Knee Pain – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
One of the reasons behind our joy of living is good health. And many of us seriously know its importance. In the present era, you must be aware of many illnesses that can take place inside and outside the body. And when it happens to a person seriously, they use to worry on that matter. Although, we are living in such a generation where medical science has progressed to an advanced level. And even if there are a lot of troubles leading to human health. Several approaches exist by which treatment can be done. In this blog, we are bringing your attention to one of the well-known problems that affect several age groups. Here, we are talking about knee pain and things related to it. We will try to cover different subjects so the readers could understand this topic finely.
Our human body is such a creature whose chief organs have their unique functioning. And if there is a problem in one of the major parts, it can affect the entire body. For example, a motorbike consists of different elements and all of them have different operations. If there is a lack of any major thing like brakes, petrol, tire, or engine. Then how would a person run it, since they all are dependent on each other. You can remember this context for our body as if anything happens to its major parts. It can lead to difficulty and people become incapable to perform their daily tasks smoothly. One of the major components that helps us in various activities is the knees. A severe impact on their wellbeing can restrict a person in numerous tasks.
Before moving towards knee pain, let’s identify some useful information regarding the anatomy of the knees.
About Human Knees
The largest joint in the body is the knee joint. It is also referred to as a synovial joint as it contains a fluid-filled capsule. It helps us in connecting the thighbone (femur), which is the longest bone in our body, to the shinbone (tibia). This is known as the tibiofemoral joint. The second main joint in the knee is the patellofemoral joint. Here, the kneecap (patella) meets the thighbone (femur). There is a fibula or calf bone that assists in carrying some weight. It is situated on the lateral side of the tibia. With the help of tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints, a modified hinge joint is formed. Consequently, it permits the knee to get straighten and bend. And also assist in rotating slightly from side to side.
Working of Our Knees
Our knee stands as one of the most complex and important joints in the body. It is a hinge joint that performs different tasks like bending, straightening, weight-bearing, and movement. Whether we perform things in a horizontal direction like walking or running or in vertical directions like jumping. There comes a significant role of knees. Various other functions come in charge of the knees. For example,
* It delivers stability and permits leg twisting.
* With the help of our knees, walking becomes more efficient.
* Performs as a shock absorber and assist in propelling the body ahead.
* Our knees are productive in holding the body in a standing position without requiring the muscles to work.
Some Essential Things To Know
1. Knee Bones
As we mentioned the names of four bones in the upper section, let’s identify them with some valuable information.
The strongest and the longest bones in our body is the femur. It proves to be the only one situated within the human thigh. It is the upper bone of the leg whose head forms a ball-and-socket joint. In our bodies, the femur’s neck joins the shaft and head at an angle of 125 degrees. And this activity is beneficial in movements like walking.
The shinbone is one of the two bones in the lower leg. It runs from our knee to the ankle. It is located in the medial area of our legs alongside the fibula and is closer to the median plane. It stands as the second-largest bone in our body after the femur.
Situated in the front side of the knee joint, the patella contains a triangular shape with an anterior and posterior surface. It helps in safeguarding the anterior feature of the knee joint from physical trauma. One of the primary functions of the patella is working as an anatomic pulley for the quadriceps muscle.
It proves to be the thin and long bone in the lower leg on the lateral side. Although the majority of the weight is tolerated by the shinbone, it also assists in carrying some weight. The fibula runs next to the shinbone from our knee to the ankle. If we compare its size with the shinbone, it contains almost the same length but is significantly thinner.
One of the essential structural elements of our body is cartilage. It stands as a connective and flexible fibrous tissue inside us. You can find its presence in many parts of the body. Out of which it is also noticed in the joints between the bones of knees. There is an absence of nerves and blood vessels inside cartilage. And that’s why it comes among the exceptional tissues. There are various kinds of cartilage to discover. Out of which, the two types that are present in our knees are meniscus and articular cartilage.
This kind of cartilage act as a cushion or shock absorber. With its help, the knee bones can shift through their range of motion without directly rubbing against each other. There are two menisci in the knee, namely medial and lateral.
If a meniscus tears away, it may lead to conditions like swelling, stiffness, and pain. Even a person may experience a block in their knee motion and face problems in lengthening their knee completely.
It stands as a smooth and white tissue that helps in covering the ends of the bones where they appear mutually to form the joints. Like meniscus, this cartilage type also acts as a shock absorber. With its help, the bones can move smoothly over the other.
There can be an injury in the cartilage due to some problems and it can lead to knee pain. That’s why a person needs to take care of this aspect.
