Your knees form the largest and perhaps most important joint in your body. It is composed of three major bones that are divided into the femur (lower end), which revolves on the tibia (upper end) and the patellae (knee cap). Together, these three parts work together as a cohesive unit allowing you to run, walk and sprint freely. With your knees bearing much of your body weight and getting constant abuse, they are susceptible to injuries that lead to chronic or acute pain, and can impede on your ability to move if not properly cared for.
Despite the fact that your knees play a pivotal role any sort of mobility, they are still one of the most abused and injury prone parts of your body. As such, soreness and aches in this specific region demands the expertise of healthcare experts who can accurately assess your condition and prescribe the appropriate treatment plan.
Before delving into how this type of affliction is treated, it is essential that you first educate yourself on the different kinds of injuries that can affect your knees and the best ways to prevent them from happening to you.
Types of Knee Pain
1. Torn Knee Ligaments – accidents such as slips or falls can twist the knee causing the ligaments and cartilage to tear. When this happens, an intense painful throb from the knees can ensue followed by inflammation and bruising. This kind of accident is especially common for individuals who engage in sports and other strenuous activities that require jumping, running, and abrupt movements.
2. Overworked Knees – apart from acute injuries, muscle strains, bursitis, and tendonitis are three of the most common type of problems that are triggered by constantly over-stressing the knees. It is characterized by mild pain at the onset, but when left untreated can result on intense aches that leave the knees incapacitated over a period of time.
3. Knee Osteoarthritis – a prevailing cause of knee pain for older individuals. Knee osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that worsens as one ages. As the articular cartilage on the knees age and degenerates, it becomes weaker and more likely to suffer from stiffness, inflammation, and pain. Those diagnosed with this condition must often turn to a combination of pain reducing medications, physical therapy, and simple stretching exercises to boost the flexibility of the muscles and ligaments that support the knees.
4. Anterior Knee Pain – also referred to as the runner’s knee, this kind of affliction targets the younger population who are leading highly active and mobile lives. It is caused by a number of factors that include over-stressing the knees, misalignments of the foot and spine, and subjecting the knee caps to unnecessary tension.
Preventing Knee Pain
Limiting your chances of injury is quite easy if you make a conscious effort to warm up, maintain a consistent level of strength through knee focused exercise, and add stretches into your daily routine. When engaging in activities that you know can subject your feet, knees, and spine to extra stress, make sure to begin slowly so that your body has time to adjust to the new activity. Walking briskly before breaking out into a full run, for instance, can help prevent the knees from incurring minor injuries that lead to chronic pain issues over time.
Treating Knee Pain
Treatment for knee pain can run from simple non-invasive procedures such as cold or hot compresses, rest, medications and knee exercises to surgeries for those facing tougher scenarios like a torn ACL or MCL.
As activity prone creatures, the knees perform the key role of keeping us upright and moving. Neglecting to tend to the needs of our knees will not only render us less mobile; it can also adversely affect our entire way of living.