What is Knee Pain?
Knee pain is a very popular musculoskeletal complaint that we see in our Physical Therapy clinics. With today's increasingly active society, the number of knee problems is increasing. Knee pain has a wide variety of potential causes and as well as treatments. Being physically active is one of the best things you can do for your body. However injuries do occur. And when they do, more often than not they involve the knees. Some of the most common issues are meniscus tears, tendinitis, runner’s knee, and sprained ligaments. If not treated properly, knee injuries may flare up randomly and cause pain.
Conditions include but are not limited to:
- Bursitis: Bursa is a small sac of fluid that sits right under your skin and above your joint. Overuse, falls, and repeated kneeling may irritate the bursa on top of your kneecap leading to pain and swelling.
- Dislocated Kneecap: When a kneecap slides out of position, resulting in knee swelling and pain. This is also known as “patellar dislocation”.
- Meniscal Tear: Knee injuries may cause cartilage to tear. This results in pain and swelling, some people report feeling a sensation of “catching” in the area of the joint during activity.
- Osteoarthritis: This is what is known as the wear & tear arthritis type. This condition causes the knee joint to swell and ache during activity, as well as cause pain and stiffness early in the day. This is typically the top cause of knee pain in patients over the age of 50 years old.
- Patellar Tendinitis: Inflammation in the tendon responsible for connecting the kneecap to the shinbone. This may be caused over-doing an exercise or activity, and is also known as “Jumper’s Knee”
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Imbalance, tightness, and alignment issues caused by muscle imbalance. This condition causes knee pain, and possibly sudden “buckling” or loss in ability to bear one’s own weight.
How to Treat & Prevent Knee Pain?
- Avoid too much rest: Resting or staying inactive for too long can weaken your muscles and enhance joint pain. If you’re unsure of which motions are safe for your knee please consult with one of our therapists.
- Perform exercises: Cardio, weight training, and stretching all help support your knee, and increase flexibility.
- Avoid risk of falling: A painful and unstable knee increases your likelihood of a fall, potentially causing more damage. Decrease your risk of falling by utilizing handrails when on a staircase, and only frequent well-lit area to avoid tripping & falling.
- Use the R.I.C.E. technique: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) is a great simple method for treating minor injury or knee pain caused by an arthritis flare. Keep your knee well rested, apply ice, apply a compression bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
- Use custom orthotics: Custom orthotics are shoe in-soles made specifically to alleviate knee pain by re-aligning your body. They are created completely custom to fit each individual perfectly for optimal results. Ask our doctors about custom orthotics, we can help!