You can understand them as the tough fibrous bands of connective tissue. About knee ligaments, they are thick strands of tissue helpful in connecting the upper leg bones to the lower ones.
There are four main ligaments present in our knees which are stated with some information.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)- It is situated in the knee’s center and towards the front of our knee. This kind of ligament helps in controlling the rotation and frontward movement of the shinbone (tibia).
Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)- Along with ACL, this ligament is also identified in the center of our knees. It is towards the backside of our knee and manages the rearward movement of the shinbone (tibia).
Medial Cruciate Ligament (MCL)- You can find its presence inside the knee. And it is a helpful source in delivering steadiness to the inner bone.
Lateral Cruciate Ligament (LCL)- It is located on the outside of the knee and delivers stability to the outer knee.
Remember, an injury to the ligament has a connection with swelling and pain in the knees. So, in such cases, you can consult the problem with a specialist doctor.
Tendons are parallel to ligaments but have a different function. It is a kind of tissue that supports in connecting the muscle to other body parts, generally the bones. Tendons are tough bands of fibrous connective tissues that have a very complex structure. They have a color of bright white. Patellar tendon stands as the largest tendon inside our knees.
Knee tendon pain can appear generally in people who actively participate in sports.
What Is Knee Pain?
Now, moving to the major feature of our blog, i.e., knowing what knee pain refers to. This is probably one of the widespread complaints that force a person to visit the doctor. It is not about an individual, people of several age groups can appear in this problem. This kind of difficulty is often related to general wear and tear from daily activities. For example, walking, standing, lifting, and bending.
Causes of Knee Pain / Reasons For Knee Pain
Knee pain can take place due to both short-term and long-term problems. It can be an outcome of an injury, for example, a ruptured ligament or a torn cartilage as indicated above. Even some medical conditions can bring severe pain to the knees. For example, a condition called arthritis can impact knee health badly. After that, some infections may hurt the knees.
We are mentioning some causes that can lead to knee pain.
You can identify ACL Injury as one of the common ligament injuries. This injury often happens with those who are active in playing sports like basketball or soccer. Or those activities that contain a sudden change in direction.
When the kneecap of a person slides out of its actual position. It can cause swelling and pain in the knees. It is also referred to as a patellar dislocation. And can happen due to a direct blow or rapid twist of the leg.
Our knee bones can come in contact with a break or fracture. There can be several reasons like a vehicle collision or serious falls that can even lead to a broken kneecap. A person can feel an intense amount of pain in the knees when dealing with a fracture. Therefore, people must not take this condition lightly and need to visit an orthopedist. Otherwise, it may lead to some futuristic issues in the body. Even there are some conditions like osteoporosis that can put a person to fracture just by wrong stepping.
You can consider arthritis as the most common cause behind knee pain. It is a joint inflammation disease and contains a bunch of types. Out of which, osteoarthritis is a slow and degenerative condition that can cause the cartilage to wear away. When there is an absence of cartilage, the bones will initiate to rub together. As a result, there will be an appearance of deformity and severe knee pain. Osteoarthritis is one of the major causes of knee pain that can even force a person for knee replacement surgery.
This condition is also known as the torn cartilage. This activity can prevent the knee to execute some important tasks like maintaining balance and cushioning. It can also restrict to distribute weight across the knee joint. That’s why a person needs to consider visiting the doctor if such finds himself in such scenarios.
Bursa is the name of a sac that contains a little amount of fluid. It is under the skin over the joint and assists to avoid friction when the joint comes in motion. Bursitis can lead to tenderness, warmth, swelling, and redness in the overlying portions of the knees.
It refers to one of the most common causes of knee pain among children. It can also take place in people of young ages who deal with high impact sports. It can take place when a person is young and his bones and other knee parts are in a changing manner. Though it can bring knee pain, it may come and go over time.
There is a disease called osteosarcoma that is the second most common primary bone cancer. Millions of people every year suffer from this condition. Out of which children and teenagers are addressed in most of the cases. It is said that most of the tumors take place around the knee. If there is a presence of bone cancer, a person may feel bone pain and some other symptoms. In such cases, there is a strict need to take assistance from a professional candidate.
This is yet another form of arthritis after osteoarthritis that can cause knee pain. When it happens, the immune system of a person’s body attacks its healthy tissues in the joints. Though, the usual appearance of this condition lies in hands and feet. But it can also affect the knees. If rheumatoid arthritis is left untreated, a person may experience progressive and long-term damage. And when it happens, there are chances of joint damage.
