Most people experience knee pain at some point in their lives, either bending, sitting, walking or simply just standing. More serious injuries to ligaments and cartilage can be caused by exercise, squats and other sports activities. Knee pain can be so severe that it limits daily activities for some. While for others, even mild knee pain can be a chronic hindrance to the active lifestyle they desire. In either case, they’re very unpleasant and should be avoided at all cost. We have listed out these 5 common causes of severe knee pain in hope for a better, complication-free lifestyles.
Knee is one of the joints most prone to injury, according to the Arthritis Foundation, due to the knee’s overall structure and components. Common knee injuries are due to tears in one of the three main ligaments of the knee, which is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL). These types of injuries are common in athletes.
Knee bursitis can be caused by a sudden blow to the front of the knee, injuring these small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the outside of the knee joint that allows tendons and ligaments to glide easily over the joints. Therapy and oral medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used to treat the problem. Therapy can include rest, ice, elevation, and splinting.
2) Degenerative tissue disorders
One of the most common degenerative tissue disorder is the osteoarthritis (OA). OA is caused by a breakdown of the cartilage (a tough but rubbery substance covering the end of bones/joints). The protective tissue is damaged by age and repeated the motion, which in turn damages the surrounding tissues of the knee with increased friction on the bones of your joints as they rub against each other without the protective tissue. The worst case scenario is where the bones will be damaged.
OA will produce pain, stiffness and prevent the join from working properly i.e. affecting the shape of a joint, keeping it from functioning smoothly.
3) Connective tissue disorders
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and damage throughout your body. Unlike degenerative tissue disorders, RA and other connective tissue disorders affect the lining of the joints. If untreated, RA can lead to bone erosion and even joint deformity.
The cause of RA isn’t known. However, certain factors seem to have a role in increasing the risk of developing RA, such as being a woman and having a family history of RA. Moreover, factors triggering RA include:
- exposure to certain types of bacteria, such as those associated with periodontal disease (“perio” = around, “dontal” = teeth)
- trauma or injury, such as bone breakage or fracture, dislocation of a joint, and ligament damage
- smoking cigarettes
There’s no cure for RA to date, but medication and treatment options are available, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids or stem cells therapy.
4) Metabolic problems
The metabolic disorder is where abnormal chemical reactions in the body alter the normal metabolic process, which will affect several parts of the body. Such cases can be seen from the most common metabolic causes of knee pain, which is gout.
The buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints caused by gout causes the knee to become swollen and inflamed, and can even affect the knee’s range of motion. Doctors usually will recommend anti-inflammatory medications or other treatments that assist in the breakdown of chemicals that lead to crystal formation.
Cellulitis is a very serious bacterial skin infection that can affect the knee area, even a simple scrape on the knee can become infected if it is left untreated. Symptoms include redness in the affected area and skin that feels hot and extremely tender to the touch.
If not treated properly, the infection can spread to other areas of the body and can be life-threatening. However, in most cases, cellulitis can be cleared up with antibiotics, and its signs and symptoms normally disappear within a few days following treatment. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much good news in regards to stem cell therapy towards problem such as cellulitis.
After reading the above, we hope that your perceptions of ‘knee pain only affecting older people’ has changed. As mentioned above, the knee gets injured easily, take good care of it and it will bring you to places.