sports injuries. Damage to the calf muscles can cause swelling and pain in the posterior knee.10
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Treatment Of Pain Behind The Knee
Rest, applying ice packs, taking painkillers and physiotherapy can all be used to treat posterior knee pain. Depending on the severity and underlying cause of your knee pain, your doctor may also prescribe medication and/or recommend surgery.
Treatment for Bakers cysts
Bakers cysts can go away on their own or with treatment of the underlying condition causing your cyst . However, if you have a large or painful cyst, your doctor may recommend steroid injections, physiotherapy or drainage of the cyst.
Treatment for gastrocnemius tendonitis
Your knee pain should subside with rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs. How long this takes will depend on the size of the tear.
Treatment for meniscus tear
Rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs may be enough to treat your tear. However, if your tear doesnt improve on its own, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Treatment for ACL injury
Rest and physiotherapy can treat an ACL injury. However, if your ACL is torn, you may need surgery.
Treatment for PCL injury
Your knee pain should subside with rest, elevation of your leg and applying ice packs. However, your doctor may recommend surgery if you have injured more than one ligament, are unsteady on your feet or have also damaged cartilage in your knee.
Treatment for chondromalacia
Applying ice packs, taking over-the-counter painkillers and physiotherapy can treat chondromalacia. However, if the cartilage in your knee is damaged, you will need surgery.
Why The Right Shoes Matter
A research review published in 2018 showed that footwear may affect lower extremity OA pain in older adults. The results suggested that shock-absorbing insoles and athletic footwear may be effective for reducing lower extremity joint pain from OA.
While everyones needs are different, people with OA generally benefit from supportive shoes that provide stability when walking and extra cushioning to reduce impact on the joints. The right fit and a roomy toe box also help with stability and comfort.
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Professional Help For Knee Injuries
- Aspiration if the knee joint is grossly swollen, the doctor may release the pressure by drawing off some of the fluid with a fine needle.
- Physiotherapy including techniques to reduce pain, kneecap taping, exercises for increased mobility and strength, and associated rehabilitation techniques.
- Arthroscopic surgery or keyhole surgery, where the knee operation is performed by inserting slender instruments through small incisions . Cartilage tears are often treated with arthroscopic surgery.
- Open surgery required when the injuries are more severe and the entire joint needs to be laid open for repair.
What Does It Mean When The Back Of Your Knee Hurts
According to Dr. Jeremy James, DC, CSCS, and founder of the exercise program FitForever, pain at the back of your knee can be caused by a multitude of things. Dr. James advises to first ask this question: “If there was a recent incident in which you experienced a ‘pop,’ twist, fall, or painful incident in, or around, the knee.” If the answer is yes, you could be dealing with a hamstring strain, or “a microscopic tear in the muscles on the back of the thigh,” a meniscal tear, or “a tear in the c-shaped, shock-absorbing cartilage that lies between the upper and lower leg” , or a posterior cruciate ligament tear, which is the ligament on the back of the knee. However, if your pain is not a result of a specific accident, the answer becomes much more complex.
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First Aid For Knee Injuries In The First 48 To 72 Hours
- Stop your activity immediately. Dont work through the pain.
- Rest the joint at first.
- Reduce pain, swelling and internal bleeding with icepacks, applied for 15 minutes every couple of hours.
- Bandage the knee firmly and extend the wrapping down the lower leg.
- Elevate the injured leg.
- Dont apply heat to the joint.
- Avoid alcohol, as this encourages bleeding and swelling.
- Dont massage the joint, as this encourages bleeding and swelling.
Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Walk Downstairs
We tend not to think too much about walking downstairs when we can do it painlessly. When every step is a sore one, it becomes a far more complex task. Dave Duffy explains why.
Mechanically speaking, walking downstairs is really a matter of the load youre putting through your knee and your ability to control it. In particular, pain when youre bending your knee, as you do when walking downstairs, is often a problem with the patellofemoral joint the point at which the back of your kneecap and thighbone meet the front of your knee.
Its easiest to explain what happens when youre walking downstairs or downhill by first considering whats going on when youre simply sitting or standing.
Standing: When youre standing straight, your kneecap isnt fully engaged with the knee joint. It sits slight proud, or proximal, of the joint. As a result, the load is low.
Sitting: Sit down, and your kneecap shifts. Now it engages with the knee joint, sitting in a groove at the front of the knee. Even though youre sitting down, load is now passing through the kneecap. Some people will say their knees hurt when theyve been driving for a while or when theyve been sat on a plane or at the cinema. Its all a result of the increased load passing through the patellofemoral joint.
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Anatomy Of The Knee Joint
The large femur sits atop the tibia, much like two pillars stacked on top of each other. The smaller fibula bone is on the outside of the tibia in the lower leg. The fibula provides some weight bearing, but not nearly as much as the tibia does. At the end of the femur are two large condyles with rounded edges that allow for the rocking or hinging motion associated with knee movement.
In between the femur and the tibia are fibrocartilage shock absorbers, or meniscus. Several large stabilizing ligaments on the inside and outside of the knee prevent excessive forward and backwards movements. These stabilizing ligaments include the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Posterior Cruciate Ligament .
The patella bone sits in front of the femur and slides in a groove. The backside of the patella is covered with hyaline cartilage along with the front side of the groove on the femur, which minimizes the friction as the patella slides. The patella is a large sesamoid bone, which means it is surrounded in muscle or tendon. Sesamoid bones act as a pulley system to change the direction of forces, in this case from the quadriceps muscle to the tibia.
Fast Knee Pain Relief
There are some simple things you can do for fast knee pain relief that dont involve reaching for the painkillers.
