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What To Do If You Have Knee Pain

Stand Up Straight To Feel Better

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When you slouch you are leaning forward and walking bent over at the waist and that posture will lead to knee pain, says Bush-Joseph. You want your head centered over your shoulders and your shoulders centered over your abdomen and pelvis. The more your body is off-center, the more you have to compensate for that with muscle activity. Those muscles eventually fatigue, causing strain on your joints.

Having strong core muscles in your abdomen and lower back helps promote good posture and, ultimately, lessens the pressure on your knees. Exercises such as planks, back extensions, yoga and Pilates can help strengthen the core.

Heres how to do these exercises:

  • Planks: Lie face down with your toes pointed to the floor. Put your forearms on the floor with your elbows at 90-degree angles. Tighten your abdominal and gluteal muscles and lift your body off the floor. Keep your back straight and hold for 15 to 45 seconds.
  • Back extensions: Lie face down with elbows bent and hands on the floor. Keeping your hips on the floor, lift your head and shoulders up with your arms. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat five to 10 times.

Types Of Knee Pain Doctors

Knee pain doctors can come from various different fields of medicine such as anesthesiologists, physiatrists, neurosurgeons, podiatrists, neurologists, primary care physicians, or orthopedic surgeons.

However, broadly speaking, if you are wondering what kind of doctor for knee pain exists, there are three knee pain specialists palliative care specialists, interventional pain and spine specialists, and chronic pain specialists.

As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to what doctor to see for knee pain. But you should look for interventional pain specialists because theyre the only ones who can truly diagnose the root cause of your knee pain and provide long-term relief. An interventional pain specialist will use imaging tests like X-Rays, CT scans, and MRIs to determine the root cause of knee pain.

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.

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How Do I Know If My Knee Is Dislocated

If you suffer a dislocated knee, youll know right away that you have a serious injury. A dislocation is very painful and causes immediate symptoms that worsen over time. You may be able to identify your injury as a dislocation from the following signs and symptoms:

  • A popping sound during the time of injury
  • Severe knee pain
  • Swelling, redness, bruising and tenderness
  • Visible deformity or crookedness of the knee
  • A feeling of instability or giving out in the joint
  • An inability to bend or straighten the knee
  • An inability to bear weight on the knee
  • Numbness or lack of pulse in the foot

A dislocation can severely damage the ligaments, arteries and nerves around your knee and place the integrity of the joint and leg at risk. You should not attempt to pop the knee back into place on your own or treat the injury yourself.

Don’t Skip The Exercise Even If You Have A Structural Problem

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The key is to know your limits. Strength training that focuses heavily on building up muscles in the quadriceps and hamstrings can decrease pain and help people better tolerate arthritis and other structural knee problems. Staying active helps control weight and build muscle, both of which can help protect your knees from further damage.

The best exercises for people with structural knee problems include nonimpact aerobic exercises, such as walking on level ground, training on an elliptical machine, using a stationary bike, swimming and doing water aerobics. Its also wise to avoid activities that put extra stress on the knees such as kneeling, deep knee bends and downhill running.

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Board Certification And Strong Educational Background

Consider the doctors board certification. The best knee pain doctors are board-certified in the field of pain management. This denotes that theyve gone through advanced residencies and fellowships, which makes them far more experienced than regular knee pain doctors. You should also consider the knee pain doctors education background and go for doctors who have graduated from Ivy League universities or those of equivalent stature.

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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?

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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.

Tip #: Move Frequently Throughout Your Day

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Is your knee pain only present after sitting or not moving for long durations of time? Take this tip and run with it !

Aim to get up from your desk, stretch, and move at least every 1-2 hours. Doing this can get the blood and nutrients flowing, giving your knee what it needs to stay healthy and pain-free.

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For Tendinitis Runners Knee Gout And Bursitis

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.

What To Do When You Have Knee Pain

If you already have knee pain, some things can make it worse, including activities like:

  • Squatting or standing on a hard surface for a long time
  • High-impact activities, such as running or basketball

If you have a job where you squat or stand on a hard surface for a long time, try wearing gel shoe inserts or cushioned shoes.

Staying active is important, DiNubile says. Being active regularly helps keep up your joint function, like range of motion and how strong your knees are. Choosing the right activities for you can help, too. Repetitive squats, step-ups, and lunges can âset off fireworks in somebody with a kneecap issue,â he says.

âIf youâre overweight and you want to get in shape, maybe you shouldnât be running, because that puts a lot of extra pressure on the knees,â he says.

Valaik recommends swimming and bike riding. DiNubile suggests activities like walking, using an elliptical machine, yoga, and stretching exercises. If you have a fitness program you like but it is starting to cause pain, check to see if there are changes you can make to continue, he says.

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Six Ways Youre Making Knee Pain Worse

While it may seem like knee pain is an inevitable fact of aging, you may be able to avoid it. In fact, you may be doing some things unintentionally that are causing your knee pain, or making the aches and twinges you already have worse. Do any of these sound familiar?

Youre overweight. Your knee joints are your shock absorbers and stabilizers. The more weight you carry, the more pressure on your knees. You dont need to reach your so-called ideal weight to feel a difference every pound you lose reduces the strain on your knees.

You dont warm up or cool down properly when you exercise. Be sure to ease into workouts by starting slowly to give muscles a chance to warm up, and stretch adequately afterward, particularly the muscles in your legs. Flexibility is one important key to good knee health.

You jog or walk downhill a lot, or on hard surfaces. When you go downhill , you put more pressure on your knee joints. You cant always avoid it, of course, but if youre mapping out a walking or jogging route, youre better off on gently sloping or flat surfaces. And speaking of surfaces, skip hard cement and pavement in favor of something with a little bit of bounce or give, like a running track or trail.

