What Causes Knee Pain In Young Adults
Knee pain in your 20s is often associated with overuse injuries. When the muscles, ligaments or tendons are overworked, pain, stiffness and other symptoms can develop pretty quickly. Tendonitis and bursitis are a couple of overuse injuries that are most commonly associated with strenuous activity. But they can also occur in relatively inactive people who ramp up their activity too quickly. Still, while these types of injuries are fairly common in young adults, theyre not the only causes of knee pain.
How To Help Arthritis In Knees: The Basics
Your knees are the largest, strongest joint in the body. Knowing a bit about the anatomy can help to appreciate not only their strength but also their unique vulnerabilities.
Knee joints consist of three bones. The femur connects to the tibia and the patella . Cartilage wraps around the end of each bone to protect and smooth movement where the three bones meet.
Two wedges of cartilage called the meniscus act as shock absorbers as the femur presses down into the tibia. Synovial fluid lubricates all of the cartilage in the joint and helps with smooth movement.
In addition, stabilizing ligaments and tendons include:
- Lateral and medial collateral ligaments: Stabilize side-to-side movement
- Posterior and anterior cruciate ligament: Frames movement forward and backwards
Knees absorb the impact of your upper body coming down on the lower leg: every day, all day. This means that everything you dowalking, running, hiking up a mountain, or simply standing up from a seatrelies on healthy knees.
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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Can Menopause Cause Joint Pain
While aches and pains and joint stiffness are all inevitable as we age, as women approach menopause, typically between the age of 45 and 55, many are often surprised to discover that joint pain is one of the most common symptoms, alongside hot flushes, night sweats, period changes and mood swings.
The average age for menopause is between 45 and 55, so it is little wonder why many women put their aches and pains down to aging.
Joints which are involved in high impact movements such as the hips and knees tend to be most affected. The elbows, neck, shoulders, hands and fingers can also be affected by joint pain.
There are a number of causes of joint pain during menopause including:
- Hormonal changes
- Poor posture
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
Below, I take a closer look at each of these causes and recommend ways to help prevent and treat joint pain during menopause.
Explore Supplements And Natural Remedies
Supplements for knee osteoarthritis may increase production of synovial fluid in the knee joint. This helps smooth out rough movement that could be causing knee pain. Talk to your doctor before adding these into your regimen.
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Treatment For Knee Problems
If initial treatment methods do not provide relief, and X-rays show destruction of the joint, the orthopaedist may recommend total joint replacement for the knee, also referred to as knee replacement.
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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.
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You Ignore Pain Flare
If youre suffering from arthritis or a minor knee injury, you should take care to treat pain flare-ups. Treating the pain when it happens can help manage it. Follow the RICE procedure rest, ice, compression, elevation to calm your knee pain.
If your knee hurts, stop what youre doing and rest. Apply ice to reduce inflammation, consider wearing a compression bandage, and elevate your knee when resting.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
New joint pain is a reason to see your healthcare provider. If you have a pain condition but are experiencing pain in a new area or a markedly different type of pain, be sure to get an appointment.
Many people with one pain condition go on to develop another. For example, it’s common for someone with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus to eventually develop secondary fibromyalgia.
Seek urgent medical attention if your joint pain is severe or you have any of the following additional symptoms:
- Hot or significantly swollen joint
- Sudden numbness or burning and/or muscle weakness
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Which Supplements Are Best For Your Knee Pain
I have taken glucosamine plus chondroitin for general knee health for at least ten years.
Recently I added turmeric to my joint regime and was able to jog comfortably for the first time in several years.
Following a recent fall while skiing, which twisted my right knee, I added in a collagen supplement and my stretched ligaments have now almost healed two weeks later.
Now that everthing is back to normal, I have switched to This Supplementwhich includes turmeric, glucosamine, Boswellia and vitamin C, and take my omega3 fish oil separately in the form of This Super Strength Krill Oil.
Which supplements do you find most helpful for your knee pain?
Click here to read my review of glucosamine gels and other topical pain relieving creams.
Click here to read my review of the best non-prescription painkillers.
Problem: Patella Or Kneecap Pain
When working properly, your patella should glide straight up and down as you extend your leg. But sometimes the kneecap slides slightly off track and rubs against the bone and cartilage nearby. This can lead to pain and swelling in front of the knee and behind the kneecap. You can also hear a crackling noise.
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Medicines Versus Natural Remedies To Treat Sore Knees
Average people who exercise as well as professional athletes frequently experience mild to moderate sore knees. Others consider taking medications to combat pain right away. Alternatively, some use natural remedies. Before you attempt to use natural treatments as a remedy, you should take care to make the right choices.
You should be a bit cautious in selecting a remedy, especially now that some types of knee problems respond differently to specific conditions. If the pain is due to sore knees from walking, minor injury or inflammation, natural remedies may work.
On the other hand, natural remedies have the fewest side effects, so the risk of experimenting with them is relatively lower than with medicines. Indeed, prescription medicines have the added built in expense of the drug company that made them.
Common Causes Of Knee Pain
Your knee is a complex structure. It includes three bones:
- The lower part of the thighbone
- The upper part of the shinbone
- The kneecap
Any damage or disease in these structures can cause knee pain.
Common causes of knee pain include:
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Arthritis Of The Knee
It might be helpful to arrive at your healthcare providers office with a list of questions you want or need to be answered. Consider:
- Do I have arthritis in one knee or both?
- What type of arthritis do I have?
- Whats a possible cause of my arthritis?
- What treatments do you recommend?
- What medications should I take?