When you are suffering with knee pain, the application of heat can be incredibly beneficial Use a heat pack, or hot water bottle to the affected knee for 15-20 minutes which should reduce stiffness, and will likely provide fast knee pain relief.
Another important thing to remember is that pain behind the knee when walking will be made worse, and occur more often if you go through long periods of inactivity so an effective tip can be to keep active .
For example, try to avoid sitting for long periods of time each day and aim to move every hour if you find that knee pain and stiffness is a problem for you.
If you feel like you need to increase your activity level, George, one of our expert physios, advises to do this gradually which will help avoid making the problem worse.
Finally, there are a number of exercises which can be very powerful at reducing knee pain, and minimising the severity and frequency in future
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Exercise Program For Pain In The Front Of Your Knee :
Many of you are afraid to exercise. Yes, some of you may have pain with a few of these exercises. You can start with quadriceps isometric exercises, or simply dont go too low with the squat, lunge or wall sit until your strength improves. Most of you will find that after doing these exercises 3 days/week for two weeks that your pain will start to improve. As I mentioned previously, this is a program that can take 6-12 months to fully correct the weakness pattern that led to pain in the front of your knee. So stick with it.
Squat: I like the variations that this group throws in. You do not and should not start with 100 if you are just starting out.
Chair Squats are the place to start if you dont have the strength or confidence.
Wall Sits: A great quadriceps exercise. This video is a little mechanical, but it contains the dos and donts of how to perform a wall sit.
Reverse Lunges: Easier than forward lunges. Dont lunge back further than you can handle. That distance will get further over time. Focus on your front knee so it doesnt wobble back and forth.
Planks: This video includes a good description of the proper technique, and it gives you 10 different variations to try.
Hamstring bridge exercise. If this is too easy you can rest a barbell across your pelvis, or a kettlebell on your lower abdomen.
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Painful Knee: Where Does It Hurt
The exact location of your knee pain is an indicator of the cause. Your doctor will ask you to describe in detail the exact location and type of pain you experience in the knee. This can help the doctor determine the type of condition or injury responsible for your symptoms. Below are some possible causes of knee pain.
Patellar Tendonitis Usually, pain in the front of the knee is caused by a problem with the patellar tendon. Patellar tendonitis is a type of overuse injury. Running, jumping, a sudden increase in the intensity of an activity, muscular tightness, and imbalance can contribute to this injury. With this condition, it can hurt to bend the knee, kneel, and squat.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome Pain on the outside or lateral side of the knee usually indicates a problem with the iliotibial band or the lateral meniscus . Iliotibial band syndrome is common in long-distance runners, as well as cyclists and rock climbers. The repetitive bending of the knee can lead to this condition. Meniscus tears, on the other hand, are caused by sudden twisting movements of the knee, which is common in basketball, football, soccer, and tennis players.
Other Causes Pain in the back of the knee could mean different things: a cartilage injury, a ligament injury, a hamstring injury, Bakerâs cyst , and arthritis. There are many possible causes of pain in the back of the knee, which is why it should be evaluated by an experienced medical professional.
You Notice An Obvious Deformity
If you notice your knee jutting outward in a way it never has before, take note. A dislocated or fractured patella can cause injuries like this, explains Brian Schwabe, C.S.C.S., board-certified sports physical therapist based in Los Angeles.
While some deformities occur over time, when the deformity is a result of an injury, it could be the result of a fracture or chronic wear on the knee joint. If you are already experiencing any kind of misalignment in your lower extremities, then you could be more prone to this type of injury.
If you notice a bone deformity after an injury, he recommends seeking the assistance of an orthopedic doctor immediately. The doctor will likely take x-rays as well as perform a visual diagnosis to determine if you need surgery.
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How Is Pfp Syndrome Treated
Someone with patellofemoral pain syndrome needs to limit or completely avoid activities that cause pain. Sometimes a change in training is all thats needed. For example, someone who usually runs hills to train can try running on a flat, soft surface instead.
A person who has severe pain or pain that interferes with activity needs to rest the knee until the pain is better.
- Put ice or a cold pack on the knee every 12 hours for 15 minutes at a time. Put a thin towel between the ice and your skin to protect it from the cold.
- You can take ibuprofen or naproxen . Follow the directions that come with the medicine for how much to take and how often. Do not take this medicine for longer than about 23 weeks.
An important part of the treatment for PFP syndrome is improving the strength and flexibility of the legs, hips, and core muscles. Health care providers usually recommend going to a physical therapist to make an exercise plan that will help. The plan may include stretching, squats, planks, lunges, and other exercises that improve strength and flexibility of the legs and hips.
The health care provider might also recommend:
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There Is No Easy Surgical Solution For Anterior Knee Pain
The mere fact that there are likely to be ten or more described surgical techniques to try and treat pain in the front of your knee should give you pause. That usually means that none have been very successful, so we keep trying new ones. Surgery for anterior knee pain has not been proven to be more effective than a proper exercise program.
Some procedures have drilled holes into the patella, thinking that excess pressure may have been the cause of pain. Did it work for some people? Maybe but with that pesky placebo thing, we always hear about, we dont know because this procedure was never tested against control or sham. Besides having holes drilled through your patella might cause it to break if you fall on it or if you are hit in front of your knee.
One prolific Spanish author wrote about burning the tissues around the patella. We call that a denervation procedure. Thats because when you heat the tissues, you will fry the nerves to that region. The thought behind this procedure was that the patella is fed by nerves that could easily be burned using an arthroscopic approach. This procedure was also never evaluated against a control group or a sham group- so we just dont know if it works.
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