Knee pain is complication arising in the ligaments, bones and cartilage of the knee area causing pain. Pain while bending the knee, difficulties in moving the knee and difficulty in bearing weight on the affected knee. It can be treated by RICE (Rest, ice, compression and elevation), exercises to stretch and strengthen the area and anti-inflammatory medications to ease the pain.
HOW IS KNEE PAIN DIAGNOSED?
Using kneepads to cushion the affected area can prevent further complications .
Knee helps to bend and straighten the body and bears the weight of the body along the hips and ankles. When this part of the body develops any problem, then the person develops knee pain. Modern age has led to the increased problems of knee pain as people lead an active life. Knee problems develop due to various reasons like work, arthritis, during sports or recreational activities.
Knee pain may develop in one part of the knee or in the entire part of the knee. Knee pain is an obstacle as it restricts movement. People of any age can develop knee pain, it is higher among the older generation.
The part of the knee which is affected causes the most pain. In cases where there is inflammation or infection the whole knee if affected and hence there is pain in the whole knee. When it is a torn ligament or fractured bone then only that area will develop pain. The pain may be of the type of a small ache or an immobilizing pain. Severe pains can cause walking difficulties or make the person limp.
There are three main categories of knee pain:
1. Injury – torn ligament or fractured bone or meniscus injuries
When knee pain is due to a torn ligament or fractured bone or a meniscus injury, it requires immediate medical attention and a long process of treatment. Knee dislocation is a medical emergency where the patient needs to be shifted to a hospital.
Arthritis is another disabling state caused due to an autoimmune condition that affects almost all the joints in the body including the knee joint. Gout and septic arthritis can affect the knee. In septic arthritis the knee gets infected and has to be treated with antibiotics
Runners and cyclists develop knee pain due to chronic use or overused joints. The tendons and cartilage get affected due to overuse.
Many risk factors are involved in developing severe knee pain. As the knee is a part that is constantly used to any change, as in style of walking or due to back pain or movement of the joint can cause knee pain. Severely obese people have develop knee pain. Knee pain also occurs due to long hours of walking, cycling or kneeling down.
It is best to visit a healthcare professional if we develop knee pain. Some people develop knee pain and with rest it disappears. Any knee pain that does not recover even after rest should be treated by a doctor. Other factors like swelling, inability to bend or walk should be immediately brought to the attention of a doctor.
Once you visit a doctor he will check the entire knee for the causes and symptoms of knee pain. Thorough examination including bending of the knee in full range of motion, blood tests, and x-rays are also carried out. In some cases the fluid in the knee is removed and tested to understand about the infection.
Knee pain can be treated by general practitioners. In case of fracture or ligament tear, an orthopaedic surgeon should be consulted.
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