KNEE PAIN DESCRIPTION AND CAUSES
You don’t realize how much you use your knees until they start to hurt. The knee is the largest joint in the body and it takes a lot of abuse.
Knee pain is often the result of an injury, but it can also be caused by overuse, a condition such as arthritis or even regular wear-and-tear due to aging. The most common type of knee pain is a simple aching sensation underneath the kneecap or around the knee joint.
Usually, day-to-day activities don’t cause problems, but when knee pain starts, it might just be from something you regularly do. Most of us will have minor knee pain at some point in our lives.
But most knee pain, knee problems and knee injuries come from sports injuries, recreational activities, work injuries or even home projects. Not all knee pain is serious. But some knee injuries and medical conditions, including osteoarthritis, can lead to more pain, more damage and even disability if left untreated.
And having a knee injury — even a minor one — makes it more likely that you’ll have similar injuries in the future.
Knee pain varies in location as well as severity. Symptoms to think about include:
- Change in color (red, white, blue, bruising)
- Numbness, tingling
- Warm or cold to the touch
- Unable to bear weight or feels unstable
- Snapping, popping or grinding sounds
- Knee joint can’t be fully straightened
- Feels as if knee “gives out” or feels like it’s not in the right place
- Pain getting up from a chair or going up or down stairs
KNEE PAIN CAUSED BY SPORTS INJURIES
Sports injuries are common, yet can be very traumatic because they usually involve the twisting of the knee or stress on the knee joint.
- The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of four ligaments connecting the shinbone to the thighbone and is frequently injured during sudden changes of direction.|
- The meniscus is cartilage between your shinbone and thighbone and can be damaged or torn if you twist your knee while putting weight on it.
- Bursitis is the inflammation of the small sacs (bursae) cushioning your knee.
- Tendinitis is the irritation of the tendons that attach muscle to bone. Runners, skiers, cyclists and jumpers are more likely to incur inflammation in the patellar tendon (connects the quadriceps to the shinbone)
KNEE PAIN CAUSED BY ARTHRITIS
Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) is the most common type of arthritis and is caused by wear and tear on the cartilage from use, age or even a previous injury. Think of it like an automobile tire that’s out of alignment wearing irregularly in places. The wearing down of the cartilage in the knee joint is similar to that. If an injury goes untreated, the worn-out cartilage may make the bones rub against each other, cause painful bone spurs. It’s important to not let this progress!
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can affect any joint in your body, including knees.
- Gout is caused by uric-acid buildup. It’s most common in the big toe, but can affect knees as well.
- Pseudogout is often mistaken for gout. Calcium crystals in the knee joint cause pseudogout.
- Septic arthritis often occurs with a fever and can lead to swelling, pain and redness, even without an injury.
OTHER KNEE PAIN RELATED CAUSES
Pain behind the knee is called chondromalacia patellae. You may have a deep ache that worsens after sitting for a long time with your knee bent, or when going up and down stairs. It’s most common in people ages 20-45. It’s also called patellofemoral pain syndrome, which just means pain between your patella and femur.
Knee pain from the foot can be caused by the way you walk or problems with your feet. Your body may be compensating for an injury or malfunction somewhere else in the body. A previous injury can weaken the knee or lead to osteoarthritis and possible low back problems.
Bone spurs also can be the result of a poor gait and are caused when tissues wear down, making the bones rub against each other.
GENERAL TREATMENT OF KNEE PAIN
First we need to find the cause of your knee pain. We will check your knees for swelling and pain, temperature and color changes and range of motion. We may take an X-ray to get images of your knee and order an MRI to check on the soft tissue surrounding it.
Through a thorough exam and diagnostic testing, we’ll find out where the problem is originating. Treatment options range from therapeutic ultrasound, cold laser, light manipulation and light knee decompression.
Knee adjustments and knee decompressions don’t hurt! There’s no twisting or bending as the joint is realigned. Along with the adjustments, there may be exercises, and laser treatments. Dr. Aboudib has treated patients suffering from knee pain for 27 years.