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Knee Pain

Knee Pain

One of the most common medical complaints is the knee pain.  Diagnosis of the cause of knee pain is not easy and as such the effective management and treatment of knee pain depends to a large extent on zeroing on the cause from the wide variety of factors that can cause knee pain. These varieties of cause range from problems associated with the knee joint, injuries like sprain, tear of the meniscus, strains and hemarthrosis, diseases, inflammations, syndromes, fractures, dislocations, cold induced pain, referred knee pain and other complex knee complications like deep vein thrombosis, knee effusion and fat pad impingement.

 

The knee is a complex part of the body that is sensitive to tumors, infections, degeneration and injuries. The successful operation depends on the well being of its three compartments: lateral, patellofemoral and the medial. The knee joints are stabilized by the ligaments. Some ligaments are attached within the knee and are called cruciate ligaments while the collateral ligaments are attached on the inner and the outer sides of the knee. While some injury patients would need total replacement of the knee to achieve normal functioning again, minor and mild cases would be repaired by surgical repair which involves grafting, synthetic graft repair and suturing.

 

Sometimes before an examination to ascertain the cause of knee injury is made, problems that could be associated with tissues around the knee will have to be examined. The use of x-rays does not reveal tears of the meniscus but can be used to exclude any problems or malfunctioning of the bones and tissues around it. MRI studies and Anthroscopy have been used frequently in the diagnosis of knee ailments and in rare cases, a needle aspiration of fluid is carried out. Rheumatic diseases are often accompanied by knee problems. Rheumatic diseases affect joints by causing pain, swelling, stiffness and limitation of joint movements.

 

 

Causes of Knee Pain

Knee injury, though common has a higher risk factor in people engaged in athletic activities, trauma injuries, those who are aging and overweight people who put a lot of strain on their knees each and every day. This is because these groups of people are involved in either overuse of the knee joints or lack of enough stretching exercises, not warming up or cooling down and poor form when undertaking physical activities.  There are also many simple causes of knee pain which will clear away with time or with a little home care.

 

The severe forms of knee injuries that require specialized or dedicated medical attention include the following:

 

  1. Injuries

 

Injuries can take the following forms

  • Sprains. An individual can suffer posterior or anterior cruciate prain or even medial and lateral collateral ligament sprain
  • Lateral or medial tear of the meniscus
  • Muscle strains like in the popliteal tendon or muscle, quadriceps tendon or muscle and patellar tendon.
  • Hemarthrosis which is a simple knee injury pain that lasts a few hours.

 

  1. Diseases

 

There are several diseases that often bring about knee pain. The comprehensive list includes: knee rheumatoid arthritis, Larsen-Johansson disease, Osgood-schlatter disease, discoid meniscus, meniscal cyst, chondromalacia patella, knee osteoarthritis, osteochondritis dissecans and synovial chondromatosis diseases, tumors, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, hemophilic arthritis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, tuberculosis and reiter’s syndrome.

 

  1. Inflammations

 

Include:

  • Synovitis of the knees
  • Jumper’s knee, hamstring and popliteal tendinitis
  • Bursitis. These include the housemaids knee which is the most common in thiscategory, the clergyman’s knee and the semimembranosus bursitis

 

  1. Deformities

 

Deformities that commonly lead to knee pain include bipartite patella, knee flexion deformity, knee hyperextension, genu valgum and genu varum.

 

  1. Syndromes

 

Common syndromes associated with knee pain include plica syndrome, iliotibial band and the patellofemoral pain syndrome.

 

  1. Fractures and dislocations

 

Femoral fracture, patella fracture and tibial fracture would definitely result in knee pain. On the other hand, dislocation of the patella would result in extensive amount of pain. Tibiofemoral joint dislocation or commonly knee joint dislocation can also cause extensive pain.

 

  1. Other causes

 

  • Sometimes the knee may experience pain as a result of problems in the other part of the body.  Such kind of pain is called referred knee pain.
  • Other sources of knee pain are cold induced, deep vain thrombosis, knee effusion, ligamentous laxity and pat pad impingement.

 

 

Symptoms of Knee Pain

The most obvious symptom of knee pain has to be pain that the patient will feel. There are various varieties of knee pain that an individual would feel. The pain could be: sharp, dull, aching, deep, throbbing, numb, hot or burning, tingling, pins and needle-like, like an electric shock, tight or constricting, crushing, stretched, horrendous, itchy, pricking, overly sensitive to normal touch and most frequently sensitivity to cold or sharp changes in temperature. Knee pain can sometimes not be felt on the whole knee region. The pain can be limited to underneath the knee cap, outside or inside the knee cap, back of the knee and sometimes around the knee.  Other possible symptoms that could manifest in the individual include:

 

  • Difficulty in straightening the knee.
  • Difficulty in bending the knee.
  • Kne buckling sideways when you stand on it.
  • Knee buckling forward when you stand on it.
  • Swelling of the knee.
  • Knee locks or bents when bent or straightened.
  • Feeling weak in the knees.
  • Difficulties in lifting the leg.
  • Feeling snap when the patient bends or straightens the knee.
  • An ache like feeling and sometimes burning on the outside of the knee during physical activities.
  • Movement of the knee cap excessively from side to side.

