Contrary to popular belief, people of all ages – not just the elderly – can be affected by knee pain. It can be caused by overuse, or an injury from doing sports, exercising, or other vigorous activities – such as a torn cartilage or ruptured ligament, muscle strains and tendinitis. Underlying conditions – including arthritis, gout and infections – can also cause knee pain.
In some cases, mild knee pain can be a recurring occurrence that hinders the active lifestyle that people are accustomed or aspire to. In severe cases of knee pain, it can limit the daily activities of the sufferer. Some types of knee pain can respond well to self-care efforts; however, it is better to be safe than sorry to have your knee problem checked by a medical professional.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
Depending on the cause of the knee problem, the location and severity of the pain may vary. Some of the signs and symptoms that come with knee pain are:
- Swelling and stiffness of the knee
- Redness and warm to the touch, or broken skin over the injury
- Weakness or instability
- Inability to straighten the knee
- Inability to bend the knee
- Popping or crunching noises
- Limping due to discomfort
- Numbness or tingling feeling
- Skin that is pale, white or bluish, and cold to the touch
- It’s time to consult the doctor when:
- You are unable to put weight on the knee
- You are unable to fully extend or bend your knee
- There is an obvious disfigurement in your limb
- You have a fever in addition to redness, pain and swelling in your knee
Knee Pain Causes
Knee pain can be caused by:
ACL Injury – common in people who play sports such as basketball, soccer, or other games that require sudden changes in direction.
Fractures – can be sustained in motor vehicle accidents; people whose bones are weakened by osteoporosis can sustain this injury just by stepping wrong.
Patellar tendinitis – inflammation of one or more tendons; runners, skiers, cyclists and athletes whose activities include jumping are prone to this type of injury.
Knee bursitis – inflammation in the bursae caused by some knee injuries.
Torn meniscus – can occur by sudden twisting movements while bearing weight on it.
Osteoarthritis – also referred to as degenerative arthritis, this is the most common type of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis – the most crippling type of arthritis, it can affect almost any joint in the body, including the knees.
Gout – occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joint.
Septic arthritis – sometimes the knee joint can become infected, which leads to redness, inflammation and pain; septic arthritis is often accompanied by fever.
Pseudogout – occurs when calcium-containing crystals develop in the joint fluid.
Risk Factors for Knee Pain
Being overweight – obesity can cause stress to the knees, even when performing ordinary, day-to-day activities, such as walking or climbing stairs.
Playing sports – there are some sports that put great stress on the knees, such as those involving jumping, pivoting, twisting, or running.
Lack of exercise – this leads to lack of strength and flexibility of the muscles, which in turn leads to less support for the knee.
Treatment for Knee Pain
Treatments for knee pain can vary depending on the exact cause. Depending on your case, the physician might prescribe medication, therapy, or even surgery. Alternative medicine in the form of acupuncture or low-level laser therapy is also becoming common treatments for knee pain.
Knee pain therapy
In Louisville, K-Laser Class 4 therapy treatments are an effective option for those suffering from knee pain. These treatments manage pain and inflammation while accelerating tissue regeneration in hard and soft tissues – including muscles, ligaments, or bones. The lasers deliver specific red and near-infrared wavelengths of laser light to induce a photochemical reaction and therapeutic effect. The laser energy increases circulation as it draws water, oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area, thereby creating an optimal healing environment that reduces swelling, muscle spasm, stiffness and pain.
K-Laser Class 4 therapy treatments are effective for knee pain caused by:
- Sports injuries
- Baker’s cyst
- Meniscus/ligament injuries
- ACL/PCL injuries
- Post-knee replacement
Some patients may have concerns about feeling pain during the laser therapy treatment, but there’s no need to worry. There is little to no sensation during treatment. Sometimes, one feels a mild, soothing warmth or tingling. Inflamed areas may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.