Articles On Knee Pain
You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury or arthritis you’ve had for years.
Follow these 11 dos and donâts to help your knees feel their best.
Donât rest too much. Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.
Do exercise. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Tai chi may also help ease stiffness and improve balance.
Donât risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.
Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
How Preexisting Conditions Impact Knee Pain
You might be shocked to find out how much your familys medical history could come into play when it comes to receiving your knee osteoarthritis diagnosis. As we mentioned above, nobody really knows the cause of knee pain. But heres the thing: what physicians do know for sure is that there are several risk factors that could be behind your knee pain issues.
First things first, advanced age could actually impact the amount of knee pain that you are experiencing on a daily basis. Obviously, the chances of having severe knee pain are much higher as time goes on. Thats because the cartilage in your knee will become less flexible and weaker.
Thus, itll be much more likely to be damaged or thinned out in your old age. So, if youre over the age of 45 years old and youve experienced a pretty traumatic work-related injury, then getting your knee checked out by professionals is a must. Better yet, those that are over the age of 60 years old for experiencing the systems should see a physician right away as well.
And then, there is obesity. Since knees are made to bear a lot of weight, those that are living in larger bodies put a lot more pressure on their knee joints than the average person. As a result, they are actually two times as likely to be diagnosed with knee pain than those who are not overweight.
What Is Best Exercise For Bad Knees
Straight leg raises and squats or modified squats, are some good exercises for knees. Stretching: Tight knee and leg muscles add to pain, so its critical not to skip stretching after exercising. Stretches that help the knee and surrounding muscles include knee quadriceps stretch and standing hamstring stretch.
Recommended Reading: Flying After Knee Replacement Surgery
Causes Of Knee Stiffness
Most people experience knee stiffness after sitting for a long period of time. It’s usually the result of inflammation and fluid build-up in the knee joint, which causes swelling and decreases the ability to freely move the joint. A number of conditions can lead to inflammation, and subsequently, knee stiffness.
How To Relieve Pain Behind The Knee
You can efficiently treat some of the mentioned conditions at home. However, more severe conditions should be treated by your doctor. For example, suppose the pain behind the knee becomes more intense and starts to interfere strongly with your daily activities. In that case, you should immediately visit the healthcare provider and get proper treatment of the condition that causes the pain.
But, when we talk only about the sense of the pain, you may wonder what can help you at the moment when youre feeling it? How to relieve pain behind the knee by yourself?
The first thing you should do is to get off your feet and get proper rest. The RICE rest, ice, compression and elevation treatment can be very helpful. First, lay down and raise your leg high, above the level of your heart. Then, put a cold pack in a cloth or towel and leave it on your knee for 10-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Cold packs can help decrease inflammation of joints. When youre up, make sure you have snugged an elastic bandage around the knee.
If you have a problem with tight muscles, you can relax them with warm showers, hot packs, or a heating pad. Important notice: dont put the heat on an inflamed joint.
You could also massage the affected area with sports creams that cause a cold or hot effect. The massage will also relax the muscles.
Read Also: Bathing After Knee Surgery
How To Relieve Joint Stiffness
Before you begin researching treatment options, you should see a doctor. The best way to find a suitable treatment is to determine what is causing the problem. Your doctor can diagnose the issue and recommend an appropriate way to ease stiffness and prevent other symptoms you may be experiencing. Here are a few remedies that your doctor may suggest to treat your discomfort:
- Over-the-counter medication can relieve mild symptoms of joint pain. NSAIDs like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen are often used to treat arthritis.
- Cold or hot compresses can be helpful. Cold will reduce swelling and heat will relax the muscles and joints.
- Steroids can aid in reducing swelling and inflammation that causes stiffness.
- Physical therapy and exercise help in improving mobility and maintaining a healthy weight, which can, in turn, reduce joint stiffness.
- Glucosamine sulfate is a chemical that occurs naturally in the fluid surrounding the joints. Taking glucosamine sulfate as a supplement can relieve pain and stiffness.
- Taking fish oil supplements can also reduce joint stiffness.
What Is Wear And Tear Arthritis
How can you tell if you have osteoarthritis?
If you have pain inside your knee, under your kneecap,especially when kneeling, squatting or going up and down steps, its usuallywear-and-tear arthritis, says Dr. Nickodem.
Cartilage, the cushioning betweenbones, deteriorates throughout life. It can erode more quickly in some peopledue to injury or genetics. As cartilage thins, your bones begin to rubtogether, causing pain, swelling and stiffness.
Sometimes the level of pain does notalways correlate to the severity of the condition.