 

 

Knee Pain Home Remedies

For knee pain that is just starting: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself!  Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.

 

  • Avoid Strenuous Activities– Avoid activities that will aggravate the pain, like weight bearing jobs.

 

  • Ice the Knee– Icing the knee can give considerable reduction in pain. Apply ice for up to ten minutes every hour on the knee on the first day and subsequently for 5 times a day on the following days.

 

  • Raise the knee– In case the knee is swollen, keep it raised as much as possible to relieve it of the pressure

 

  • Wear a sleeve or bandage– Swelling may also be reduced by wearing an elastic sleeve or an ace bandage which are obtainable from pharmacies in the local neighborhood.

 

  • Take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen– Take medications to reduce pain like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

 

  • Try This– Take a rest and while at it, sleep with a pillow between or underneath the legs.

 

  • Wear a Knee Brace– Compressing the knee with a wrap or knee brace, compression has two benefits to the knee that is it can reduce swelling and in certain knee injuries, compression can keep the patella aligned so that the mechanics of the knee are left intact.

 

For knee pain that stems from physical activity and overuse of the knee:

 

  • Cool Down– Cool down in the event that you are through with exercising and remember to warm up before. This serves to stretch the hamstrings and the quadriceps.

 

  • Avoid running down hills– Running down the hills is not healthy and choose to walk instead

 

  • Avoid vigorous activities– Reduce the amount of exercise that you indulge in and choose to swim or ride the bicycle instead of vigorous activities.

 

  • Lose Weight– If you are overweight, strive to lose that weight because the extra weight causes strain on the lower joint, especially the knees that could harm your knee leading to knee pain

 

To relieve knee pain from bursitis:

 

  • Wear flat shoes– Wear flat shoes that are comfortable, flat and cushiond during exercise.

 

  • Try This– During sleep, avoid lying on the site that is affected by bursitis. Place a pillow between the knees.

 

  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.

 

  • Use pain relieving creams.

 

  • One can rub gently the painful area.

 

  • Calming down emotionally and losing any excess weight.

 

  • Use knee padding– Protecting the knee from any further trauma is very important. Use knee padding and be careful especially of sharp corners that can knock the knee into more pain.

 

  • Boswellia -knee pain is normally a case of a person’s cartilage and knee muscles being overworked. This usually happens after strenuous activity, for example a soccer player might develop knee pain after an intense game. To eliminate pain in your knees, one can simply use the boswellia herb to cure knee pain problem.

 

  • Ginger -it can reduce the inflammation on the muscles as well as cartilage that are causing pain in your knee.

 

  • Turmeric -there is a high possibility that there is fluid buildup caused by misaligned and unstable blood vessels whenever you are suffering from knee pains. Therefore it is necessary to use turmeric herb which helps to prevent this from happening.

 

  • White willow bark -it is one of the best herbal remedy especially if you get pains in your knees after sustaining an injury. The white willow bark herb is the best r5e3medy incase a person experiences knee pain after getting an injury since it prevents gravity from worsening your knee problems.

 

  • Aloe Vera-Aloe Vera plants contain an enzyme called bradykininase that helps reduce swelling of the knee caused by injury and water retention. It is also believed to help relieve pain. Use the gel to make a tincture that can be added to liniments and applied to the affected area of the knee.

 

  • Cabbage leaves-they have cooling effects and serve as a slight anti-inflammatory for hot, inflamed knees. First, remove the middle rib of the cabbage leaves in order for the leaves to be pliable. Then wrap them around the knee. Use a plastic wrap to cover the leaves and keep them in place then leave that overnight. Make sure that you don’t wrap so tightly that it cuts off circulation.

 

  • Meadowsweet –it acts as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. When you have knee pain, make comfrey tea with 1 to 2 tsp. of flowers. Drink up to three cups per day.

 

Diet for Knee Pain

  • Eating right is a solution to very many body maladies and knee pain is also included. For one, all nutritional foods that lead to strengthening of the bone are good for avoiding knee pain.
  • Use ginger as it relieves pain by decreasing inflammation.
  • Avoid intake of refined carbohydrates.
  • Eat spinach, onions and orange juices.
  • One of the most nutritious foods for the benefit of the knee has to be fish. Fish has omega-3 fatty acids which naturally fight inflammation. This is especially for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The best sources of omega-3s are herring, tuna, cod, mackerel, sardines and salmon.

 

 

Prevention of Knee Pain

  • The prevention of knee injuries lies in taking precautionary measures against physical injuries that can result into knee pain. If a disease also causes knee pain, then avoid the disease at all costs including sticking on a healthy diet.
  • Increase the physical activity slowly by slowly with time. Taking excessive exercise after a long period of inactivity will lead to unbearable strain on the knees leading to knee pain.
  • Maintain healthy body weight level. Being overweight will  put repetitive strain on the knee thus making you liable to knee complications.

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