Knee Pain Causes and Treatment
Knee pain is a common problem for people of all ages. Knee pain can vary depending on the location and cause of the problem. Not all knee pain is severe and long-term. There are many types of minor knee pain conditions which respond well to self-care treatment methods at home.
You should always have your knee pain assessed by a medical professional to ensure that you are provided with the correct medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment for your pain. Nathan Briganti of Briganti Physiotherapy, a musculoskeletal specialist physiotherapist, working within NHS, Private Practice and Professional sport has provided some useful information on knee pain causes and treatment which could help to relieve this type of pain.
Common Causes of Knee Pain
Sore knees are common and often won’t be a sign of anything serious. There are many causes of knee pain, varying from simple muscle strains, accidents, medical conditions, and weight. Each cause of knee pain will have different impacts on people, depending on their age and various other factors. The older generation may experience more severe, longer-term knee pain as it may take longer to heal. Causes of knee pain include:
Osteoarthritis (OA). OA is a condition that causes joints to become painful and stiff. Some people have swelling, tenderness of the joint. The knee is one of the common areas to be affected by OA as its one of the predominant load bearing joints in the body. OA is the most common type of arthritis in the UK. OA tends to happen over time as we age.
Sports– High impact sports involving a lot of work from your knees, such as basketball and running, will put more weight on your knees, increasing your risk of developing knee problems. Also due to the huge stresses placed on the knee joints during sports sudden twisting movements can meniscal or ligament injuries. You should speak with a healthcare professional urgently following a knee injury if you have any of the following. Unable to put any weight on the leg, repeat buckling or instability where the knee collapses under you. Or if you have any locking, where the knee gets stuck and you have to physically get it moving. It may move after a loud click.
Accidents – Traumatic injuries such as those sustained through car accidents, slips, trips and falls, work-related accidents (e.g. incorrect lifting or falling from a height), and accidents at the gym, can cause long-term knee pain and problems.)
Pain in other parts of your body-Problems in your hips or feet may change the way you walk in order to put less pressure on these parts of the body. However, the consequences of this change may affect the knee as you may put more stress on your knee joint, causing knee pain.
Excess weight– Being overweight can cause chronic knee pain. This added weight will put pressure and stress on your knee joints, even during relaxed activities such as walking. It also puts you at a higher risk of Osteoarthritis as the increased load causes the joint to age prematurely. Studies have shown that if you are overweight and having knee pain for every 2kg of weight loss the levels of pain will decrease by one notch on the pain scale.
Repetitive Activities – Knee pain is common when repeating the same motions over-time, causing general wear and tear, muscle irritation, tightness, and strain. This affects mostly people who work in manual labour jobs and carry out repetitive tasks, such as lifting and moving objects continuously throughout the day.
How To Avoid Knee Pain
Knee pain is quite common but is also preventable. There are many ways you can avoid getting or developing knee pains from both work and daily life. These prevention methods include:
- Movement– Avoid having long periods of rest where you don’t move. Move around every once in a while, and exercise more as this will reduce chances of long-term pain.
- Routine– When you wake up, move your knees gently and continually for 10 to 20 seconds every hour, as this will help to prevent the risk of developing knee pain throughout the day.
- Footwear – Wearing suitable footwear can help you to avoid developing pain and issues with your knees.
- Stairs– If you have existing knee pain, try to use your good leg first when going upstairs and use your sore leg to lead, when going downstairs. If you are struggling with either of these, use the handrail for support if there is one.
- Rest –If you have knee pain or an existing knee injury, avoid exercise that brings on pain and heavy lifting at both work and home, as this could increase the risk of knee pain worsening.
Knee Pain Causes and Treatment: How To Relieve Knee Pain
Some knee pains can be quite severe and can develop into severe conditions over time. Catching and treating your knee pain as early as possible will ensure you don’t develop any chronic knee pain. Here are some home remedies to relieve your knee pains:
- Exercise and rest– A good mixture of low-impact exercises, such as cycling and swimming, and relative resting from aggravating activities such as running, will help reduce your chances of developing further strain or pain and will give your joints and muscles the activity and rest they need to recover. Exercise can also help you avoid weight gain, which is beneficial as extra weight could cause extra strain on your knees joints and may lead to chronic knee pain.
- Heat and Ice packs– Heat is useful for reducing aches and pains. Heat products such as wheat bags, hot water bottles, heat pads, deep heat cream or heat lamp, can all be applied to your knees to help reduce your knee pains. Heat should be applied for no longer than 20 minutes. Ice can also be used to aid in the recovery of short-term knee pains. Any covered frozen product can be used on the affected part of your knee. Ice should only be applied for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Knee Supports– Taping the kneecap and knee braces act as shock absorbers and prevent further knee injuries and problems.
- Medication– Painkillers such as paracetamol can be taken to help reduce your knee pain aches. Other medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen tablets and NSAID rub-on painkillers, can help with your knee pain and any inflammatory and swelling you have in your knees.
- G.P.- If you have had knee pains for a long period of time, visit your G.P. They may be able to recommend exercises for you to do. Your G.P. may also refer you to a physiotherapist. For OA knee steroid injections are quite good at relieving pain.
Physiotherapy for Knee Pain
One of the most common treatment options for knee pain is physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can be used for most types of pain, including upper body, back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as lower back pain and lower body issues. They can provide lots of advice on knee pain causes and treatment/relief methods.
Briganti Physiotherapy offers a range of treatments and modalities to manage, reduce and eliminate knee pain. Briganti Physiotherapy uses a range of evidence based treatments and modalities to aid in your recovery. While we utilise manual therapy and injection therapy to help treat patients, the underpinning of our treatment is based on education and the use exercise and strengthening.
How Can Beacon Law Assist?
If you believe you developed knee pain due to any type of accident, you may be able to make a claim. Beacon Law provides an experienced team of solicitors and legal professionals. We offer a high level of service to all our clients and work to ensure you receive the highest level of accident work compensation for your injuries. Beacon Law is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Contact us today to find out if you have a claim. Use our contact form or call 0330 1332 857.