Do you feel terrible knee pain? Chronic knee pain is a long-term ache, sensitivity and/or swelling occurring in one or both knees. The real cause of pain can be determined by checking the symptoms one is having. Sometimes the pain in the knee is a temporary problem that doesn’t really need the attention of a knee and back pain doctor in NJ. Other times it is so chronic that it requires quick medical attention. Every person’s experience with chronic pain in the knee is unique though. There are several knee pain causes, including some health conditions and injuries. We will discuss each one of these causes in the next paragraphs.
Knee pain causes
Once you visit one of the top pain doctors NJ, you will understand whether your pain has been building up over time without an obvious cause or it is there because of an injury or a disease. Once the answer is known, the back pain doctor in NJ will identify the best type of treatment. While symptoms can be managed through conventional means until they subside, most pain doctors NJ will seek to know the root cause of pain. That’s because conventional treatment will provide relieve for a while and as soon as you go back to doing your normal activities, the knee will begin to ache again and it may swell. Without further ado, let us analyze the real knee pain causes.
Conditions that trigger knee ache
Health conditions are some of the leading knee pain causes. They include the following:
- Runner’s Knee –This condition affects the front of the knee because of a problem with the kneecap movements. It is easy to assume that Runner’s Knee affects only professional athletes. The truth is that it can affect people with a sedentary lifestyle as well. It has different causes, including muscle tightness and weakness, hip angle and flat feet. Pain will be felt over the kneecap and it might be accompanied by swelling. It can worsen when one is climbing or descending a staircase and can go away on its own. Treatment of the Runner’s Knee condition is just strengthening and stretching knee exercises. Most pain doctors NJ also propose the use of orthotics, knee braces and ice. If these don’t help, surgery may be needed.
- Chondromalacia patella – This is a prevalent cause of knee pain. It affects the youth and teens, particularly the girls. Chondromalacia patella occurs when the cartilage that covers the rear side of your kneecap is damaged. This can happen because of muscle imbalance and overuse. The condition is extremely painful, and just as the Runner’s Knee, the ache is felt at the front of the knee. It tends to worsen when a person remains seated for several hours and when they are walking down the stairs. There can be unusual knee joint noises when the cap moves. Chondromalacia can be treated via exercise, medicines, knee straps, and alteration of activity and shoe insoles.
- Osgood Schlatter Disease -This disease is one of the leading knee pain causes in adolescents, including males. It is thought to occur after a growth spurt because the bones are maturing faster than the teen’s muscles. This results to friction. Usually, there is pain beneath the kneecap and it worsens with activity and improves with rest. The area over the bone can swell and become warm. Top pain doctors NJ tend to recommend a combination therapy involving exercises, knee straps, knee pads and PRICE-protect, rest, ice, compression and elevation. It is among the longer lasting knee pain causes and can take a few weeks or twenty-four months to heal.
- Arthritis –This is a common knee joint disease that mostly affects people who are fifty years and above. It results when the cartilage that covers the knee joint suffers wear and tear. This causes the bones to touch each other. Arthritis tends to affect ladies the most, plus people who have injured their knee or have had their knee operated on. It causes a lot of pain, swelling, weakness and stiffness. Due to reduced range of motion, it’s so hard for arthritic patients to walk up and down stairs. Their symptoms tend to worsen over time. Treatment can vary based on how severe a disease is and can entail natural home remedies, dietary changes, knee braces, exercise and medicines. In severe cases, surgery can be done.
- Bursitis -This is one of the typical knee pain causes and it is due to the inflammation of the bursa. A bursa is a tiny fluid-filled sac located between your bones and tendons/muscles. Its work is to protect the joint from irritation. We have about 15 bursae around our knee and can get inflamed due to extreme friction when running or jumping or because of muscle tautness. If such a thing happens, there will be general pain and swelling around the knee and rest will be the best type of treatment offered by pain doctors NJ. As well as these, you should consider doing some strengthening and stretching exercises.
- Bakers cyst –Also called popliteal bursitis, a bakers cyst is among the major knee pain causes. The ache is felt at the back of the knee and this is due to the inflammation of the popliteal bursa that is located behind the knee joint. The arthritic fluid or fluid from a cartilage tear seeping into the bursa and making it swell causes a Bakers cyst. As well as this, any damage to the knee results to this condition too. Pain and swelling are the key symptoms and there can be knee stiffness, making movement difficult. A Bakers cyst’s treatment methods include medicines, injections, ice, exercises and surgery in the worst case scenario.
- Prepatellar bursitis –Another name for this condition is Housemaids Knee. It affects workers like carpet layers and roofers because they spend several hours kneeling. Sometimes a knock to the front of your knee can result to a swelling in your Prepatellar Bursitis. One of the top knee pain causes, prepatellar bursitis can make it hard for people to walk, bend their knee and kneel. Healing knee pain requires a combination strategy where ice, rest, medicines, injections and exercises are involved.
- Pes Anserine Bursitis – As one of the main knee pain causes, the condition affects the side of the knee just beneath the joint itself. This pain pes anserinus bursa is caused by continuous friction due to activities like running and swimming as they irritate the bursa. Sometimes the pain results from arthritis or the effects of type II diabetes and obesity in middle-aged women. Pain is often felt in the inside of the knee, about two to three inches beneath the joint. Stiffness and weakness in the knee joint can be expected too. As with the majority of knee pain causes, exercise can help a lot as long as it is done safely. In addition, steroid injections and medicines offered by pain doctors NJ can be of great help.
