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Knee pain: What causes it and how to treat it?


Limited mobility of the knee joint is a very troublesome condition.

It makes everyday movement difficult, sometimes even impossible.

Performing simple, even undemanding activities becomes difficult and sometimes even impossible.

Unfortunately, this ailment can happen to any of us, at any time.

Therefore, it is worth knowing what can cause knee pain and how we can deal with it.

Knee pain – what is it?

Pain in the knee is usually one of the last symptoms of the disease in this area.

Usually, we are told that something is wrong with the knee by much milder, first symptoms that we usually ignore.

Creaking or grating, a feeling of jumping, is most often one of the most common symptoms of knee pathology.

Knee pain usually causes significant limitation of joint mobility.

To get rid of it effectively, you need to know the cause of its appearance.

This is a condition that should not be ignored because if left untreated it can result in serious and sometimes permanent mobility problems.

Why knees hurt: a few words about anatomy

Knee problems can affect people of all ages and are not always related to trauma.

The knee is the largest joint in the human body.

Unfortunately, the place where it is located makes it very susceptible to injury.

The femur, tibia, and patella, surrounded by a joint capsule, make up the knee.

Covering the knee bones with cartilage allows us to perform smooth movements.

Two menisci are responsible for the cushioning of the joint and influence the cushioning.

The lateral meniscus is smaller than the medial one and is less frequently damaged.

They are located near the shin bone and resemble a croissant in shape.

The center of the knee joint is filled with synovial fluid.

The collateral, cruciate, and patella ligaments are responsible for stabilizing the entire joint.

The patellar ligament helps reduce the strain associated with straightening the leg – it connects the patella to the shin bone.

The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments are located inside the joint.

They are responsible for stabilizing and controlling the entire joint.

The tibial and peroneal ligaments are responsible for strengthening the joint capsule.

Knee pain – what can cause it?

When you climb stairs with knee pain, swelling, and problems with moving the joint, you should see a doctor.

You can always use online medical consultations at Dimedic (telephone or video). 

People who live an active life are much more likely to suffer from injuries such as knee joint injuries.

Pregnant women are also at increased risk.

During this special period in life, a woman’s body prepares for childbirth.

For this purpose, the joints loosen, which, combined with problems with maintaining balance due to the constantly growing belly, can create an explosive mixture.

People who practice sports competitively but rarely are exposed to a huge risk of such an injury.

This applies to those who avoid activity all year round and decide to engage in it occasionally but very intensively, as in the case of skiing, skating, climbing, or lifting.

Knee pain is most often accompanied by joint swelling.

Unfortunately, not only mechanical injuries can contribute to problems with joint mobility.

Other diseases, such as bacterial inflammation or serious metabolic damage, e.g. gout, may also affect the condition of the knees.

Degenerative joint disease also contributes to problems with joints, including knees.

Other chronic diseases may also cause problems.

Therefore, if pain occurs, the first step should be a diagnosis ordered by a doctor, which will help discover the cause of the disease.

When we know that the injury occurred while performing an activity, then the matter is simpler.

However, if problems appear without any physical cause, their cause must be found because knee pain may be only one of the symptoms of the disease.

Old age and increased body weight contribute to the development of knee pain.

Diagnosing knee pain is very difficult because the symptoms of most diseases are similar.

Knee pain may indicate, for example, joint degeneration, but it also occurs with inflammation of the knee joints. 

A disease accompanied by pain in a very advanced stage is chondromalacia patella.

This is a disease in which the problem is the softening of the articular cartilage in the patella.

Because the patella is not innervated, it does not cause pain quickly, but the stiffness of the joint or a feeling of blocking when moving the leg may appear much faster.

The procedure and treatment for each disease is different.

That is why it is so important to make the correct diagnosis.

For this purpose, many imaging tests are often performed, such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.

The most important thing is to get rid of the cause of the pain, not just the symptoms.

How to treat knee pain?

Because this condition is related to physical activity, athletes should consider how to prevent damage to the joint.

It is very important to warm up before taking up activity – it can protect us from injury.

In addition, athletes who warm up properly can often boast better results.

