Knee pain can be caused by different, unexpected movements. A sudden injury, an overuse injury, or by an underlying condition, such as arthritis are some of them. However, treatment of this kind of discomfort will vary depending on its cause.
Symptoms of Knee Injury
The knee is the largest joint in our body. Symptoms of knee injury can include pain, swelling, and stiffness. Due to the injury and discomfort, it can greatly limit your mobility and may harm other parts of the legs. Here are more symptoms of knee pain or injury.
Most of the people, especially athletes, have had a minor knee problem at one time or another. In fact, knee problems and injuries most often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related assignments, or even while doing household chores.
Some of the more common knee injuries
A Baker's cyst or popliteal cyst is caused when excess joint fluid is pushed into one of the small sacs of tissue behind the knee. It is where the bursa at the back of your knee gets inflamed, following a severe pain, swelling, and tightness in the knee.
Oftentimes, a Baker's cyst causes no pain and when symptoms occur, they may include a little pain behind the knee and into the upper calf. You are most likely to feel this when you sit/walk and when you bend your knee and straighten it all the way.
Posterior Cartilage Tear
Sometimes, Posterior Cartilage Tear is also called as Torn Meniscus. The main symptoms of this injury include knee pain, swelling, popping and giving way. It can occur suddenly as an effect of twisting forces being applied to the knee, or it can occur slowly through general wear and tear.
Calf Strain or Tear
This injury is often felt in your calf muscle belly and often the result of a pulled or torn calf muscle. It can also occur during acceleration or sudden changes in the direction of running speed. However, no need to worry since according to medical experts, there is a small percentage of the populations who can tear their calf muscle by simply walking.
Among all the injuries listed here, arthritis is the most common pain but sometimes not well understood. Actually, the term “arthritis” is not a single disease but an informal way of referring to joint pain. In fact, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. Symptoms of this include dull, aching pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Hamstrings are tendons of the muscles of the back of the thigh. They act as a key to actively straighten, bend, or extend, our knees. That is why one of the general symptoms of a hamstring injury is a pain in the back of the knee. Gladly, most hamstring muscle and tendon lesions heal without surgery.
A knee sprain is an injury to the ligaments that occurs when you overstretch or tear one of the connective tissues attaching to your knee. Common symptoms of this injury include knee pain, swelling, difficulty in moving the knee, and bruising.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
DVT occurs when a blood clot called thrombus forms in one or more of the deep veins in your legs. This cause knee and leg pain or swelling, but also can occur with no symptoms at all. This injury usually develops if you have certain medical conditions such as pregnancy, genetics, and another potential cause is obesity.
Preventing Knee Pain
Not all knee pain is serious. However, some knee injuries and medical conditions can lead to increasing pain, joint damage, and disability if left untreated. Here are some preventions you may do to protect your knees.
Treating Knee Pain
Injuries are the most common cause of knee problems. Treatment for any knee injuries may include first aid measures, resting, bracing, physical therapy, and in some severe pains, surgery. Here are some treatments you may find to protect your knees.
If you are under a diagnosis or physical exam, your doctor is likely to inspect your knee for swelling, pain, tenderness, warmth and visible bruising. Aside from that, he will also check to see how far you can move your lower leg in different directions.
Aside from that, may ask you to push on or pull your joint to evaluate the integrity of the structures in your knee. He may also suggest the following image tests:
Over-the-counter medications are the best therapy if you cannot afford to go to your doctor or therapist. And to help you with, here are some of the easy self-care measures for an injured knee.
This treatment stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This method can help you heal any knee pain or injury as well as leg discomforts.
Rest. If you are in pain, the first thing you need to consider is taking a break from your normal activities - especially if you are an athlete. Give your injury enough time to heal and help prevent further damages. More-severe damage is likely to need a longer recovery time.
Ice. According to Science, ice reduces both pain and inflammation. Which means, putting ice on the area of the injury will help you ease the pain. Although ice therapy is generally safe and effective, don't use it for longer than 20 minutes at a time because of the risk of damage to your nerves and skin.
Compression. This home remedy helps prevent fluid buildup in damaged ligaments and maintains knee alignment as well as stability. Look for a bandage that's lightweight, breathable, self-adhesive, and fits your knee well. It should be tight enough to support your leg without interfering with circulation.
Elevation. To prevent or reduce swelling, prop your injured leg on pillows or sitting in a recliner.
Injections and Surgeries
If the pain is too severe and home remedies cannot be applied anymore, it is better to see an expert to checkup your knee. In some cases, your doctor may recommend injecting medications or other items directly into your joint. These injections include the following:
Whatever its cause and however long ago it happened, a knee injury can affect how well you move. However, if you have an injury that may require surgery, it's usually not necessary to have the operation immediately. These surgeries include the following:
Exercise is Still the Best
Maybe you are wondering if it is safe to do exercise even if you are in pain. Well, it really depends on your situation and your capability. If you think you can swing a little and do some walking, why not do it to help your muscles gain its strength again?
However, if you are really in severe pain and you think you are not capable of doing even simple movements or workout, you don't need to force yourself to exercise because it may lead to additional injury.
Here are eight simple yet very helpful exercises you can do to help get on track and shoo away your knee pain.
All these exercises should never cause pain or make it worse and remember that a good workout needs a good warmup. Muscle soreness after a hard workout is normal but sharp, shooting, or sudden pain in the ligaments or joints means you should pause the activity.
When your pain is a little bit unusual after training, it is still best to visit your doctor for him to reexamine your knees. While still in the process of healing, skip high-impact activities such as running or intense cardio workout and aerobics.
Always use a kneepad for protection!