How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
Prevention Of Leg Pain
While not all forms of leg pain can be prevented, some of the most common conditions that cause leg pain often respond to preventive measures such as the following:
Increase activity gradually Dont jump into a high-intensity exercise routine. Instead, work up to a higher intensity level to avoid injury.
Mix up your exercise Dont do the same kind of exercise over and over, day after day. A varied exercise routine is less likely to cause injury.
Wear supportive shoes Make sure your exercise shoes have enough heel cushioning and arch support.
Stretch regularly Leg stretches may help avoid cramps, and stretching your calf muscles, in particular, can help prevent Achilles tendinitis.
Build bone strength Consuming enough calcium-rich foods and vitamin D may help prevent bone fractures.
Stay hydrated Getting enough fluids may help you avoid leg cramps.
Maintain a healthy weight and dont smoke These lifestyle factors can help prevent cardiovascular problems affecting your legs.
Dont sit still for too long Sitting for extended periods can increase the risk of blood clots in your legs.
Eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods and protein
Can Leg Pain Be Prevented
You can prevent strains and injuries by always warming up before exercise and cooling down and stretching afterwards. Build up physical activity gradually and do not take on too much too quickly.
It is a good idea to replace worn out shoes and wear appropriate footwear for the activity you’re doing.
Looking after your health generally â getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, getting some regular exercise, not smoking, being a healthy weight â might also help.
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Vein Treatment San Diego
If you suffer from leg pain at night, it could be a symptom of a more serious medical condition and you should discuss it with your doctor. If the pain isnt that bad, we still recommend seeing a medical professional as treatments are available to alleviate the pain. At Kafri Wellness Clinic, we have over 25+ years of experience working with patients. We also take into consideration a cardiovascular approach towards your treatment to give you as much insight into your health as possible. Contact us today!
What Should You Do If Your Joints Still Hurt In Cold Weather
If you discover that your joints still hurt after youve applied these tips, you need to talk to a physical therapist or orthopedist. Give us a call now to book an appointment with OrthoBethesda. Well do a full examination on your joints to determine whether the pain you feel is due to a health condition.
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What Causes Peripheral Artery Disease
PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, or of the arteries. Hardening of the arteries is a condition that causes both coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attacks, and PAD, which, if severe enough, can lead to amputation of a limb, or even death.2 And like coronary artery disease, PAD is a serious condition.
Talk To Your Doctor About Leg Pain When Walking
While PAD isnt the only reason you might experience leg pain while walking, its important to consider. Having PAD increases your risk of other cardiovascular problems. The fatty buildup in arteries of the leg might also be accumulating in the arteries serving the heart and brain. This makes a person with PAD far more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke than someone without the condition.
If youre experiencing symptoms of PAD, a simple test called an ankle-brachial index, or ABI, can help your doctor make a diagnosis. Your doctor will use a special cuff to measure the blood pressure in your ankle, and then compare that against the blood pressure in your arm. These readings should match if your arteries are clear. Lower pressure in the ankle is a PAD tip-off.
Your doctor can perform this test at your annual physical. If your doctor suspects you have PAD, he or she might want to follow up with an angiogram, which uses MRI or x-rays to take images of your arteries to look for blockages, says Dr. Pradhan.
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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.
Will My Leg Weakness Be Permanent
It depends on the cause. Fortunately, many causes of leg weakness lead to complete recovery if diagnosed accurately and treated in the appropriate time frame. Sometimes leg weakness may be improved but not totally cured by treatments like physical therapy after the initial underlying cause is addressed. However, some causes are irreversible, and these include severe damage to the nerves, spinal cord and/or brain.
Years Of Wear And Tear Can Take A Toll On Your Knees But There Are Strategies To Relieve Pain
Whether it’s a sharp pain or a dull ache, knee pain is a common problem in women particularly older women. One study of women ages 50 and older, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, found that nearly two-thirds had some type of knee pain during the 12-year study period.
Dr. Rebecca Breslow, a sports medicine doctor and an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, says many of the active older women and the female athletes she sees in her practice have knee pain. While there are numerous pain-inducing knee conditions, three seem to be the most common culprits in older women:
Below is a guide on how to recognize these conditions and how to treat them.
The Pros And Cons Of Cortisone Shots
If you’re experiencing pain that makes it difficult for you to start physical therapy to address your knee problem, your doctor might recommend that you get an injection of cortisone to lessen the pain.
The shot injects a corticosteroid drug and a local anesthetic into the joint to temporarily relieve pain and swelling. But it isn’t a long-term fix. “Often people think that injections, especially cortisone injections, will fix a knee problem. What they do is provide a window of pain relief so you can make progress with rehabilitation,” says Dr. Rebecca Breslow, an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. “But when cortisone injections are overused, there is some evidence that they can actually accelerate osteoarthritis.”
In short, while cortisone shots put you on the path to healing, they should be used judiciously and aren’t a permanent solution to the underlying problem that’s causing your knee pain.
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What Is Peripheral Artery Disease
Peripheral Artery Disease is a circulatory disease in which blocked arteries reduce blood flow to the extremities, most commonly, the legs and feet. PAD is a relatively common condition in fact, an estimated 8.5 million people, and nearly 15% of people over the age of 70, in the United States have been diagnosed with it. i,iii
What Causes The Pain
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of issues, from injury to tendonitis to bursitis . But the primary cause of knee pain, according to Dr. Stearns, is usually a form of arthritis.
People with normal, healthy knees usually dont get pain at night, he says. Theres typically a reason, and its often because they have arthritis, commonly osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is mechanical in nature, caused by wear-and-tear on the joints as well as the cartilage and tendons associated with the joints. This sets the condition apart from rheumatoid arthritis which is inflammation of the joints, typically caused by an overactive immune system.