Also Check: When Can I Shower After Knee Replacement Surgery
Possible Cause #: Rheumatoid Arthritis
The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis, affecting over 1.5 million Americans. Its symptoms typically appear between ages 30 and 60.
RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder. Its also an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system attacks healthy parts of your body, such as the lining of your joints. This causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Over time, it can also cause joint deformity and bone erosion.
RA has no cure, so its symptoms cant be eliminated entirely. They can be managed through medication and other treatments. However, once the disease is advanced, little can be done to prevent disability.
What Are The Home Remedies
There are many over-the-counter and home remedies to help alleviate the pain and swelling.
Many of these remedies can be carried out alongside other treatments that a doctor has recommended or prescribed. It is essential that people speak to their doctor if the cause of joint pain is unknown, comes on suddenly, or is accompanied by other symptoms.
Home remedies include:
- taking supplements, such as fish oil and glucosamine sulfate
Read Also: Can You Rebuild Cartilage In Your Knee
Expected Range Of Motion
After knee replacement surgery, it is important to work with a physical therapist to achieve the maximal range of motion. Typically, the range of motion will progress quickly during the first three months and can continue to increase for up to two years following surgery.
Normal motion after knee replacement is defined as the ability to get within 5 degrees of a straight knee and the ability to bend the knee back to 90 degrees. Most knee replacements have movement ranging from 0 degrees to 110 degrees or more.
The optimal motion of the replaced knee can be achieved with a combination of stretches, exercises, and gradual resumption of normal activities. Some surgeons will recommend the use of a machine to bend the knee, called a CPM, .
Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two common types of arthritis that can lead to knee tightness. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in the knee to erode, leading to malalignment. Rheumatoid arthritis causes damage to the lining of the joints, which leads to inflammation. Both types of arthritis can lead to limited function and range of motion, deformity, and tightness.
Exercises that strengthen the surrounding muscle groups may help your range of motion and knee stability.
Don’t Miss: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
What Causes Stiff Joints
Do you find it more difficult than usual to walk, stand, type, or perform other daily tasks? If so, you could be suffering from stiff joints. Stiff joints can affect any joint in your body, including your fingers, hands, wrists, knees, and elbows.
What is Joint Stiffness?
Joint stiffness can occur when a joints range of motion is limited or difficult to move. Its common to happen after lying in bed or sitting for some time. You may have difficulty walking, standing, or putting weight on your joints. In other cases, it can be more severe and include pain and inflammation.
Here are a few common reasons joint stiffness may occur:
Rheumatoid arthritis This chronic inflammatory disorder causes your immune system to attack the lining of your joints. It often affects the wrists and the small joints of the hands and feet.
Osteoarthritis This type of arthritis occurs when cartilage, which cushions your joints, breaks down with age. It often affects the knees, hips, neck, lower back, and fingers.
Gout A type of arthritis, gout can come on suddenly and affect any joint. The big toe is often the first to experience symptoms.
Lupus This chronic autoimmune disease often affects the knees, wrists, and finger joints. Symptoms can come and go abruptly and range from mild to severe.
Bursitis Bursitis occurs when bursae, which are tiny fluid-filled sacs that provide cushioning become inflamed. It is most common in the elbow, shoulder, and hip, although it can affect any joint.
Common Causes Of Knee Stiffness And Pain
There are many causes of stiff knees which can dramatically affect the kind of knee pain treatment your doctor recommends. Oftentimes, the more information you can share about the injury , the easier it is to isolate the cause of knee stiffness. In most cases, stiff knees are also accompanied by knee pain.
Trauma to the Knee Joint – A recent injury to the leg, such as a knee sprain, ACL tear, bone fracture, or meniscus tear, may be a factor in knee stiffness. Many knee injuries may swell up as damage to the area causes blood and other fluids fill the joint. This may cause a stiff knee and make the area difficult to bend or straighten. In the case of injury, it is common for both knee stiffness and knee pain to be present at the site of trauma.
Arthritis – One of the most common causes of knee stiffness is arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, but the ones most associated with stiff knees are knee osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , and post-injury arthritis.
Knee Bursitis – Around our bones and tendons there are small, fluid-filled sacs known as bursae. These help with cushioning and supporting areas such as the knee joint. If a bursa sack becomes inflamed, it is known as bursitis. This inflammation around the knee may cause stiff knees and knee pain.
You May Like: Do Copper Fit Sleeves Really Work
Treating A Joint Injury
These conditions are easy to treat. Youâll likely make a full recovery. The first thing to do is give that joint a rest and take an over-the-counter pain medication. Your doctor will probably give you a splint to wear and tell you to put ice on it. They might show you some exercises to do, too. If that doesnât help, they could inject a stronger drug straight into the bursa or tendon to manage pain and swelling.
