Knee Pain Conditions
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Experiencing pain in one or both knees is common. The knee supports body weight and enables various movements, but normal wear-and-tear, injury or disease can lead to a breakdown in the bones or tissues in the joint.
Understanding the Knee Joint
The knee has several parts, and any part can develop a problem. The joint is between the upper and lower leg bones and provides the flexibility and range of motion that enable activities like walking, running, turning, jumping, squatting and bending. The knee joint can also rotate.
Since the knee joint plays an important role in most movements, even minor knee pain restricts activities.
Knee Pain Causes
What causes knee pain? Every structure in the knee can contribute to knee problems. The common causes of knee pain include:
- diseases like arthritis,
- inflammation triggered by non-knee medical conditions,
- trauma or injury,
- misalignment of the muscles or the bones,
- normal aging process in which tissues weaken,
- excessive and/or repetitive use of the joint,
- joint stress from activities like regularly lifting heavy items.
- bone or cartilage pieces breaking off and floating in the joint, causing irritation,
- changing the normal gait to accommodate a foot or hip problem which adds stress to the knee.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
The particular knee pain symptoms depends on the knee bone or tissue causing the problem. People with knee pain may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- pain when putting any weight on the leg;
- knee becomes unstable and randomly gives out,
- swelling in the knee area;
- kneecap pain;
- experiencing redness or bruising around the knee;
- severe pain occurring shortly after an injury;
- inability to flex or straighten out the knee or perform other normal movements involving the knee joint;
- popping, crackling or crunching noises when the knee is used;
- obvious knee deformity.
Pain can occur suddenly, or it can develop over time. Sudden pain is usually due to an injury. Chronic knee pain that develops over time may occur randomly at first or when doing certain activities but gets increasingly worse as the knee bones and tissues deteriorate. Eventually, the pain becomes constant.
Knee pain that does not cease after self-care, or is due to something like arthritis. It will require care by a physician who will inspect the knee, ask the patient to do various movements and feel the joint area.