While osteoarthritis is typically seen in older patients, it can occur in younger patients, too, particularly those who are prone to overuse of certain joints or suffered significant injuries like ligament tears.
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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.
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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Causes Of Leg Pain And Foot Pain
Leg pain and foot pain vary in type and severity and typically depend on a persons lifestyle and associated medical problems.1 In addition to leg pathology, leg pain may be caused by a condition affecting the lower back, hip, or pelvic region. The type of pain may differ based on the underlying cause.
Some conditions in the lower back can cause pain and other symptoms to radiate into the leg and/or foot, which may be termed as sciatica. WatchSciatica Causes and Symptoms Video
This article provides a guide to the potential causes, specific diagnostic procedures, and the different types of treatment approaches available for leg and foot pain.
What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Pain In Teens
Symptoms depend on whats causing your teens knee pain.
Anterior knee pain:
- Pain begins gradually worsens with activity.
- Dull, aching pain behind the kneecap, below the knee or on sides of the kneecap.
- Pain flares and grinding sensation with repeat knee bending .
- Thigh muscle weakness .
- Knee buckles .
Trauma to knee:
- Popping, clicking, crackling in the knee when bending .
- Knee that locks or buckles.
- Pain on the bony prominence.
- Pain that varies and gets worse during or just after the activity.
- Reduced range of movement.
- Pain, tenderness and swelling at the bottom of the kneecap.
- Balance problems.
- Trouble putting weight on the affected leg limps first thing in the morning.
- Redness, swelling, warmth, stiffness and soreness in joints, including the knee.
- Symptoms come and go.
- Dull ache, stiffness and swelling at the knee.
- Joint clicking.
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What Are The Causes Of My Leg Pain
Human bodies are subject to frequent aches and pains that come and go. Usually, these are not of great concern or importance. But when pains are inexplicable, linger and impact the quality of life, you might need medical attention.
Thighs, hamstrings, lower leg and calf areas often feel pain. Most pain results from wear and tear, overuse, or injuries in joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues.
Pain can be traced to problems in the lower spine. Blood clots, varicose veins or poor circulation are other causes.
Pain And Other Symptoms
Coldness of the legs is a symptom and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms. One of the common accompanying symptoms is an ache or pain. Most of the time pain due to cold is described as a deep ache or cramping pain. Cold can also aggravate pain that may be pre-existing. For example, people with joint pain due to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis may experience worsening of the pain with coldness.
There may be other symptoms that accompany the cold sensation and pain. This may include paleness of the legs and sometimes even a bluish tinge, loss of hair, lacerations , open sores and skin rashes. There may also be loss of sensation such as the ability to perceive touch or temperature. Depending on the nature of the underlying condition there may also be weakness of the legs and even paralysis.
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Pay Attention To The Pattern Of Leg Pain
The cramping and pain in the calves, thighs, hips, or buttocks that people with PAD experience during movement is called intermittent claudication. Its different from exercise-related soreness, because it occurs only during movement and stops after short periods of rest, says Dr. Pradhan. Muscle soreness caused by exercise lasts for hours or days after a workout, and can still hurt whether youre moving or standing still.
PAD pain also affects just the muscle not the joint. It might happen when you are walking up a flight of stairs or up a hill, and you might find yourself frequently stopping for breaks, says Dr. Pradhan. As PAD blockages worsen, cramping can start to occur in your legs even when you are sitting or lying down.
While leg pain when walking is a common symptom of PAD, not everyone who has PAD has symptoms. Some people just experience weakness without cramping or pain, but it follows the same pattern: worsening with exercise and easing with rest.
In some cases, people notice other changes, such as
- slow-healing sores on the feet
- coldness in one or both feet
- a change in color on the feet
- slow growth of leg hair or toenails.
What Does It Mean When Your Legs And Feet Tingle
Tingling may be caused by pressure on the nerves when youve been in one position for too long. The feeling should go away when you move. However, tingling in the feet may be persistent. If the pins and needles feeling continues for a long period of time or is accompanied by pain, see your doctor.
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When To Seek Immediate Medical Attention
There are causes of pain above your knee especially if that pain is also experienced in the rest of your leg that require immediate medical attention.
Feeling numbness or pain in one of your legs is one symptom of a stroke. Additionally, pain or tenderness in your leg could indicate a blood clot, especially if the swelling is not reduced by elevating your leg.
If you experience either of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Weakness Of Both Legs
- Are you allergic to anything?
- Do your symptoms improve with Ibuprofen/Advil/Motrin, known as NSAIDs?
- Have a friend stand across from you and hold out a finger. Touch that finger and then touch your nose. Move the target finger around and start going faster. Are you having trouble?
- Do you find yourself getting weaker and weaker?
Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.
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How To Treat It
Treating this knee pain is all about pain management and what you can do to reduce the stress on those joints. Losing weight is a helpful start. Besides being a key to overall good health, cutting excess pounds lessens the everyday stress on those knee joints and ligaments.
But there are plenty of other ways, too.
A lot of joint stress is caused by high-impact exercising, especially running on pavement. But there are ways to exercise that can keep you healthy and keep that load off your knee joints. Low-impact exercises like swimming, bicycling and elliptical are good because they exercise the knee joints but dont pound them, says Dr. Stearns.
Knee braces can also be a tool, he adds. There are special braces that work to keep pressure off of certain parts of the knee unloader braces that can sometimes help alleviate arthritis pain.
If youre considering over-the-counter painkillers to help ease the hurt, Dr. Stearns says its best to take naproxen or ibuprofen because they have anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the swelling thats causing your knee pain.
Acetaminophen medications, like Tylenol, dont work as well because they mask the pain but do nothing about the source of the pain, he says.
He also recommends taking the dose after dinner as that allows you to have the maximum dose before you head to bed.
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