Many of us will experience knee pain during our lives. A quick and brief experience of knee pain is probably nothing to worry about. But if one or both of your knees is giving you pain on a regular basis, it could be time to get to the root of the problem. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the most common causes of knee pain.
If you’re feeling a dull pain at the front of your knee cap, you could be experiencing runner’s knee. If you lead an active lifestyle, even if you don’t run, you can develop this knee problem. The term ‘runner’s knee’ covers a lot of knee problems, but most often it is when the muscle tissue around your kneecap have become irritated. You can learn here about solutions to this problem such as wrapping your knee in KT tape, but if the problem persists you should visit your doctor.
Knee ligament injury
If you experience a sudden, sharp pain in your knee, the pain persists when you walk, there is a ‘popping’ noise in your knee, your knee is swollen, and/or you feel like your knee occasionally ‘gives out’ and you lose balance, you may have injured a ligament in your knee. This can happen when playing sports or working out but it could also happen by jumping and landing incorrectly or falling over. Your knee ligaments can heal on their own, but more serious ligament injuries might require surgery.
Torn cartilage in your knee, also known as a meniscus tear, is another common knee injury that could be causing you pain, especially if you’re physically active. The tear usually happens due to one movement, such as twisting your knee. The older you are, the easier it is to tear the cartilage in your knee as this thins as we age. Knee pain that worsens over days after the injury, a ‘popping’ sound, the knee ‘giving out’, and the knee locking are all common symptoms of meniscus tears. These tears can heal on their own but some require surgery. Your best option is to go to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Arthritis causes inflammation and pain in your joints and it often occurs in the knee. Typical symptoms of arthritis in the knee include swelling, stiffness, pain, and difficulty fully bending your knee. There is no simple treatment for arthritis and many of us have to accept it as we grow older. There are some steps you can take to relieve knee pain from arthritis, such as losing weight and physical therapy.
Knee pain is often caused by exercise, injury, or a medical condition. The symptoms aren’t always easy to tell apart, so your doctor will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis. Until you can see them, be sure to rest your knee, ice and wrap it if need be, and avoid strenuous exercise. Many knee problems do go away on their own, but only if given the chance to rest and heal.