You wear ill-fitting shoes. Good arch support is important to help absorb some of the pressure your knees normally take. If you have flat feet, consider inserts for your shoes. And avoid flip-flops and other very flat shoes with no support.

What Is Pain In The Back Of Your Knee

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When people experience pain in the back of the knee, it is commonly referred to as posterior knee pain. This type of pain can be caused by many different things and can occur suddenly or gradually over time. A doctor can help diagnose the root cause of the pain in the back of your knee to help you find relief.

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Is Chronic Knee Pain Inevitable Or Is There More To The Story

According to recent studies, over 100 million people suffer from chronic knee pain each year. And it’s been increasing by 65% over the past 20 years. This includes common issues such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bone-on-bone, tendonitis and bursitis.

The knees absorb a massive amount of pressure with every step. That pressure, along with regular wear and tear, takes a toll over time.But does that mean every senior is destined to have swollen, painful joints? And what’s causing the spike in knee pain over the past 20 years? Research has found there are things that make knee pain worse. And some of the things on this list may surprise you…Here are the top 5 things they’ve found that make knee pain worse…

What Treatments Can Provide Pain Relief

The nature of your injury will guide the treatment. So will your preferences. It is best to consider the full menu of options available. These include:

Physician anesthesiologists are committed to patient safety and high-quality care, and have the necessary knowledge to understand and treat the entire human body.

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Do: Watch Your Weight

Extra pounds add strain to your knees and raise your risk of painful arthritis and injuries. Even moderate weight loss can ease the strain. If you need to drop a few pounds, set a goal to lose just 5% of your current weight over the next few months. Talk to our doctor about nutrition, and physical therapy options.

Other Causes And Symptoms Of Knee Pain

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Other injuries, syndromes, and mechanical problems may also cause knee pain. These include:

ACL Injury An ACL injury occurs when you tear your anterior cruciate ligament , which is one of the four ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone. It’s a common injury among people who play sports like basketball and soccer, which require sudden changes in direction. Call your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of an ACL injury, such as a loud pop or “popping” sensation in the knee, advises Mayo Clinic.

Fractures A knee fracture can occur if the knee bones, including the kneecap , break during incidents like falls or auto accidents. It can also be caused by something as slight as stepping the wrong way if your bones are weaker due to osteoporosis, per Mayo Clinic. Call your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of a knee fracture, which include sudden pain around the kneecap or in the knee itself, possibly with swelling inability to bend or straighten the knee or to hold the leg out straight deformed appearance of the knee or bone protruding from the skin of the knee, per Johns Hopkins.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome Patellofemoral pain syndrome, which is sometimes called runners knee, refers to pain between the kneecap and the thighbone, per Mayo Clinic. This condition is common in athletes and young adults, and can develop in older adults due to arthritis.

Mechanical Problems Several mechanical problems with the knee can also cause pain, including:

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Can Knee Pain Be Treated Without Surgery

Yes. Its a good idea to discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor.

At Temple Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we dont jump right into surgery. Instead, our first choice is often conservative treatment, including:

  • Medications, like anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroid injections, such as cortisone
  • Exercises or physical therapy to improve movement and strength

Sharp Knee Pain On The Inside Of The Leg

Sharp knee pain on the inner side of the leg is usually caused by damage to the medial collateral ligament or the medial meniscus.

These ligaments help to hold the knee joint together but when they are damaged the knee becomes unstable.

TIPS TO AVOID PAIN: believe it or not, the best way to improve stability in the knee after an MCL injury is to strengthen the hip. Try these 5 hip stability exercises to reduce pain, prevent further injury, and decrease your chances of needing surgery.

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Facts You Should Know About Knee Pain

  • Knee pain is a common problem with many causes, from acute injuries to complications of medical conditions.
  • Knee pain can be localized to a specific area of the knee or be diffuse throughout the knee.
  • Knee pain is often accompanied by physical restriction.
  • A thorough physical examination will usually establish the diagnosis of knee pain.
  • The treatment of knee pain depends on the underlying cause.
  • The prognosis of knee pain, even severe knee pain, is usually good although it might require surgery or other interventions.

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How To Get Moving

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Within the first 24 to 48 hours after your knee problem has started you should try to:

  • reduce your activities but move as much as your symptoms allow
  • put your leg in an elevated position, when resting
  • move your knee gently for 10 to 20 seconds every hour when you’re awake
  • avoid long periods on your feet

When using stairs it may help to:

  • lead with your good leg when going upstairs to reduce the strain on your knee
  • lead with your problem leg when going downstairs to reduce the strain on your knee
  • use a handrail when going up and downstairs

After 48 hours:

  • try to use your leg more – exercise really helps your knee and can relieve pain
  • do whatever you normally would and stay at, or return to work – this is important and is the best way to get better

It’s beneficial to do specific exercises that can help in your recovery. They may be challenging at the beginning so just do what you can and try to build it up over time.

Keeping active’s the single best thing you can do for your general health.

Being physically active can:

  • maintain your current levels of fitness even if you have to modify what you normally do, any activity is better than none
  • keep your other muscles and joints strong and flexible
  • prevent a recurrence of the problem

Avoid sports or heavy lifting until you have less discomfort and good movement. Remember to warm up fully before you start sporting activities.

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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.

You Sit For Long Periods Of Time

If your knee hurts, you might want to stay off of it. But resting too much makes your muscles weaken and often makes knee pain worse. Find a way to get moving without hurting your knee. Some good exercises for people with knee pain include walking, swimming, and water aerobics.

Exercise strengthens the muscles around your knee and helps support the joint. At Coastal Empire Orthopedics, we can help you find the best exercise to keep you moving, even with knee pain.

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