- Do I need physical therapy?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Knee arthritis can affect people of all ages. Its painful, impairs movement and causes swelling of the joint. Some people are so disabled by it that they cant work anymore. Others can only work after surgery. Meanwhile, for others, the pain isnt necessarily as bad, but it still prevents them from regular activities like cleaning, gardening and running after their kids.
Arthritis of the knee can decrease your quality of life. The good news is that treatments can lessen the severity of your symptoms. The pain and swelling might not be as bad. See your healthcare provider for evaluation and treatment if you have symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/18/2021.
Heat It Up Or Cool It Down
Not sure whether to use heat or ice for your joint pain? Both are inexpensive and easy ways to ease pain but help in different ways.
Heat, such as heating pads or warm baths, tends to work best for stiffness. It can help improve the flexibility of tendons and ligaments which can ease stiff joints, as well as relax and soothe tired muscles.
Cold therapies such as ice packs can help to numb nerve endings, dulling pain and restricting blood vessels, slowing circulation and reducing swelling.
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Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.
Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.
Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.
Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.
Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.
Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.
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Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- your knee is very painful
- you cannot move your knee or put any weight on it
- your knee is badly swollen or has changed shape
- you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have redness or heat around your knee this can be a sign of infection
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
You can also go to an urgent treatment centre if you need to see someone now.
They’re also called walk-in centres or minor injuries units.
You may be seen quicker than you would at A& E.
Beat Knee Arthritis Pain
You cannot undo the changes in the bone and cartilage associated with knee arthritis, but by using these top tips, you can help reduce the impact arthritis has on your life.
You can get more active, get back to doing the things you love, and reduce or maybe even abolish your knee arthritis pain altogether. Start today!
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When Should I See A Pain Management Specialist
You should consult with a pain management specialist if your acute knee pain seems to be transitioning into chronic pain. Generally, this is when the pain lasts longer than 90 days, but it could be sooner. Pain that lasts longer than expected for the condition you have is a warning sign that the pain is becoming chronic.
Pain management specialists can provide diagnosis and treatment on their own or in consultation with other health care providers. These may include your primary care physician, orthopedist, rheumatologist, or physical therapist.
Orthopedists treat problems related to bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Rheumatologists specialize in the nonsurgical treatment of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Physical therapists use exercises and stretches, movement training, medical massage, and other hands-on techniques to help patients increase mobility, ease pain, and protect against further injury.
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Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and Tylenol are available over-the-counter to alleviate joint pain. The same medications can be prescribed by a doctor. If you are experiencing more severe joint pain, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. If your pain is caused by an injury, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should be aware of the symptoms and make sure that they are not caused by a serious condition.
What Causes Osteoarthritis What Chemical Causes Osteoarthritis Inflammation can lead to joint pain. Inflammation can lead to joint damage. Your doctor can prescribe medication to stop the inflammation. While over-the-counter medications can help relieve the pain, they have side effects and should be taken only as directed by your doctor. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options and advise you on any side effects that may occur. If your joint pain is chronic or doesnt respond to these medicines, you may need to see a surgeon.
What Causes Osteoarthritis What Chemical Causes OsteoarthritisSymptoms of osteoarthritis usually start slowly and gradually worsen over time. You should visit your doctor if your joint pain persists. A doctor will examine you to make sure theres no swelling or redness in the joints. They may order X-rays and perform lab tests to rule out any underlying diseases. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve joint function.
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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.
What You Need To Know About Joint Pain What Causes Osteoarthritis What Chemical Causes Osteoarthritis
You should seek medical attention for any pain you experience. If the pain is caused by an infection, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You can take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If your pain is more intense, you can try heating or applying ice to the joint. Alternatively, you can also try applying heat to the affected area. To relieve the pain, you should stay away from the activities that cause you to have joint pain. A doctor can prescribe you dietary supplements, such as glucosamine, that are effective in reducing your symptoms.
If you fall or are hit on the leg and notice any swelling or deformity in your knee, you should seek medical attention. If you cant put weight on your leg, it could be a sign of a more serious ailment. If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately. The most important thing to do is to be patient and do not panic. The pain you experience is normal and is not related to any other health problems.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Arthritis Of The Knee
There are many signs and symptoms of arthritis of the knee:
- Creaking, clicking, grinding or snapping noises .
- Difficulty walking.
- Joint pain that changes depending on the weather.
- Joint stiffness.
- Knee joint pain that progresses slowly or pain that happens suddenly.
- Skin redness.
- Your knee locks or sticks when its trying to move.
- Warm skin.
Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis of the knee. Some treatments might reduce the severity of your symptoms or even stall the progression. See your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of knee arthritis.
How Is The Cause Of Knee Pain Diagnosed
A thorough examination is necessary for an accurate determination. The examination should include an assessment of whether the pain actually stems from the knee. Sometimes knee pain can be referred pain from another source, such as a hip injury. Ã¢â¬ÅReferred painÃ¢â¬ï¿½ means that an injury or disease in one part of the body is causing pain in a different location.
When making a diagnosis, your doctor will consider information that includes the following:
- Patient characteristics. Some conditions are more likely to occur in individuals with certain characteristics. For example, osteoarthritis is more frequent in older adults, and conditions associated with overuse are more frequent in people who participate in athletic activities. Obesity can also be a factor in some conditions.
- Patient history. The physician asks questions to determine potential sources of trauma, such as car accidents or sports injuries. The physician will also ask where and when you feel the pain.
- Results of a physical examination. The physician moves and probes your knee for signs of damage to the muscle, tendon, or cartilage. This includes exploring the location of the pain, such as behind the knee, in front of the knee, or inside of or on top of the knee.
- Results of imaging and other tests. Sometimes X-rays, MRIs, or other diagnostic tests are needed to identify structural damage or abnormalities.
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