Sunday, September 5, 2010

Facts About Knee Pain

Knee pain is one of the most common health problem among people of all ages. Conditions like arthritis or a sudden injury can be responsible for a knee pain. This type of pain usually diffuses throughout the knee or occurs only in a specific part. It might be painful and swollen in the whole knee due to an inflammatory process or infection. Or it can be paining in a specific location of the knee due to a fracture of a bone or a torn meniscus. This knee pain can be a very mild pain or it can be very severe. At times, it can lead to disabling a person from walking.

A person with knee pain can find it very difficult to walk up or down steps. Knee instability causes difficulty in walking and even a person might limp because of too much discomfort.

Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain can be caused by mainly three conditions. These are acute injury, medical conditions or Chronic use/overuse conditions. Let's look at these conditions elaborately.

Acute Injuries are caused due to any trauma to the bones in the knee. For instance, fracture can result into a broken bone in the knee which can be painful. These fractures may prevent the knee from functioning properly. Hence, for any such fractures, seek medical attention immediately. There can also be ligament injuries which are often caused while playing a sport. Anterior Cruciate ligament is a very common type of ligament injury. Another type of acute injury is the meniscus injury. Meniscus is basically a shock absorber between the knee and the bones which can get injured if a knee gets twisted. Lastly, if a person meets a motorbike accident, then there are high chances of his knee joint getting dislocated on This can stop blood circulation to the legs and can cause many other related health problems. Thus, it needs to be medically treated at the earliest.

Knee pain can also be caused by medical conditions like arthritis. Arthritis are of several types. Rheumatoid arthritis is the one that may affect any joint in the body which can eventually cause swelling, severe pain and disability. Second form of arthritis is the gout. This is found in big toe but the knee can also get affected by it. Last scenario is of knee joint getting infected which can cause fever and swelling. This type of arthritis is known as septic arthritis which requires drainage treatments and antibiotics.

Lastly, in a chronic use/overuse condition such as patellar tendinitis, in which the tendons get swollen. This usually occurs in people who repeats the same motion. For example, a cyclist or a runner.

Our knees are used throughout the day. But if there is any change while you move, for instance, if you have a backache due to which you change your style of walking then it can cause some injuries or a mild knee pain. Overweight people can also face problems regarding knees. Due to too much weight, knee joints get stressed out. This can also lead to knee conditions like osteoarthritis. Activities like jogging and skiing which demands repetitive motions can cause breakage of cartilage and causing a lot of pain.

You must seek professional help, in case of any swelling, deformity, pain or if you experience any difficulty in walking. A doctor may examine the knee by bending the knee. He might also check the ligament stability and evaluate the swelling. Both the knees are examined for a better comparison. This is the first step of diagnosis to start a knee treatment. At times, the doctor asks for further tests such as a radiologic test, blood tests or removal of joint fluid.

In a radiologic test, X-ray or MRI is performed to detect fractures, muscle injury or any ligament tear of any soft tissue. In case of medical conditions such as arthritis or gout, doctor might ask for a blood test. But in some case, a small amount of fluid is removed from the knee joint for diagnosis. In this, with the help of a needle injected, the fluid is taken out from the knee. This fluid is then examined in the laboratory. This can be very helpful in case of an infected knee.