Life is meant to be enjoyed, not constantly battling your chronic pain. Chronic pain, no matter where in your body, can greatly reduce your quality of life. Not only do you have to learn how to cope with the pain, but you may be restricted in what activities you can and can’t do because of your pain.
Nearly 25% of adults suffer from knee pain. Not only does knee pain limit your function and ability to do the activities you love, but everyday tasks such as walking can become troublesome. And yet, many people try to tolerate their chronic knee pain, hoping it will go away rather than looking for effective ways to better treat and manage their knee pain.
In this article, you’ll learn all about knee pain. From the causes and symptoms to look out for, to effective knee pain treatments, you’ll learn exactly what you need to know to help reduce your nagging knee pain once and for all.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
It’s essential you understand key symptoms associated with knee pain in order to seek proper treatment as efficiently as possible. Otherwise, a continuation of knee pain can inevitably lead to pain, discomfort, and overall lower quality of life.
Here are the following knee pain symptoms to keep on your radar:
- Warm to the touch
- Lack of support
- Popping, crunching sounds
- Unable to fully extend and straighten the knee
Depending on the cause of your knee pain will influence the overall pain level and exact location of the pain.
Knee pain, if left untreated, can lead to greater issues down the road. That’s why, if you notice any of the following knee pain signs below, this is your sign to seek treatment to better manage your pain.
- Unable to bear weight on your knee
- Intense knee pain, no matter standing up or down.
- Your knee makes a buckle or clicking noise.
- The appearance of your knee is deformed/ unusual.
- Inability to flex your knee/ hurts to bend knee.
- You have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or a bluish color at your calf right below your bad knee.
- You experience fever and extensive swelling of the knee.
These knee pain signs and symptoms are all warning signs you need to look out for. The faster you are able to detect your knee pain and seek treatment, the quicker you can get back to living a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Causes of Knee Pain
Now that you know the signs and symptoms to look out for, you may be curious about what started your knee pain in the first place.
There are several causes of knee pain. Below are some of the most common reasons you may be experiencing knee pain.
- Overuse: Primarily as a result of repetitive actions/stressors. Examples of this include:
- Runner’s Knee: Pain that is felt under or surrounding the kneecap.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease: Seen in children who experience swelling in the shinbone below the kneecap.
- Tendonitis: Involves the quadriceps and/or patella tendon. This usually occurs because of jumping such as in certain sports like volleyball.
- Knee Injury: Often caused by sudden trauma to the knee that damages the knee joint. Examples of this include:
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury
- Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injury
- Kneecap Dislocation
- Meniscus Tear
- Arthritis: This can commonly develop as you age. Different types of arthritis include:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune disease that attacks the joints, resulting in the joints breaking down and becoming inflamed.
- Osteoarthritis: Breakdown of cartilage in your joint, largely due to being overweight which causes additional stress on your joints.
Top Knee Pain Treatments To Consider
Now that you know more about the knee pain symptoms to look out for and what causes knee pain, it’s time to learn what you can do to better manage your knee pain.
Below are several knee pain treatments to consider so you can get back to living a healthier, happier life.
First, consider taking over-the-counter medications (i.e. Advil or Aleve) to better manage your knee pain. If you do not see improvements in your pain, talk with your doctor about getting prescribed medications to help with your knee pain.
Physical therapy is another great option to help treat your chronic knee pain. Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend certain exercises to help improve your knee’s flexibility and functionality, while simultaneously working to reduce your pain.
Physical therapy is especially a common treatment for knee pain if you have a sports knee injury that requires exercises to correct your movement or technique. This is because some sports can be repetitive on the body. Therefore, by learning movements to correct your movement, you can properly engage your knees without increasing your risk of further pain and injury.
Injecting medications directly into your joints is another common treatment to help relieve your knee pain. Knee injections can help treat osteoarthritis, tendonitis, degenerative arthritis, and a variety of other joint-related conditions. Three main types of injections include:
- Corticosteroids: Commonly used to reduce arthritis flares and provide short-term relief (for about a few months).
- Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid for knee injection is when a thick fluid (like the fluid your body naturally produces to lubricate your joints) is injected into the “bad” knee(s). Hyaluronic acid injections can be a great treatment for providing long-term pain relief (about six months) so you can get back to doing the activities you love.
- PRP: Some studies have reported that PRP can help those with osteoarthritis. PRP is made up of various growth factors that can help promote the healing process.
Depending on the severity and cause of your knee pain, certain lifestyle changes such as better diet and exercise can help ease your knee pain. This is because being overweight can put added stress on your knees, which can increase your chances of experiencing knee pain.
Although lifestyle changes alone may not entirely “fix” your knee pain for good, it is worth trying to lead a healthier lifestyle (i.e. incorporating daily exercise and healthy eating) to help try and improve your knee pain, especially if you are overweight or obese.
Surgery is one of the last treatment options to consider after you’ve tried the above options without much success. Although surgery can be risky and costly, it’s essential to weigh out both the advantages and disadvantages when it comes to getting knee surgery.
Some surgery options that can help with your knee pain include:
- Arthroscopic Surgery
- Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
- Total Knee Replacement
Again, surgery arguably should be one of your last resorts when it comes to better managing your chronic knee pain. That being said, if your knee pain is significant and greatly reduces your quality of life, it is worth discussing it with your doctor.
Take The First Step In Relieving Your Knee Pain
Chronic knee pain can significantly impair your mobility and overall quality of life. Don’t live life on the sidelines constantly worrying about tolerating your knee pain.
At Pain and Spine Specialists, Dr. Rao and our team of advanced pain specialists help people day in and day out treat their chronic pain to lead a happier lifestyle. If you’ve been tolerating your knee pain for some time, consider scheduling an appointment with our team to learn how we can help you reduce your knee pain once and for all.
We offer a variety of treatments like knee injections to better relieve your nagging knee pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I get hyaluronic acid injections?
You can get hyaluronic acid injections at Pain and Spine Specialists, or research to find a local pain management clinic near you.
How to prevent knee injuries?
There are several causes for knee injuries. Some of the common ways to prevent knee injuries include:
- Maintain A Healthy Weight: Excess weight can cause added stress on your body and joints which can cause knee pain.
- Wear Supportive Shoes: Wearing the wrong shoes, especially for everyday wear, can cause knee pain. For instance, instead of wearing high heels, opt for a more comfortable shoe like pumps or flats.
- Avoid High-Impact Activities: High-impact cardio activities like running or jumping rope can be hard on your knees, consider more low-impact activities like swimming.
- Stretch: Don’t skip out on stretching. Stretching before you work out can help warm up your muscles to prevent any unwanted tension and pressure on your knees.
What are common causes for sharp stabbing pain in knee comes and goes?
There can be a variety of reasons why you experience stabbing knee pain that seems to come and go. Try taking note of when or during what activity you experience the stabbing pain.
Some common causes for stabbing pain in your knee can include activities like:
- Climbing the Stairs
- Sitting Down
- …and more!
Therefore, take into consideration when, or what activities you seem to experience sudden knee pain.