Knee Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Knee pain can often be a symptom of issues with the hip or ankle. In this video, Casey Crisp, DC describes some exercises and stretches you can do to increase your mobility and strength. These foam roller exercises, combined with the bridge and calf stretch, can help alleviate nagging knee pain. By treating the problem at the source, Airrosti eliminates the pain quickly in an average of three to four visits, based on patient-reported outcomes. Click here to learn more about what to expect at your first visit to Airrosti.

WHAT IS KNEE PAIN?

The knee joint is the largest joint in the body. It is responsible for much of the lower body’s movement, and is comprised of various tissues, ligaments, and tendons. Because of this, the knee is highly susceptible to many injuries from repetitive stress. In addition, multiple muscles are connected to our knees, and can cause pain to radiate from another area.

Some people are more likely to develop knee problems than others. Many jobs, sports, and recreational activities can increase your chances of having problems with your knees. Your risk is also greater as you get older.

A few common knee injuries include:

Woman Holding Her Knee in Pain

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?

Many knee pain causes are the result of a direct injury. Sudden (acute) injuries may be caused by a direct blow to the knee or from abnormal twisting, bending the knee, or falling on the knee.

Overuse injuries occur with repetitive activities or repeated or prolonged pressure on the knee. Activities such as stair climbing, cycling, jogging, or jumping stress joints and other tissues can lead to irritation and inflammation.

Knee pain can often happen because of tightness in another part of the body such as in the adductor muscles, hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Tight muscles and joints can change how the knee responds to impact from walking or running.

Other common causes of knee pain include a Baker Cyst (a buildup of synovial fluid, or joint fluid that helps with lubrication, behind the knee), rheumatoid arthritis, knee dislocation, a torn meniscus (a rupture in one or more of the cartilages in the knee), or a torn ligament.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Although the causes may be different, most often they share the same symptoms, including:

  • Pain, swelling, or bruising may be severe and develop within minutes of the injury.
  • The severity of the pain can vary, from a minor ache to a severe disabling pain.
  • Knee pain can be localized, such as in the front of your knee, or diffuse throughout the knee, depending on which structure is involved.
  • You may experience trouble walking, limping due to discomfort, or locking of the knee joint.
  • The pain can vary depending on what bones of the knee are involved, such as the knee joint (femur, tibia, fibula), the kneecap (patella), or the ligaments and cartilage (meniscus) of the knee.
  • Other problems can develop due to overcompensating for knee pain and favoring one leg over the other.
Man Holding Knee While at

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?

There are many types of knee injuries and conditions that result in knee pain. A thorough physical examination is necessary to establish a proper diagnosis, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

Traditional treatment for knee pain usually involves rest, as well as application of ice or heat to reduce swelling and ease knee pain. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDS may be prescribed. However, long-term use of these medications can have negative side effects.

More aggressive and severe knee injuries may require steroid shots to help with inflammation. Additionally, you may need surgery for certain injuries, such as ACL injuries, to repair torn ligaments. For these cases, physical therapy and training is usually required to help the area recover and strengthen.

The typical recovery time for a knee injury depends on the type, severity of the injury, and the treatment recommended by your doctor. Simple strains or sprains can last for one to two weeks. More extensive injuries may take one to three months to heal. Major traumatic injuries to the knee may take up to a year to heal. You should consult with your doctor about what treatments and therapies are best suited for you, depending on your injury.

Man Stretching Leg While Smiling

HOW CAN AIRROSTI HELP?

If ignored or improperly treated, knee pain and injuries can become chronic, leading to months and years of pain. Chronic knee injuries can lead to numerous issues, cause weakened joints, and may need surgery. However, Airrosti providers work to resolve and help your pain right at the source, providing rapid knee pain relief with lasting results.

To begin your recovery, call Airrosti at (800) 404-6050 or schedule an appointment online!

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

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