Knee pain and discomfort can be a result of long-term overuse or a short-term, immediate injury as well as numerous diseases affecting the knee. Accumulated knee pain stemming from long-term overuse is often due to arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), kneecap movement problems, flat feet, and or muscle imbalance. Immediate injuries such as a meniscus tear or dislocated knee cap can be cause for short-term knee pain to arise. Determining the “cause” of knee pain is crucial in order to permanently rid the discomfort. In some cases, if the cause is not diagnosed early, conditions such as arthritis may create extreme bone and joint discomfort, requiring treatment. Treatment usually begins with medicine, steroid injections and/or physical therapy. If discomfort and deterioration continues, more aggressive treatment may include knee arthroscopic surgery, partial knee replacement, or total knee arthroplasty are options to help relieve pain.
Indicators of knee pain include:
- Popping or snapping noises in or near the knee area
- Swelling of the knee, joint, calf, or area surrounding the bone
- Pain associated with warmth and/or fever
- Limping or inability to walk easily
- Inability to bend or move the knee
- Pain in the knee, knee cap, area behind the knee, or entire joint
- Feelings of the knee “giving out” during exercise such as running, walking, jumping, or turning
If you suffer from any of these symptoms of knee pain, it’s important to rest with alternating heat and cold packs with elevation. If this fails to reduce the swelling and discomfort, patients should seek medical attention for further evaluation.
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