Knee pain is a fairly common condition, with many people at one time or the other feeling some level of discomfort around their knees. There are a couple of reasons why you may feel pain in your knees. The duration and the intensity of knee pain vary depending on the underlying cause. The associated symptoms may also vary with the cause. This article will discuss the stuff you need to know about knee pain, what causes it, and symptoms you should look out for.
What’s In The knee?
While the knee area looks rather unassuming, it is one of the most complex joints in the body. A range of movements is possible at this joint. Multiple ligaments (which connect bone to bone), tendons (which connect muscle to bone), and other supporting structures help the knee carry out its functions, making it possible for you to execute different movements. However, these structures are also prone to various forms of damage. The damage done can be mechanical as in twisting, dislocation, or chemically mediated as in inflammation. All these, in turn, cause the knee to become painful. Below we will look at some of the most common causes of knee pain.
Common Causes Of Knee Pain
- Injuries to knee structures: Knee pain can result from injuries to any of the different structures in the knee. Some of the more common kinds of knee injury are:
- Fractures: hard collisions or impact can break the bones of the knee, including the kneecap. The vulnerability of bones to being broken increases with age or medical conditions that make bones weaker and more brittle.
- ACL injury: the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four main ligaments in the knee. Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament are common among those who engage in highly mobile physical activity such as soccer, basketball, etc.
- Tendonitis: the tendons can also get irritated and consequently inflamed, resulting in a painful sensation at the knee. It is prevalent with athletes such as runners, cyclists, jumpers, etc.
- Arthritis: This is an inflammation of the knee joint due to some causes. Arthritis is a common cause of knee pain. The occurrence increases with age and is usually chronic. Arthritis may develop due to regular wear and tear of the knee’s cartilages. In these autoimmune conditions, the body’s immune cells attack structures in the knee, causing them to get inflamed and painful. Gout and sepsis are also causes of arthritis.
Other Causes Of Knee Pain
- Dislocation of the kneecap causes pain in the knee joint.
- Having hip or foot problems may force you to change how you walk. This change may, however, hurt your knee joint putting it under more pressure and causing pain.
- Degeneration of a piece of bone or cartilage can cause it to break off and float in the joint space. This, in turn, can interfere with movement at the joint and cause pain.
Symptoms Of Knee Pain
Aside from the pain, there are some other associated symptoms of knee pain. These are usually dependent on the underlying condition causing the pain. These associated symptoms include:
- Swelling and stiffness of the knee
- The knee becoming red and warm
- Difficulty with straightening the knee fully
- Crunching or popping noises.