Causes, Risk Factors, Treatment & Prevention's
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What Is Knee Pain?
Knee pain is a symptom that can arise due to joint wear, excess weight or sports injuries that can occur during a run or a soccer game.
However, when the pain in the knee prevents walking or worsens over time, it may signal a more serious problem such as rupture of the ligaments, osteoarthritis or Baker’s cyst, which can be confirmed through imaging tests such as an x-ray or a computed tomography.
However, knee pain, in most cases, is not serious and can be treated at home with the application of ice 2 times a day, during the first 3 days after the onset of pain. In addition to this, the use of a knee brace throughout the day helps to immobilize it, decreasing the pain while waiting for the consultation.
What Causes Knee Pain?
The main causes of knee pain are:
- Pain in the lateral part of the knee, when running or after the run: it is usually the iliotibial band friction syndrome that must be treated with anti-inflammatories, stretching and myofascial release. It may also indicate lateral meniscus injury or injury to the lateral lateral collateral ligament of the knee.
- Pain in the knee in the internal part: It can arise due to a sprain of the knee, caused by a blow in the lateral part of the knee, causing inflammation in the side opposite to the trauma, tendonitis of the goose’s foot, injury in the medial collateral ligament or even a rupture of the same medial meniscus.
- Pain in the back of the knee: you may suspect the presence of a Baker’s cyst, a small swelling that appears behind the knee and causes increased pain when the patient bends or when the knee bends.
- Pain in the front of the knee: It can be a patellar chondromalacia.
- Pain in the knee when waking up: It is more common after the 40 years and, generally, it is related to the existence of rheumatoid arthritis in the articulation, reason why the pain is more frequent during the first minutes of the morning, and it improves with the movement.
- Knee pain when bending over: one of the common causes is patellar chondropathy, which is the wear of the joint around the kneecap, or injury to the meniscus.
- Knee pain when walking , at the end of the day or standing for a long time: it may be a sign of osteoarthritis, which causes knee wear, and as the disease worsens, there is stiffness in the knee when getting up in the morning and it improves with rest.
- Pain in the knee when bending the leg: may indicate injury to the meniscus.
- Pain in the knee when stretching the leg: may indicate a tendon injury or rupture of the patellar ligament.
- Pain in all knee: depends if there was any direct trauma such as falling on your knees on the floor, which may indicate injury; twisting of the knee; Partial rupture of a muscle or ligament.
- Pain in the knee and click when moving the knee laterally: may indicate injury to the anterior, posterior cruciate ligaments, coronary ligament, meniscus rupture, or osteochondral fracture.
- Knee pain when climbing stairs : may be osteoarthritis, meniscus injury or osteochondral injury, for example.
- Knee pain when going down stairs : may indicate kneecap injury.
- Pain in the knee and inflammation without trauma: may indicate hemophilia, rheumatoid arthritis, infection or gout.
- Deep pain, in the middle of the knee: It may be a rupture of the anterior or posterior cruciate ligaments.
If, in addition to the pain in the knee, you notice that it snaps when you move, try to go up or down stairs it may be due to a decrease in the synovial fluid, which is like the lubricating oil found in the joints of the knee that is in charge to reduce the friction between the cartilages and other tissues, cushioning the structures during movement.
Other causes can be excess weight, arthrosis in the knee and alterations in the patella.
What Is The Treatment Plan?
Anti-inflammatory medications in tablet form can be used, as long as they are prescribed by the doctor, but it is also possible to relieve knee pain by applying an ointment such as Cataflam or Voltaren, which can be purchased at the pharmacy.
But in addition to this as a natural remedy there are foods that fight inflammation, helping to reduce it faster, so you should adopt a diet based on salmon, chia seeds, saffron, garlic and ginger tea. See more about the anti-inflammatory foods that you should consume in greater quantity on the days that you feel more discomfort and pain.
Alternative treatment for knee pain
Normally, knee pain can be treated with anti-inflammatories prescribed by the orthopedic surgeon such as Diclofenac or Ibuprofen, and in some cases it may recommend performing surgery to replace damaged parts of the knee.
However, an alternative treatment can be adopted to relieve pain, especially in those people who are sensitive to the intake of anti-inflammatories and includes:
- Homeopathy: the orthopedic surgeon may prescribe the use of homeopathic medicines such as Rhus Toxicodendron or Bryonia, to treat inflammation of the knee caused by arthritis or tendonitis;
- Compresses: place warm compresses with 3 drops of essential oil of sage or rosemary 2 times a day, from the 3rd day of the appearance of the symptoms;
- Keep the knee at rest: it consists of bandaging the knee, especially when it is necessary to stand for a long time.
The patient with pain in the knee can also include foods with anti-inflammatory properties as mentioned above, in addition to decreasing foods rich in sugars, as these promote inflammation.
Other natural ways to relieve pain in the knee
Some tips to relieve knee pain are:
- Avoid running or walking as long as knee pain is present;
- Do not load or lift weight;
- Sit on high chairs, not to force the knees when getting up.
Alternative treatment should not replace the treatment prescribed by the doctor, once the problem that caused the pain can get worse.
When you should see the doctor
It is important to consult the physiotherapist when:
- The knee pain lasts more than 3 days, even after remaining at rest and applying cold compresses;
- The knee pain is very intense when doing daily activities such as ironing the clothes standing up, carrying the child in the lap, walking or climbing stairs;
- The knee does not bend or make noise when moving;
- The knee is deformed;
- Other symptoms such as fever or tingling occur;
In these cases, the physiotherapist will ask for imaging tests to diagnose the problem and recommend the most appropriate treatment for your problems.