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What Does It Mean When Your Knees Ache

Knee Pain Causes That Have Nothing To Do With Getting Old

Why does my knee hurt? Common causes & symptoms of knee pain | BMI Healthcare

Achy, creaky knees affect people of all ages. Find knee pain relief by pinpointing its cause.

Your knees are the largest joints in your body for a reasonyou need them for practically everything you do. And as a result, they endure a whole lot of abuse. Knee pain is common among people of all ages, with about 18 million people seeing a doctor for it every year.

Knee pain can come with crunching, popping, swelling, or instability . No matter your knee pain symptoms, though, you should call your doc if you cant bear weight on your affected leg or have a visible deformity, since you may have a serious injury. Youll also want to seek help if you have redness and swelling thats accompanied by a fever, as this is a sign youre battling an infection.

The biggest risk factor for knee pain is lack of strength and flexibility in the muscles around the joint, which puts added stress on the knees, says Robert Kaufman PT, DPT, a clinical specialist at NYU Langones Rusk Rehabilitation. When people are in pain, very commonly what will happen is the load on their body is exceeding their bodys ability to adapt to that load, Kaufman explains. That load can come in many formsthose extra 15 pounds youve been carrying around, your new running routineand in all of them, your muscles cant give your knees the support they need to handle the extra stress.

Whats Behind The Knee

The back of the knee has complicated anatomy.

As well as the knee joint that sits in the middle, there are muscles from the thigh and calf that pass through this area. Firstly, the large hamstring muscles start from the pelvis and pass across the knee to attach to the lower leg bones. In addition, the large calf muscles start at the bottom part of the thigh and cross the knee to form the large Achilles tendon.

Finally, there are important nerves and blood vessels that cross the back of the knee to supply the lower leg and foot.

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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Coping Strategies For Runners With Anterior Knee Pain:

  • A shorter stride: a shorter stride allows you to control your pelvic drop better.
  • A higher cadence : This also minimizes your pelvic drop and other gait abnormalities.
  • Avoiding hilly terrain until the pain has lessened.
  • Progressive, intelligent training. Consider using apps such as HRV4Training, Training Peaks or TrainAsOne.
  • Patella taping: See the video at the end of this post.
  • Orthotics or shoe inserts: These have been shown to work in some of you.
  • Prevention: Keep your glutes/ hip abductors / core strong. See the exercise videos at the end of this post.

Why Do I Have Pain In The Front Of The Knee

Knee

The most common cause of anterior knee pain is often felt to come from a muscular imbalance or a particular pattern of weakness. This will be the case for the majority of you reading this. At least thats what we think is the most common cause. We have come a long way in evaluating runners and other people who present with pain in the front of their knees. They often show the same findings when we use high-speed cameras to videotape them while running or walking. Now, this might be a chicken vs. the egg thing. Right? Which came first, the weakness pattern or the pain? We like to think it was the weakness that came first. We are still working on proving that.

If you are a runner or cyclist, etc then your training may influence your anterior knee pain. If you train too hard, too fast, and too often then you are at a higher risk of developing anterior knee pain. Most amateur runners run too fast on their easy days and too slow on their hard days. Proper base building, for strength, endurance and conditioning our joints to adapt to distance is of paramount importance. Zone 2 running programs are extremely important even for elite runners. Try to keep your training at a continuously progressive pace. You should be slowly increasing the load, distance, or speed over time. Try not to increase your load, eg. distance, speed, etc more than 10% per week. Most runners overuse injuries are training errors.

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What Are The Complications Of Knee Pain

Frequently, knee pain will disappear without ever finding a specific cause. Depending on the underlying cause of the pain, the condition can progress and lead to more serious injuries or complications. Usually, these complications are long term and result in worsening pain or an increasing difficulty to walk.

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. It’s often described as a constant dull pain that becomes sharp when you’re active.

In some cases, a weak patellar tendon can tear. A patellar tendon tear causes:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling over the knee
  • A tearing or popping sensation

If it’s a bad tear, you might notice an indentation at the bottom of your kneecap. The knee may give out when you walk.

