Just like a hinge, your knee joints allow for the bending and straightening of your legs when necessary, enabling you to run, walk or sit down. Unlike a hinge however, your knee joints rotate as they provide support to your body. Because of their heavy responsibility, your knees connect to various bones (thighbone or femur, tibia and kneecap or patella), ligaments (anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments), tendons (quadriceps and patellar), cartilage (menisci), and bursae (prepatellar, anserine and infrapatellar bursae). All these structures connect your knee joint to other parts of your legs (body) and are therefore susceptible to stress and tension, which can cause pain in knee, a problem that affects most women (men too).
Types of Knee Joint Pain
Because of the varied structures that connect to your knee joints, joint pains vary. Below are the types of knees pain, their causes and cures:
- Acute pain in knee – Acute pain in knee is mainly caused by bone fractures, leading to bone pain. Such pain manifests itself in inability to walk, swelling on the particular knee, and acute pain. This requires immediate medical attention for knee surgery to repair the same.
- Pain from sprained and torn ligaments – You may sprain or tear your ligaments while sporting, resulting in knees pain. You are likely to experience a ripping sensation internally, swelling and knee instability. Ligament injury requires a doctor’s intervention. Treatment methods involve the use of placing cold packs on the affected knee, compression, elevation, exercises and administration of pain relief medications.
- Pain from tendon ruptures – Like in torn ligaments, you may rupture your tendons through sport activities. You will experience pain when you try to extend affected leg or try to kick something and swelling on the knee. While you may be treated by splinting, knee surgery treatment may at times be necessary.
- Menisci pain – You will experience this pain in case of meniscus tear. Once your meniscus is torn, a piece can enter into your knee joint, causing joint pains. You will have a locked knee joint and will not be able to straighten or bend the affected knee. While you can undertake own treatment by massaging the knee with warm salty water, it at times becomes necessary to receive medical treatment as the injury may require knee surgery.
- Pain from dislocation – You may sustain knee dislocation because of a heavy blow to the knee. Dislocation affects other tissues including ligaments and your lower leg may not receive enough blood supply. A full blow to your knee can see your knee amputated or receive knee replacement. Dislocation is extremely painful and will be accompanied with swelling. Knee dislocation treatment starts by a doctor putting back the joint into place. Knee surgery is possible.
- Pain from Kneecap dislocation – This is a common knee problem. You can sustain kneecap dislocation when you try to forcefully straighten your leg, as in sports activities. Women, those obese, knock-kneed and those with high-riding kneecaps are the most at risk of sustaining kneecap dislocation. You will experience mild pain and you will notice your kneecap (patellar) being out of place. Your doctor will put it back and x-ray may be necessary to uncover any fractures.
- Osteochondritis pain – This will occur if one of the structures that connect to your knees is injured, left untreated, loses blood supply and dies. You will experience pain with decreased movement in the knee joint.
- Chronic knee pain – Chronic pain causes can come about because of disease or infections. Such include arthritis that can be caused by osteoarthritis and gout. Chronic pain symptoms include chronic pain, swelling and inability to sit up comfortably from a sitting position. Dealing with arthritis symptoms can be a challenge, especially if you have not yet been diagnosed with arthritis. It is therefore necessary to consult a doctor if you are over 40 years and experience unexplained pain in knee. Arthritis treatment is usually aimed at pain relief in addition to other medications.
The number of knee joint injuries and knees pain has increased over the years. To avoid any knee problems, it is necessary to take necessary measures to ensure safety and health of your knees. You can do through what can be summarized as PRICE (Protect your knees from injury and do the same in case of injury to avoid trauma, Rest your injured knees as much as possible, Ice injured knees, Compress injured knee to reduce swelling and Elevate injured knee to reduce swelling). Knees pain can be very unpleasant and you may need to use pain relief medications. The common relief medications that you can use include Naproxen and ibuprofen that do not only reduce pain but are also anti-inflammatory. However, the most important thing is to prevent knee injury at all costs. Towards this end, you may consider reducing your weight if you are overweight to minimize the pressure that your body exerts on your knees. This will certainly mean avoiding some foods that encourage weight gain.