8 Common Reasons for Knee Pain and How to Treat Them

Has your knee been acting up lately? Sore knees are a very common condition that affects everyone, no matter your age.

Why do people get sore knees? Often, it’s the cause of an injury or a medical condition. It can also be the result of physical activity, as is the case with jumper’s knee.

Continue reading to understand the most common forms of knee pain and what you can do about them.

1. Jumper’s Knee / Tendonitis

Tendonitis of the patellar tendon is also known as jumpers knee. It can occur from overuse during repetitive activities like running, cycling, and, of course, jumping.

The extended strain these motions can deliver often leads to irritation, pain, and inflammation of the tendons. It is often referred to as jumper’s knee because of the force of hitting the ground after a jump puts pressure on the tendon.

If this sounds familiar, you might get an assessment from your family doctor or chiropractor for knee pain.

2. Torn Cartilage

You’re at risk for knee pain or even injury any time your knee sustains extensive pressure or strain. In this case, trauma to your knee can tear the menisci, which are the connective tissue pads that act as shock absorbers when you move about. The menisci are also important to help you maintain stability.

If you sustain a cartilage tear, which is quite common when you sprain your knee, you may need to wear a brace to protect the knee from further damage. In severe cases, you may need surgery to resolve the issue.

3. Sprained Knee Ligaments

You may experience a sprained knee ligament by suddenly twisting your knee or sustaining a hit to your knee. In this case, you will likely have to deal with pain and swelling and it may be difficult to walk.

If the pain is consistent, it’s wise to see your doctor. “RICE” is a common treatment that stands for rest, ice, compress and elevate.

4. Arthritis

The most common form of knee arthritis is osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition in which the joint cartilage slowly erodes. Osteoarthritis can happen at almost any age but usually affects middle-aged and older sets.

Excessive strain on the joint is often the cause of osteoarthritis. This stress can happen from being overweight or a reoccurring injury.

Rheumatoid arthritis is another condition that adversely affects the knee. In this case, the condition can occur at a much earlier age than osteoarthritis. The damage can be serious, as rheumatoid arthritis leads to an inflamed knee joint and the destruction of the cartilage.

5. Bursitis

Does your kneecap hurt? It may be prepatellar bursitis, or “preacher’s knee.”

Under the skin directly above your knee joint, you’ll find bursa, a small sac that holds fluid. Among its primary uses, the bursa sac helps protect against friction during movement.

However, irritation to the bursa sac on top of your kneecap can happen from bending, kneeling, falling or from overuse. As a result, you may experience pain and swelling.

6. IT (Iliotibial) Band Syndrome

On the outer part of our knee, we have a bit of tough tissue called an iliotibial (IT) band. This tissue extends from the hip to the outer knee and it can gradually become inflamed from overuse. With this condition, pain occurs on the outer side of the knee, often occurring with runners after running downhill.

Most experts advise resting for several days or more until the pain subsides.

7. Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease occurs in young people, whose bones are still growing and changing. Usually, pain exists in a bump below the knee, where the kneecap tendon connects to the shin bone.

In short, too much strain or pressure from exercise leads to painful irritation in the tibial tubercle on the bottom part of your knee. The pain comes and goes as the bones continue to develop. Unfortunately, it’s a common condition and a part of growing up for many.

8. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome usually occurs as a result of muscle tightness, imbalance, or alignment issues with the legs. With it comes knee pain and sometimes even “buckling” when your knee is suddenly unable to bear weight.

This condition, which affects women more than men, is not brought about by an injury.

What Can You Do To Deal With Knee Pain?

Earlier, we mentioned “RICE” to help cope with knee pain. It is:

R: Rest your knees as much as possible for a few days.

I: Ice your knee every few hours for approximately 15 minutes. Repeat the process until the pain subsides.

C: Compress the knee joint in a sleeve or elastic bandage for support and to help minimize swelling.

E: Elevate your knee. The easiest way is to lie down with a pillow underneath your heel, which should help alleviate the swelling.

Stretching and strengthening exercises are also an effective way to deal with knee pain. Your doctor may even recommend a physical therapy regimen.

Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are commonly recommended by doctors to deal with knee pain. Talk to your doctor before taking any medications and always follow the instructions on the label, as these drugs may have side effects.

Final Thoughts on Coping with Knee Pain

As you may have noticed, knee pain from jumper’s knee, preacher’s knee, and other causes, often occur from overuse or overexercise. While exercise is important and delivers a host of health benefits, take caution not to overdo it.

To that end, be smart when it comes to physical activity.. Always stretch before and after exercising. If you want to intensify your workout, do it gradually and stop exercising if you start to feel pain in your knees.

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