It stands as an inflammation of the tendons between the kneecap to the shinbone. This kind of chronic condition is identified among those who repeat the same motion at the time of exercising. For example, runners, skiers, and cyclists. Even those who engage in activities and sports-related to jumping may come in contact with inflammation in the patellar tendon. The patellar tendon works with the muscles to extend our knee. With its help, we can perform things like jump, run, or kick.
There are several types of knee pain from which a person can suffer. Remember, pain in the knees can be severe due to various conditions. If there is a mild feeling of pain that goes over time, a person can tolerate it. But when it continues to happen inside the knees and the situation worsens, you need to visit an orthopedic soon.
Age Factor In Knee Pain
You may have seen or heard a complaint from older people about knee pain. Age is considered as one of the largest risk factors for ache in the knees. Since when a person enters into an advanced level of age, there can be possibilities of several conditions to occur. When a person becomes older, his muscles become weak and they are more susceptible to injury even in daily activities.
If there is a presence of osteoarthritis in the knees, a person can face disability. Especially regarding older men and women, there is a greater risk of having osteoarthritis. This kind of condition can take place in those who have gone through infection, injury, or trauma care. According to research from experts, knee pain in older people, in many cases, happens because of osteoarthritis.
Apart from the age factor, some other things include:
* History of a knee injury
* Activities that put extra stress on the knees
There are some ways by which a person can save himself from knee pain in older age. For example, try to keep an eye on their health right from a younger age. If something feels strange to your knees, you can consult a specialist doctor. If something is there, he could diagnose the problem on time and solve it before something unpleasant happens.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
There can be a difference in the position of knee pain. It can be according to the structure which has been involved. For example, if someone has been met up with a fracture or torn meniscus, symptoms can be at a particular location. And if there is a presence of infection or inflammatory process, a person’s entire knee can become painful and swollen.
The amount of pain can vary according to the condition of a person. Like, there can be a general ache that goes along with time. While those who have come under serious problems may face severe or disabling knee pain. You can feel free to consult an orthopedist when:
* There is a difficulty in climbing stairs or coming downstairs.
* There comes a presence of redness and swelling that continues to remain.
* It becomes difficult to bear weight.
* You find problems in walking due to knee unsteadiness.
* Someone is unable to perform movements like bending.
Apart from the mentioned things, you need to be active with your knee health in some other cases as well.
Diagnosis of Knee Pain Problems
There are some factors according to which diagnosis will take place. In general cases, the doctor looks at the symptoms of the patient. For better understanding, there can be an execution of a physical examination. Or a person will be asked to go for a test or scan if more concentrated treatment is required. Some of the commonly adopted measures for diagnosing knee problems are as follows.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
This procedure allows the doctor in viewing the images of the inside of the patient’s body. Like, with its help, he can have a look at the bones, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles, etc. With its help, the doctor can identify various problems such as bone fractures, osteoarthritis, damaged cartilage, infections, or tumors. It can also display the problem of torn tendons or ligaments. MRI makes use of large magnets, radiofrequencies along and a computer for taking detailed pictures.
One of the widely used procedures to identify bone fractures in many regions is X-ray. Your doctor may also take help from this source in observing the presence of degenerative joint disease.
CT Scan (Computed Tomography Scan)
This kind of test uses X-rays along with computer technology to obtain images of the body from different angles. Consequently, the doctor can acquire detailed images of any body part like bones, muscles, or organs, etc.
If someone is suffering from arthritis, gout, or other medical condition. Then, the health care professional may supervise the patient to have a blood test.
Also known as joint aspiration, doctors can also use this method in conditions like arthritis or gout. Even they can also prefer this option for the diagnosis of synovial infections like septic arthritis. In this method, a small amount of fluid is taken from the knee joint.
It stands for a fine method to identify and treat problems linked to the knee joint. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a small and lighted optic tube known as an arthroscope. The tube goes inside the joint by a small incision. There is a camera attached to the tube that shows the images of the inside of the joint. So that the doctor could see whether any bone disease or tumor is there. Or evaluate any arthritic or degenerative transformation in the joint. You can ask the doctor for more detailed information about the process of arthroscopy.
Treatment of Knee Pain
The problem of knee pain can be frustrating for many people. And if someone is suffering from continuous pain, it doesn’t mean it will last forever. Because there are different measures by which a person can get rid of such trouble. There are three to four approaches from which a person has to undergo, i.e., medications, physical therapy, injections, and surgery.
