4 Common Causes of Knee Pain
Along with the other joints of the leg, such as the hips and ankles, your knees have a lot of the responsibility for bearing your weight as you stand and move around. Given the pressure that they are under on a daily basis, it is no wonder that they are prone to so many painful conditions.
Some causes of knee pain are degenerative, meaning that they develop over time due to wear and tear on the joints. Some are acute, due to sudden injury. Some result from either acute or degenerative causes, or a combination of both. What follow are some of the most common causes of knee pain.
There are several types of arthritis that can affect the knee. The most common type is osteoarthritis. It results from the general wearing down of cartilage in the joint. Cartilage serves as a cushion, and when it wears away, the bones of the knee can rub against each other, which can cause arthritis pain.
Another type of arthritis that can cause knee pain is rheumatoid arthritis. RA also affects the knee cartilage, but in a different way. Rather than wearing down the cartilage, rheumatoid arthritis produces inflammation that attacks the cartilage and destroys it that way. RA is an autoimmune disease that affects younger patients but can be managed with medication.
2. Ligament Sprains
Each of your knees contains four main ligaments that hold the bones together and allow the joint to move. Trauma or stress to the ligaments can cause them to stretch or tear. The resulting injury is called a sprain. Ligament sprains can be very painful, with the potential to cause difficulty walking. Many heal within a couple weeks, but sometimes the pain can linger for months.
Tendons connect your muscles to your bones in much the same way that ligaments bind bones together. Although tendons are made of tough, fibrous tissue, they are susceptible to irritation with prolonged, repetitive use. The irritation can cause the tendons to become swollen and painful. This inflammatory response is known as tendonitis.
4. Meniscus Tears
A meniscus is a crescent-shaped structure in your knee made of cartilage. There are two menisci in each knee, and they help to provide stability as you walk. They also serve as shock absorbers. An impact to the knee and/or a sudden twisting motion can cause tearing of the meniscus, which can be very painful and potentially cause mechanical problems.
A doctor of chiropractic can perform an assessment of your knee pain and provide treatment options, like Rehabilitation in Kennewick, WA. To schedule your evaluation with a chiropractor, contact an office.
Thank you to the experts at Northwest Injury Clinics for their input into back pain and injuries.