What is knee pain?
- Knee pain is a common condition which can affect people of all ages.
- Other medical conditions such as gout, arthritis and infections can also cause knee pain.
- An individual may experience knee pain after an injury to their leg such as a ligament rupture or a torn ligament. This can be a result of everyday wear and tear or sporting injuries.
- A majority of minor knee pain cases can be corrected through self-care means, however in some more severe cases treatments such as physical therapy and surgery can be recommended by a doctor.
What are the symptoms of knee pain?
The severity and location of knee pain can vary, it is mostly dependent on the initial cause of the pain whether it be an injury or a medical condition. Signs and symptoms that may be associated with knee pain include:
- Stiffness and swelling
- Instability or weakness when applying pressure to your knee
- Warmth when you touch your knee, usually accompanied with redness
- Your knee begins to make crunching or popping noises
- Being unable to fully straighten your knee
If these symptoms continue to persist it is important to call your doctor if you:
- Are unable to bear any weight on your knee or feel as though your knee can give out due to instability
- Can identify an obvious deformity in your knee or leg
- Are no longer able to fully flex or extend your knee
- Also develop a fever, in addition to swelling and redness in your knee
- Have intense knee pain that is the result of an injury
- Have marked knee swelling
Who is at risk of knee pain?
Anyone can be at risk of knee pain as it is a condition that can be present at any stage of life, however there are factors that can put you more at risk, these include:
- Increased age – as a person gets older, their bodies will most likely get weaker and they may begin to develop conditions such as osteoarthritis which directly impacts bones and joints.
- Athletes – those who regularly exercise will experience increased wear and tear because of continued use and will therefore be more susceptible to knee pain.
- Sports such as basketball, skiing and running all put strain on the joints in the knee. It is important not to push your body too much and be prepared to stop or slow down if you experience even slight knee pain.
- People who are overweight – individuals who are overweight put more strain on their knees as they go about daily tasks.
- Individuals who do not build up leg muscles to help support their joints.
What are the treatments for knee pain?
There are a variety of treatments available for those experiencing knee pain which include:
- Self-care and rest – most minor knee pain can be fixed through proper rest and recovery. Remember R.I.C.E. which stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. It is recommended that ice be placed on the affected area for 20 mins and then 20 mins off, this process is then repeated until the swelling reduces.
- Physical therapy – if the pain does not subside after rest then physical therapy may be a good option to explore. See a doctor about a referral to a physiotherapist who can show you exercises and stretches to help to get your knee back to proper working order.
- Multidisciplinary Pain Management for complex cases with chronic knee pain.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections and other forms of regenerative medicine.
- Corticosteroid injections can also be another way to relieve knee pain. This can be administered in a doctor’s office and will add cushioning to the knee joint which will reduce the friction and allow the bones to move more freely.
- Radiofrequency denervation of genicular nerves around the knee can be very effective for long term knee pain.
- Surgery – in the instance where an individual has had a severe injury, such as an ACL injury, broken bone in their leg or a torn meniscus a doctor may recommend getting arthroscopy surgery or in extreme circumstances a knee replacement.