Pain in knees is one of the most common pains experienced by almost everyone at some point in their lives. Whether in sports or exercise or any other activity, knee pain is very likely to occur and most of the times it is severe and can confine even the most active of persons to bed.
We work a lot and sometimes a lot more than others. Some people have such a profession that demands high quantity of muscle-work. In doing so, often times there comes a situation when a muscle is pulled or strained and the worst is when it is chronic, which means it remains throughout one’s life. Sometimes, over usage of some parts of the body cause severe pain in those areas, resulting in swelling which can be quite painful. Knees are affected the most while working excessively and so pain in knees has become common among us.
Looking at the causes will help us take the measures to prevent pain in knees.
1. Injuries in Ligaments
Ligaments connect the thigh bone to the lower leg bones and keep the knee stable by holding the bones together. Anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament and medical collateral ligament can be affected by knee ligament sprains and tears which are very common sports injuries. It can result in severe pain and might require surgery too.
2. Cartilage tears
Injuries can also take place in the cartilage which is a semi-hard tissue covering the bone ends. Injuries in knee cartilage often require surgery. Knee cartilage comprises of medial meniscus which is situated on the inside of the knee, and lateral meniscus which is situated on the outside of the knee.
3. Arthritis of the knee
One of the common causes of knee pain is arthritis of the knee. Being a common degenerative condition, it requires surgery. Rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis and osteoarthritis are the three most common types of arthritis. If you have any of these three types, then you may see stiffness and swelling around your knees, and it may even be quite difficult to bend your knees.
4. Tendon Injuries
Tendons are tissues connecting muscles to bones. Tendon injuries can happen when there is an inflammation in tendons or the tendons get ruptured, which mostly happens by over working or over exercising. Patellar tendonitis occurs from the tendon’s inflammation. “Jumper’s knee” is the most common type of patellar tendonitis.
5. Dislocation of the kneecap
Sometimes the kneecap is dislocated, causing pain and suffering. This dislocation can occur because of accidents such as a car crash, falls or high speed injuries.
Bursitis is caused when a person has to kneel down a lot of times or for longer periods of time. Bursa is the sac of fluids cushioning the knee joints. The fluid builds up there due to which the swelling occurs. The swelling, which occurs behind the knee, is called ‘Baker’s cyst’. It may be caused by injuries or arthritis.
Here are some of the treatments for paining knees:
- Knees should be given rest for a few days to prevent any intense activity. Bed rest is the best solution to keep knees away from any kind of vigorous work.
- To reduce pain and/or swelling, knee should be iced regularly. Every 3-4 hours, it should be done for 15-20 minutes or until there is no pain.
- Knee should be compressed using an elastic bandage or straps or sleeves to reduce the swelling as well as to provide support.
- A pillow can be kept under the heel while sitting or lying down to elevate the knee. That helps in reducing the swelling.
- Anti-inflammatory medications should be taken to help with pain and suffering. Though they should be taken after doctor’s advice as they have their side effects and so can only be taken occasionally.
- One can also do stretching or strengthening exercises for the knee if the doctor recommends them.
- For smokers, the bad news is that they shouldn’t smoke if they’re suffering from a knee pain. Smoking slows down the healing process which is because of the decrease in blood supply and so the repairing of tissues is delayed.
- Don’t try any exercise or sports like tennis, snowboarding, skiing, running or the like until the swelling stops and the knee is healed.
- No pain or disease or medical condition is hard to deal with. If taken right precautions and medications or treatments, one can overcome the agony and suffering with proper care and patience.