However, problems may also arise among these people, especially if they practice sports professionally.

Runner’s knee or jumper’s knee often affect enthusiasts of these sports.

Failure to warm up the ligaments before exercising may make the knee more susceptible to injuries, e.g. of the ankle joint.

When we are dealing with a more serious injury, the knee is very swollen and hurts a lot, it is not worth waiting for it to get worse, you should see a specialist as soon as possible.

However, if the pain is moderate and the knee has not swollen too much, you can try to relieve it with home remedies.

Cool compresses are very helpful in this regard, especially when we are dealing with swelling.

Here, just wrap the ice in a cloth or use a ready-made gel compress intended for freezing, available at a pharmacy.

It is worth remembering that, especially on hot days, do not apply ice directly to the skin, the safest way is to do it through an additional layer of towel or clothing.

How to relieve knee pain with home remedies? (exercises)

Ointments that can be easily purchased in pharmacies are very helpful in the fight against knee problems.

Their cooling, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects are very helpful.

In case of swelling, water and vinegar compresses are very effective.

Vinegar is an ingredient in almost all preparations that are supposed to help get rid of swelling.

Therefore, if you don’t mind the smell and the inconvenient form of use, water and vinegar compresses are also effective.

The anti-inflammatory properties of the ointment combined with the analgesic component not only help get rid of pain but also help reduce inflammation.

Exercises are irreplaceable in the fight against knee problems, as they are very effective in preventing injuries and reducing the ailments that bother us.

An exercise that increases joint mobility

Performing this exercise is simple.

You should lie on your back with your arms placed along your body and your legs straight.

We bend our legs alternately at the knee, we reach this position by moving the foot flat towards the buttock, then slowly straightening it.

After a series of 5 exercises, we change the leg.

An exercise that helps increase the range of knee flexion

This time we lie on our stomachs, and then, as in the previous exercise, we place our arms straight along the body.

Grabbing the foot with our hand, we try to pull the foot towards the buttocks as much as possible (without feeling discomfort), stay in this position for about 5 seconds, and repeat the movement.

We also do this exercise in sets of 5 repetitions, then change the leg.

Exercise to prevent joint contracture

We lie on our stomachs again with our hands clasped under our chin and position ourselves so that our legs are outside the bed (from a place slightly above the knee joint).

Both legs are straight and placed so that one lies on top of the other.

In this position, we extend the knee and hold this position for a moment, then relax.

We performed this exercise at least five times. 

Body weight is the key to success

Body weight is a very important factor in keeping your knees in good condition

Obesity and overweight contribute to knee diseases, increase the likelihood of degenerative disease, and well as the risk of mechanical damage, e.g. to articular cartilage.

If we realize that this problem applies to us too, it is worth going on a diet, preferably determined by a specialist who will select our meals, with a negative calorie balance.

When we are aware that we weigh too much, we should approach this issue very rationally, because starting exercises too aggressively may worsen the condition of the knees.

Many people are overtrained in the first stage of the fight for proper body weight.

Such a load can have very disastrous consequences for the knee joints.

The more overweight you are, the more carefully you should choose your training plan.

In such a situation, it is very important to correctly select high-quality footwear that will help absorb shocks and thus protect, among others, our knee joints before injury.

A few rules that will help keep your knees healthy

Correct body weight is extremely important for the condition of our knees.

To keep our body, including our knees, healthy for as long as possible, we must remember to be physically active.

However, it should be emphasized that exaggeration in any direction is not desirable – overtraining is also not good for your health.

If you work physically or go on a long hike, be sure to plan breaks.

It is also very important to adopt the correct posture when lifting – our back, knees, and other joints will thank us for it.

However, when we have bad knees, we avoid lifting like the plague.

In the case of knee diseases, it is worth spreading the weight of carrying our body, e.g. when getting up from a chair.

This can be done very easily – support yourself with your hands, e.g. on a table or other stable piece of furniture nearby.

How to treat knee pain depends largely on the correct diagnosis.

Unfortunately, knee problems tend to recur, so if we have already suffered an injury, we must be especially careful.

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