We put our bodies through a significant amount of strain each day, therefore, it is no surprise that painful symptoms can develop over time. Knee problems are often the product of this every day wear and tear. Work-related tasks, sports or even doing things around the house and in the yard can put a strain on the knees.
The nerves that provide sensation to our knees derive from the lower back and are the same nerves that connect to our hips, legs and ankles. Therefore, knee pain can be caused by the knee joint itself, or it can be the result of strains elsewhere – the hips, ankles or lower back. Types of knee injuries can generally be divided into two categories: acute and chronic injuries.
An acute injury is typically the result of a sudden movement. This could include abnormal twisting and bending, or even a fall. These kinds of injuries to the knee can be recognized by sudden extreme pain, which is worsened by moving the joint, or putting any kind of weight on it. Since the knee is so complex, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the injury without seeing a physician.
Other possible outcomes of an acute injury include:
- Ligament injuries including to the ACL, PCL and/or MCL
- Meniscus tears
- Kneecap Breakage
- Strains or sprains
Chronic injuries occur from overuse. Repetitive activities or pressure on the knee for an extended period of time can cause irritation and inflammation. Also certain diseases such as osteoporosis or arthritis can cause the knee joint pain to worsen. Long-term symptoms will include pain and swelling. This may become more intense when doing specific activities or can develop as an aftermath.
Treatment for knee pain can be as simple as an ice pack to relieve the pain or as complicated as knee replacement surgery to remove of the source. Common knee injuries may also include a ligament tear and require surgery. Many different factors contribute to the choice of treatment. The location and intensity of the problem as well as age, health condition and activity level all play a significant part, therefore, it is important to see a health care professional to diagnose how serious the condition is and the best care for you.