Why Is Knee Pain So Common (And How To Treat It)
Did you know that your knee is the largest and most complicated joint in your entire body? It is perhaps the only organ that remains in a constant state of stress as it carries the weight of your body at all times. Everyday activities like walking, running, standing, and jumping make the parts of the knee and lower leg more susceptible to injuries and wear and tear.
Knee pain can occur due to a variety of causes. Aging, injury, physical exertion can, in some way or other, impact your knee joint. Thus, a common complaint received by medical specialists daily relates to knee pain.
Before delving into the causes of knee pain, it becomes necessary for you to gain a deeper understanding of the anatomy of your knee joint. Knowing about the basic knee structure will enable you better to take care of this crucial joint in your body.
Parts of the Knee Joint
Parts of the knee, Credit: Pixabay
The knee joint enables you to flex your legs and remain stable during daily activities. Movements like running, crouching, turning, squatting all are supported largely by the knee.
There are three knee part and lower leg that form the basis of this joint. They are:
Thighbone or the Femur
Shinbone or Tibia
Kneecap or the Patella
The two major bones of the knee are held together by ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The cartilage that covers the bone ending is primarily responsible for absorbing the shock that occurs commonly due to a forceful landing. parts of the knee and lower leg protect the knee joint from damage. You’re able to easily extend and move your knee due to the presence of this crucial organ.
The two knee muscles are quadriceps and hamstrings. Quadriceps help you to straighten your legs while hamstrings enable you to bend your legs.
Tendons are tissues that attach muscles to bones. Ligaments are bands of elastic tissue that hold bones together. They impart knee stability and protection while also limiting deep forward and backward movement of the shin bone.
Thus we see the various knee part work together to impart a smooth movement of your legs in various directions
Common Causes of Knee Pain
Knee problems occur in people of all age groups. Some of the most common causes of knee pain are mentioned below:
Trauma caused to the knee ligament
1. Trauma Caused to the Knee Ligament
Person experiencing knee pain, Credits: Pixabay
The wear and tear of one of the many ligaments of the knee joint increase the risk of knee injuries like knee sprains and strains. Its symptoms include swelling, difficulty during walking, and knee pain. Those who regularly engage in strenuous sports like football, basketball, soccer are at a greater risk of developing knee ligament injuries.
Sudden twisting or blow to the knee during physical exertion can result in such conditions. Sudden knee trauma can also tear your knee’s cartilage. It is often accompanied by knee sprains.
2. Tendon Inflammation
A person running, Credits: Pixabay
High-intensity activities like running, jumping, and cycling can inflame tendons and result in a condition known as tendonitis. Forcefully hitting the ground during some sports like basketball can inflame the tendons of the kneecap.
The tendon’s overstretching can make you experience symptoms like pain during physical movement, swelling, and redness. You can also feel the formation of a lump along the tendon.
A person with hands on knee, Credits: Pixabay
When the cartilage in the knee joint wears away due to age factors, it results in a chronic condition called osteoarthritis. It can be caused by reasons like excessive stress on the knee joint, injury, and high body weight. Another type of arthritis that affects the knee is rheumatoid arthritis. This condition results in the total destruction of the knee cartilage.
Person with kneepain, Credits: Pixabay
Fractures or the breaking of the bone is another highly common reason of excruciating knee pain. While fractures can occur in any part of the body, in the knee, they usually happen in the kneecap area. These fractures can vary in their severity. Some require surgery, while others heal through physical therapies.
How to Treat and Prevent Knee Pain Problems
Doctor treating a patient, Credits: Pixabay
Treatment for various knee injuries and causes depend upon their severity. For severe trauma caused to the knee ligament, surgery becomes mandatory. Bracing is done to protect the knee from further injury. Physical therapies are also recommended for older adults.
Tendon inflammation can be minimized by taking adequate rest and using the hot and cold treatment on the affected area. You can also take pain relievers occasionally.
To minimize joint stiffness and pain that occurs as a result of arthritis, regular strengthening exercises, heat treatment, and pain relievers are prescribed by the doctors. In severe cases, joint surgery becomes the only option.
Knee pain can happen to anyone anytime. The following measures will help you to take care of your knee joint and keep it in an optimal condition so that the chances of such injuries can be reduced.
Maintain a healthy body weight by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet.
Always warm up your muscles before engaging in strenuous exercises.
Don’t underestimate the importance of mobility exercising and stretching.
If you have knee issues, opt for more low impact exercises like walking, swimming, and light jogging.
Thus we see that various causes lie behind the different parts of the knee pain. If you experience chronic knee pain, which is becoming unbearable with each passing day, its time to consult a medical professional. Simultaneously, taking care of your body through a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in protecting your knee joints from any debilitating injury.