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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:

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.

Feels Like: A Sudden Pop In The Knee Followed By Pain Swelling And An Inability To Bear Weight

What Does It Mean If You Can’t Bend Your Knee Without Pain?

Might be: ACL tear

If youve ever heard an athlete tell you they tore their ACL , its because athletes are the most likely people to injure this part of the knee. The ACL is one of the key stabilizing ligaments in the knee, Rethorn says. It keeps the knee from rotating too much and from bending forward. ACL tears usually involve more than just the ACL. Over 50% of ACL ruptures are associated with meniscal tears as well.

Any athlete who plays a contact sport, or one that involves pivoting, jumping, or planting the foot to quickly decelerate, may be at risk of injuring their ACL. But women are more at risk of injury than men, Tanaka says. ACL injuries typically range from a sprain to a full-on tear, Rethorn says. And while physical therapy may help to remedy some of the pain, surgery is often the best solution.

Walking and running without an ACL are possible, so some may choose not to have their ACL fixed. But often, the knee is not rotationally stable without an ACL, and therefore those who want to return to cutting and pivoting sports will undergo surgery to fix this, she says.

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Causes Of Pain Behind The Knee

Pain behind the knee can be simple or difficult to diagnose, depending upon the cause. Here are some of the most common causes of posterior knee pain:

Baker’s cyst

A lump-like swelling behind the knee is characteristic of Baker’s cyst, making it fairly easy to diagnose. This type of cyst is also called a popliteal cyst because it is located in the popliteal fossa, a small hollow at the back of the knee.

It forms when synovial fluid gathers at the back of the knee. Injury or stress from arthritis can trigger the accumulation of fluid.

Different forms of arthritis

Arthritis is the generic name given to diseases that affect the joint. Arthritis can cause pain anywhere in the knee joint, including the back.

Knee pain is most often associated with osteoarthritis, the type that is related to aging or overuse. Knee pain can also occur with rheumatoid arthritis, but it will occur in both knees at once.

Gout is a type of arthritis that first attacks the big toe, but later attacks may strike the knees. Septic or infectious arthritis is caused by an infection that lodges in a joint, usually a knee.

Infection

Besides infection in the knee joint , posterior knee pain could result from several other infections, including:

  • Infection in the bone
  • Infection of one of the fluid-filled sacs called bursae

These infections have different causes and symptoms, although pain, redness, heat, and swelling are typical of most infections.

Injury

Tumor

Deep vein thrombosis

What You Need To Know

  • The most common causes of knee pain are related to aging, injury or repeated stress on the knee.
  • Common knee problems include sprained or strained ligaments, cartilage tears, tendonitis and arthritis.
  • Diagnosing a knee injury or problem includes a medical examination and usually the use of a diagnostic procedure such as an x-ray, MRI, CT scan or arthroscopy.
  • Both non-operative and surgical treatment options are available to treat knee pain and problems depending on the type and severity of the condition.

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What Other Symptoms May Be Associated With Knee Pain

If you have knee pain, you may get other symptoms such as:

  • swelling, redness or heat in the knee
  • bruising around the knee
  • locking or clicking
  • inability to straighten your knee

See a doctor if the pain doesnt improve in a few weeks, if you cant move your knee or put any weight on it, or if your knee locks or gives way.

Go to an emergency department if your knee is very painful, is badly swollen or has changed shape, or if you have a fever and a red and hot knee.

Feels Like: Stiff Tender Knees That Crack And Swell

Inner Knee Pain: Why Does the Inside of My Knee Hurt?

Might be: Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the wear-and-tear type of arthritis, and it often strikes the knees. The most common form of arthritis, it usually begins in your 30s, and is caused by the deterioration of the cushiony tissue in the knee. Just like you get gray hair as you age, you start to wear down the cartilage, the meniscus, in the knees, Tanaka says. Arthritis symptoms include stiffness, swelling, poor range of motion, and catching or grinding of the joint.

Other types of arthritis can also affect the knees, including rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

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Why Am I Getting Pain At The Back Of My Knee

Published on: 4th February 2020

When it comes to knee pain, we often tend to think first of the front and sides. But pain that comes from the back of the knee is probably every bit as common.