- Gout knee –This is a type of arthritis that can affect your knee, hands and feet. When a huge amount of urate crystals are produced in your joint, inflammation results. This is caused by poor diet, genes, being overweight, diabetes and knee injuries. People with gout often have a hot, swollen and red knee that tends to attack at night and is extremely painful. Pain doctors NJ treats gout with medicines, rest and ice.
- Jumpers Knee –Alternatively called Patellar Tendonitis, the Jumpers Knee is a condition that affects sports players when the tendon below the kneecap gets damaged. This can happen to people who keep on kicking or jumping due to the strain these two activities place on the patellar tendon. Once the tendon has small tears, it can weaken and become prone to damage. Then, there will be pain just beneath the kneecap, particularly, after long periods of rest and activity. This can be accompanied by knee stiffness in the morning. To treat this problem, pain doctors NJ recommend rest from tasks that could worsen the knee pain. They can also recommend certain exercises and in severe cases surgery. Wearing a knee strap can be really helpful as it can take the tension off the tendon.
- ITBS – This refers to iliotibial band syndrome and is one of the most prevalent knee pain causes. Pain is usually felt on the outer side of the joint, which is called lateral side and is often experienced by runners. Running down the outer side of the thigh attaching at the knee, the iliotibial band gets irritated by extreme friction. This friction is caused by things like a lot of running, muscle imbalance, running on a rope and so on. This inflammation is extremely painful and worsens when one is running and descending stairs. A snapping sensation can be heard when the victim tries to bend their knee and can be accompanied by slight swelling. The right way to treat ITBS is to take a rest from strenuous activities and can be combined with strengthening and stretching exercises. Wearing a knee strap can make all the difference, as well as steroid injections, orthotics and surgery (only if your ITBS is serious), offered by the best pain doctors NJ.
There are other knee pain causes that are less common, including Osetochondritis Dissecans. Sometimes there is reduced blood supply to components of the bone and this leads to lose fragments of bone and cartilage to break off. The most affected joint in the body is the knee one, and it is because of consistent minor damage to it from jumping, kicking and related activities. Locking and crashing sensations can be produced by a knee that is affected by Osetochondritis Dissacans. Due to this, there can be limited movement and swelling.
Non-surgical treatment entails physical therapy, rest, and knee braces. If these don’t work, surgery can result. Bipartite patella is a knee condition that is less common and remains quiet until you overburden or injure your knee. It is therefore one of the rarest triggers of knee ache. Biparte patella mostly forms when the kneecap has not formed completely and so the bone does not attach together firmly when a child is growing. The kneecap is therefore left in two pieces. The ache is felt at the front of the joint, which is usually tender to the touch and the knee joint itself feels like it could give way.
While people with this condition can go through life without feeling pain, severe Biparte patella can be painful. Treatment should be via rest from activities that can increase pain and doing certain stretching and strengthening exercises. Wearing knee braces is imperative too, and in the most dangerous situation surgery is done to join the broken bony fragments. In two to three months, symptoms are likely to disappear.
Knee injuries to have examined by a back pain doctor in NJ
Injuries can vary from trivial falls that may heal quickly to big accidents that could cause severe pain for months. Injuries tend to damage knee ligaments and cartilage. However, some injuries affect the kneecap and muscle.
- ACL -This refers to anterior cruciate ligament injuries that result when the ligament is excessively stretched to a point of tearing. When the knee is bent in a wrong manner, twisted or pushed back too far, ACL injuries can happen. Swelling, pain, popping sounds and a give-way sensation are some of the commonest signs of ACL injuries. Pain doctors NJ tends to rehabilitate the injured ligament via exercises and surgery.
- MCL tear –This refers to damage to the fibers that surrounds the medial collateral ligament or MCL. Activities like skiing can lead to a sudden twist of the knee, resulting to an MCL injury. Symptoms of this include swelling, inner knee pain, knee bending difficulties and instability. The commonly offered treatment options include a knee brace, exercises and PRICE.
- PCL-This refers to the tear affecting the Posterior Cruciate Ligament that is located inside the knee joint itself. The PCL injury is not common at all and results when a strong force causes the knee to bend backward. It is accompanied by mild pain and swelling, although these can take time to become apparent. The knee can feel unstable when you try to bend it and when running. Treatments of PCL injuries include physical therapy and a knee brace. If too serious, surgery can be done.
- Meniscus tear – This is a tear that occurs in the cartilage that covers your knee joint. It is a prevalent knee injury that is triggered by a sudden force through the knee or when there is abrupt twisting of the knee joint. A meniscus tear can also result from arthritis and it causes knee ache, swelling, instability, difficulties when straightening your knee or walking and a locking feeling. Treatment is offered through exercise, knee brace, PRICE and surgery– if too serious.
- Cartilage and muscle injuries – Your knee is covered with two kinds of cartilage: articular cartilage and meniscus cartilage. If there is a serious injury to any of the two, the cushioning produced can reduce and pain can result. When there is muscle damage, especially when they are abruptly overstretched, muscle fibers can develop a tear. Muscle strains can be treated in a couple of weeks, but pain doctors NJ discourage patients from returning to their normal activities too soon.
Apart from the above-mentioned injuries, there are other knee pain causes you should be aware of, including knee cap injuries like a dislocated patella and patella fractures. It is imperative to meet one of the top pain doctors NJ State has, including Dr. Michael Nguyen. It is important to get checked and treated as soon as your knee pain gets unbearable.