What Is A Stiff Knee
A stiff knee occurs when you have difficulty moving the knee joint due to injury to or inflammation of the joint. Anything that leads to restricted movement of the knee joint may be considered to cause stiffness of the knee.
Four ligaments are important in maintaining the stability and function of the knee joint, the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments, and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments. The menisci are two pieces of cartilage that permit the bones of the knee joint to move smoothly against one another. Injuries to these structures may restrict movement of the knee joint.
Other traumatic causes of stiff knee include fractures of bone, inflammation of tendons or bursae, or damage to the cartilage of the kneecap. Injuries may be sudden or may develop slowly over time.
The different forms of are the most common chronic diseases to affect the knee. results from wear and tear on the joint, while arises from a dysfunction of the bodys immune system. Rarely, tumors and infections of the knee joint and surrounding areas may produce a stiff knee.
A can require emergency care, and a sprain may be accompanied by more serious injuries to the joint. Seek immediate medical care for serious symptoms, such as paralysis, loss of sensation, absent pulses in the feet, complete inability to move the knee joint, high , severe bleeding, or uncontrollable pain.
If your stiff knee is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.
Don’t Miss: Why Do My Knees Pop When I Squat
Another Type Of Arthritis
OA and RA are the most well-known, but other types also affect your immune system and result in stiff joints:
- Ankylosing spondylitis: This type mostly affects your spine, but it can make your hips, hands, or feet feel stiff.
- Gout: The first sign of this build-up of uric acid in your body is often a searing pain in your big toe.
- Infectious arthritis: It often starts with an infection somewhere else in your body that travels to one big joint, like your hip. Your doctor might call it septic arthritis.
Ways To Prevent Joint Stiffness
Do your knees crackle and pop? Are your joints stiff when you get out of bed or when you rise from a chair? You arent alone. By the time were in our 60s and 70s, most of us will experience some joint pain and stiffness. How do you prevent and relieve joint stiffness?
As we age, the connective tissue and cartilage that provide cushioning between the joints wear down and become thinner, leading to conditions such as osteoarthritis that can cause pain and inflammation. Genetics and age are primary factors in joint deterioration, but there are steps you can take to extend the life of your joints and protect knee or hip replacements.
Don’t Miss: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
What Makes My Joints Stiff In The Morning
Q. Why are my joints so stiff when I wake up? Is there anything I can do about it?
A. Stiffness in the back, knees, or feet is a common complaint I hear from older individuals. People often say, “I’m just getting old,” but old age alone does not cause morning joint stiffness. It is usually an indication of worn joints, muscle tightness, or inflammation from arthritis.
As your joints get older, the spongy cushion of cartilage begins to dry out and stiffen. The joint lining also produces less synovial fluid, which lubricates the joint. Weak muscles and stiff tendons also tend to tighten during sleep. Osteoarthritis, , and rheumatoid arthritis, , both can trigger morning stiffness.
The average episode lasts only about 10 to 15 minutes. The stiffness goes away as you move and warm up the joints and muscles. However, stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis may last more than an hour.
You cannot reverse the effects of joint aging, and while certain medications can help manage arthritis pain and inflammation, stiffness can still occur. Still, you can reduce the severity and frequency of morning joint stiffness by being more active and engaging in exercise to increase muscle strength and flexibility. Maintaining a healthy weight also can help. Finally, don’t be swayed by joint health supplements, such as glucosamine or chondroitin. These do not appear to help manage symptoms in the long term.
William Kormos, M.D.
More Symptoms Of Knee Pain
If youre nervous to schedule your appointment with your doctor after a car accident or a work-related knee injury, join the club. Here are more symptoms to keep an eye out for the next time youre experiencing severe knee pain:
- Symptoms that get worse after inactivity
- Crunching or popping in the knees
- Locking up or buckling of the knees
For those whose symptoms are gone worse after inactivity, thats often the case when youve been sitting or sleeping for extended periods. However, people that have already been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis know that their stiffness will last from the moment that they get out of bed in the morning to the moment that they lie down in bed at night.
As if thats not enough, crunching or popping in the knees can occur when you do things like getting down into a deep squat position to lift equipment at work. If this happens to you frequently, then friction in your knee joints is basically a no-brainer. Also known as crepitus, crunching and popping in the knees can also be accompanied by other painful symptoms.
Raise your hand if knee-buckling sounds like an everyday occurrence in your life nowadays. Just in case youre not in the know, whenever your knees lock up or buckle up after a work-related incident, it can be a red flag for advanced or moderate knee pain.
Recommended Reading: What To Expect When Getting Gel Injections In Knee