It would be helpful if there was a single likely reason for this! But in fact the causes of back-of-knee pain can be very diverse. You could experience it as a sudden pain or a gradual ache. There may be swelling and inflammation or none at all. You might find it difficult to fully extend your leg.

In other words we need to do some narrowing down to find out whats going on. One useful starting point is to think in terms of problems inside or outside the knee joint: in medical-speak, intra- or extra-articular causes. Lets have a look at the most common ones.

Can You Prevent Knee Problems

Not all knee problems are avoidable, but you can lessen your chance of problems by participating in regular strength training. To protect your knees, it’s important to have a very strong core and strong legs, says Dr. Rebecca Breslow, an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. Make an effort to perform strength training at least twice a week. In addition, work on increasing joint flexibility, which can also help you head off an injury.

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When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • You cannot bear weight on your knee.
  • You have severe pain, even when not bearing weight.
  • Your knee buckles, clicks, or locks.
  • Your knee is deformed or misshapen.
  • You cannot flex your knee or have trouble straightening it all the way out.
  • You have a fever, redness or warmth around the knee, or a lot of swelling.
  • You have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or bluish discoloration in the calf below the sore knee.
  • You still have pain after 3 days of home treatment.

For Tendinitis Runners Knee Gout And Bursitis

What to Do if Your Knees Hurt When Kneeling

The treatment for conditions that cause swelling, redness, and dull, burning pain usually starts with resting the joint. Ice your knee to control swelling. Elevate and stay off your joint to promote healing.

Your doctor may recommend or prescribe NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Lifestyle changes, such as wearing protective kneepads and going to physical therapy, can help you manage pain and experience fewer symptoms.

You may need to make changes to your diet, especially if youre treating gout.

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Did You Know That Inactivity Is Actually Hard On Your Knees

Between working from home and being glued to the television watching the latest election updates, many of us are guilty of increased couch potato behavior lately. And weve all heard of the dangers of sedentary lifestyles contributing to obesity, etc., but did you know that *not* moving can actually weaken your knees and increase your chances of osteoporosis?

Continue reading for more from Noyes Knee Institute and the Journal of Public Health.

Do you spend a lot of time sitting? Maybe you work at an office where most of your time is at your desk, or maybe when youre at home, you prefer to rest on the couch instead of being on your feet. Many people live a mostly inactive lifestyle, but they might not realize that inactivity can be the reason why they experience increased joint pain.

Learn the reasons why inactivity can hurt your knees and what you can do to change it.

Weakens Your Knees

If you live a life or limited activity, your body adapts to that lack of motion. Essentially, when you arent using your legs muscles, ligaments, and joints for moderate levels of activity, you are losing them. Your knees become weaker as you require less of them.

If you spend your day sitting, you also experience pain in other areas that can also aggravate the knee. Your quadriceps become tight, which exert a pulling sensation on your knees.

Increases Your Risk of Arthritis Pain

Promotes Weight Gain

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Why Do My Knees Hurt When Bending

Knee pain has many origins unrelated to an underlying disease. Injuries due to trauma, overuse or overexertion are common causes of knee pain. Many Americans experience knee pain when bending specifically, which can be troublesome when we dont know the exact reason behind it.

Experts estimate that for every pound we weigh, our knees can be subject to four to six times that pressure when we bend them and/or place them in a weight bearing position. Therefore, bending, climbing stairs and squatting can make certain areas of the knee ache with pain.

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Knee Pain Caused By Weak Core

When we look at pro cyclists, we see rippling superiority in their quads and calves because they are more intentional about looking superior that they forget that the legs are supported by the core, which includes the lower back, abs, glutes, and hip flexors. The core of a cyclist must be strong, or else smaller, less efficient muscles will be pushed to work too hard, resulting in pain.

Core strength is important to every human because most activities hinge on the core. A strong core provides a firm foundation from which to deal with change. Cyclists are notoriously bad at keeping their core strength. The glutes are supposed to be the powerhouse, and they should be powerful and stable.

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