One of the initial steps that the doctor can suggest to the patient is taking medicines. They can be prescribed for treating an underlying condition or for bringing pain relief.
In some cases, taking help from a physiotherapist can be productive in knee pain. Since therapy sessions are helpful in strengthening the muscles around the knees. With its help, the knee will become more stable and achieve the best mechanical movements. There can be a presence of some other approaches to better the condition of the knee according to the situation.
There is an availability of some injections that can help in some circumstances when directly injected in the knee. But, there will be a requirement to inject them after a particular interval of time.
Ignoring Knee Pain Can Be Risky!
Conditions like arthritis can bring severe damage to the knee area. It can be dreadful in such a way that sometimes all the above treatment options fail to bring positive results. When doctors find non-surgical methods to be unsuccessful, they have to take a step forward.
There is a surgical procedure called knee replacement surgery. It is a useful method in cases where progressive pain exists and a person goes through impaired function. Those who address damaged knee joints due to progressive arthritis, trauma, or other destructive disease are guided for this surgery. The process includes removing the damaged cartilage and bone out of the knee joint. And they are replaced by an artificial substance called a prosthesis.
Knee replacement surgery is also known as knee arthroplasty and it can take place in different manners. Like, there is a minimally invasive knee replacement surgery, partial knee replacement surgery, and total knee replacement surgery. With the help of this surgery, a person can find relief in pain and restore mobility.
Tips To Keep Your Knees Healthy
In order to avoid such conditions, it can be a better approach to take care of your knees. For that, we’re helping you with some tips that you can follow and lead to a healthier life.
1. Perform Regular Exercise
Try to be honest with your body. If you bring proper attention every day by performing an exercise, it can let you away from several difficulties. It has been said that exercise is helpful in delaying the growth of osteoarthritis. You can also give some time to exercises related to strengthening like working on upper and quadriceps muscles. For better suggestions, consult a specialist doctor.
2. Cut Down Extra Weight
You need to be aware of one thing that people having excess weight are more prone to have knee pain. That’s why those who are obese need to cut down their weight. If a body is supposed to be heavy, it will force the joints to do more work. Even extra weight can also account for inflammation in the body and it can impact the knees. You can take help from exercise to reduce excess weight, or need to look at the eating habits.
3. Eating A Healthy Diet
If you initiate to take a balanced and healthy diet, it will cost you good in many ways. And will also help to avoid extra body weight. For the sake of your health, try to consume a diet that is rich in fiber. You can take help from fruits and vegetables. You can consult the doctor for a healthy diet chart. A person might need to avoid many things according to the doctor’s advice like some vegetables, dairy, or non-vegetarian items.
According to research, it has been said that acupuncture can help persons having knee osteoarthritis. It is a kind of treatment where extremely thin needles are inserted into the skin in particular parts of the body.
5. Other Self-Care Measures
You can perform some things in the form of home remedies to treat knee pain. Like, you need to take a break from daily routine life and have some rest. Especially if there is a presence of minor injury to the knee. Then, taking rest for a day or two can be sufficient for healing. Although, serious damage can ask for a longer period for recovery.
The second thing is taking help from the ice as it can lessen down both inflammation and pain. Take some ice in a cloth, wrap them together, and apply to the knee side which is paining. But, don’t continue it for more than 20-25 minutes as the ice can damage the nerves and skin.
The next thing is applying a heat pack or hot water bottle on the knee side. With its help, a person can find relief in the painful spot for some time.
We are making you aware of some risk factors regarding knee pain.
* The first thing which we already mentioned in the upper segment is age. So you can consider some essential things right from the younger period.
* The next thing is about muscle weakness. If you keep on working at the fitness of muscles, it will help in preventing knee pain.
* Try to be strong, flexible, and less sedentary. All these things will keep you away from inactive lifestyle habits and go in favor of knee health.
* Make sure to avoid things that aren’t good for our health. For example, smoking, taking illegal drugs or consuming alcohol. Especially in the case of smoking, a person can face problems in the knees as the cartilage is affected.
* If someone deals with an occupation that contains a higher risk factor for knee pain. Then, they should consult the doctor for ways to avoid such risks.
* Try to live a healthy and happier life. Don’t engage yourself in conditions like depression as it can also cost something negative to your knee health.
Ending Note From Mewar Hospital
You must have identified different things that are connected to our knee health. Sometimes, we take some cases lightly, but there can be an adverse impact in the futuristic time. So, make sure that you opt for a good life that contains special care for health. If there is a problem connected to the knees or musculoskeletal system, our team of orthopedic is there to help.
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