The knee is a part of the body we rely on every day, all day. We often don’t think about how much work it does until it starts to hurt—and knee pain can be extremely limiting and worrisome, especially for those who are physically active. There are many different potential causes of knee joint pain, but here are five of the most common:
1. Torn or injured ACL. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an important ligament that connects your shin to your thigh. This ligament can be damaged by sudden changes in running direction which means it is a common injury for soccer, football and basketball players.
2. Torn meniscus. This is often what people mean when they say they “twisted” their knee. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that absorbs shock between your upper and lower leg where they meet at the knee. Twisting the knee can rip this important cartilage.
3. Patellar tendonitis. Many injuries from overuse involve soreness of the knee which is a form of patellar tendonitis. The patellar tendon is a tendon that runs down the front of the right and connects to the shin bone at the side of the knee. Overtraining in running, cycling, or walking can cause tendonitis here, meaning that the tendon is inflamed and irritated. It manifests as pain in the knee, especially the outside of the knee, and in the quadriceps.
4. Bursitis of the knee. Bursae are tiny fluid sacs that act like cushions in a joint, allowing tendons and ligaments to move smoothly over the joint area. Overuse or overtraining can cause inflammation of the knee bursae, known as knee bursitis.
5. Arthritis. Arthritis refers to a variety of conditions that affect the cartilage. There are numerous different kinds and treatment is different for each. One of the most common in terms of knee joint pain is osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear on the cartilage. This happens naturally as you age or can be the result of past injury. It generally manifests as stiffness and soreness in the knee and can be lessened by gentle exercise.
The type of treatment needed for knee pain depends entirely upon the cause. Some of these conditions can be addressed with rest and ice, while others will require serious treatment. No matter what the cause of your knee pain, give the knee rest right away and stay away from athletic activity until you have seen a doctor. Visit a physician who can identify the actual cause and recommend treatments that will give you the best results.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.