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What is Knee Pain?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019


Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Knee pain may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage or a medical conditions such as arthritis, gout and infections.

Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Physiotherapy and knee braces also can help relieve knee pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require surgical repair.

Symptoms The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany knee pain include:

Swelling and stiffness Redness and warmth to the touch Weakness or instability Popping or crunching noises Inability to fully straighten the knee See a doctor or a physiotherapist if you:

Can't bear weight on your knee or feel as if your knee is unstable (gives out) Have marked knee swelling Are unable to fully extend or flex your knee See an obvious deformity in your leg or knee Have a fever, in addition to redness, pain and swelling in your knee Have severe knee pain that is associated with an injury

Causes Knee pain can be caused by injuries, mechanical problems, types of arthritis and other problems.

Injuries

ACL injury. An ACL injury is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — one of four ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone. An ACL injury is particularly common in people who play basketball, soccer or other sports that require sudden changes in direction. Fractures. The bones of the knee, including the kneecap (patella), can be broken during motor vehicle collisions or falls. People whose bones have been weakened by osteoporosis can sometimes sustain a knee fracture simply by stepping wrong. Torn meniscus. The meniscus is formed of tough, rubbery cartilage and acts as a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. It can be torn if you suddenly twist your knee while bearing weight on it. Knee bursitis. Some knee injuries cause inflammation in the bursae, the small sacs of fluid that cushion the outside of your knee joint so that tendons and ligaments glide smoothly over the joint. Patellar tendinitis. Tendinitis is irritation and inflammation of one or more tendons — the thick, fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. Runners, skiers, cyclists, and those involved in jumping sports and activities may develop inflammation in the patellar tendon, which connects the quadriceps muscle on the front of the thigh to the shinbone. Mechanical problems Some examples of mechanical problems that can cause knee pain include:

Loose body. Sometimes injury or degeneration of bone or cartilage can cause a piece of bone or cartilage to break off and float in the joint space. This may not create any problems unless the loose body interferes with knee joint movement, in which case the effect is something like a pencil caught in a door hinge. Iliotibial band syndrome. This occurs when the tough band of tissue that extends from the outside of your hip to the outside of your knee (iliotibial band) becomes so tight that it rubs against the outer portion of your femur. Distance runners and cyclists are especially susceptible to iliotibial band syndrome. Dislocated kneecap. This occurs when the triangular bone (patella) that covers the front of your knee slips out of place, usually to the outside of your knee. In some cases, the kneecap may stay displaced and you'll be able to see the dislocation. Hip or foot pain. If you have hip or foot pain, you may change the way you walk to spare these painful joints. But this altered gait can place more stress on your knee joint. In some cases, problems in the hip or foot can cause knee pain. Osteoarthritis. Sometimes called degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It's a wear-and-tear condition that occurs when the cartilage in your knee deteriorates with use and age. If you have knee pain and you are not sure what it is then contact us either via email info@maxphysio.ie or phone 087 2802659 to set up an apt.s


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