Common Knee Problems--- Symptoms and Causes
Knee pain is a common occurrence and is often caused by aging, injury or strenuous physical activity. Fortunately, there are several non-surgical and non-invasive therapies to manage knee pain, like physical therapy, knee braces or injections.
What Causes Knee Problems?
Knees are subjected to an extraordinary amount of pressure every time you take a step. After decades of use, this pressure and the natural effects of aging take a toll on the knees, weakening ligaments, eroding cartilage and stressing muscles.
If you run, ice skate or roller blade for exercise, you may experience knee pain even as a young adult. Professional athletes often train year-round and force their bodies to enduring significant stress to master their skills. It’s no surprise that many suffer injuries, including knee injuries.
If you’re overweight or obese, you may also develop knee problems. Simple activities like walking, squatting or climbing stairs may put enormous stress on your knees if you’re carrying extra pounds, increasing your risk of pain and injury.
Common Knee Injuries
Sprained Knee Ligament
The knee has four ligaments which connect the thigh bones to the lower leg bones. Ligaments, which resemble elastic bands, are prone to various injuries. Specifically, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can be easily sprained or strained, usually due to trauma to the knee or a twist of the knee.
Cartilage covers the ends of the bones within the knee joint. It shields the bones and acts like a shock absorber. Torn cartilage is usually the result of a sports injury, often when an athlete sprains or twists their knee.
Just like any other bone in your body, knee bones can break. Fractured knee bones are often caused by a fall, car accident or some other blunt force trauma. People with weak and brittle bones, like those who suffer from osteoporosis, can fracture their knees by performing simple movements, like walking, bending or even coughing.
What Can Cause Knee Pain Without Injury?
When your knee hurts, it’s not always because of an injury. People who suffer from arthritis experience joint pain and stiffness that usually worsens with age. There are several types of arthritis. However, it’s often osteoarthritis that causes pain in the knee. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage slowly dissolves due to wear and tear of the knee, thus it’s a common occurrence among middle-aged and elderly people.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another form of arthritis that can affect the knee. It eats away at the joint cartilage causing painful inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect anyone regardless of their age.
How Do I Know if My Knee Injury Is Serious?
You can treat knee pain with various home remedies, like over-the-counter medications (Ibuprofen, Aleve), numbing cremes, heat packs, ice therapy or compressions. If you’re experiencing persistent pain and swelling that isn’t going away, it may be time to see an orthopaedic doctor with experience in pain management.
Your knee pain may be mild or severe depending on its cause. However, symptoms like significant swelling, deformity of your knee, severe pain or fever should never be ignored and more than likely require prompt medical intervention.
Knee Pain Treatments
Patients have many knee pain management options. The therapeutic treatment that will work best for you depends on the source and severity of your knee pain or injury.
If you suffer from arthritis, your doctor may prescribe medication to help alleviate the pain and inflammation. Other treatment options include physical therapy, injections or surgery. The latter is usually a last resort when non-surgical options fail to provide pain relief or improve mobility.
Regenerative Knee Treatments at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics in Carrollton and Marietta
If you’ve suffered a knee injury, you might be looking for pain management and treatment solutions that won’t require you to have surgery or take powerful medications.
Our experienced and dedicated physicians will take their time to carefully examine your injury and offer the best knee pain management plan tailored to your individual needs.
Call us today at 770-421-1420 for more information or schedule an appointment online.