Chronic knee pain affects millions of people. In fact, it’s one of the most common ailments in people experiencing chronic pain. The knee isn’t just one of the most complex joints in the human body, but also one of the strongest. It helps us move with ease and bears our weight. Combine these important tasks with its complex structure, and the knee joint is susceptible to many different types of injuries and ailments that can compromise quality of life.
What Causes Knee Pain?
The knee joint can be influenced by injuries and arthritis, both of which have the potential to cause chronic pain. Knee injuries can include:
- Fractures of the kneecap
- Dislocation of the knee bones
- Ligament injuries, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear
- Meniscus tears
- Tendon tears
Types of arthritis that can affect the knee and cause knee pain include:
- Osteoarthritis, in which knee cartilage wears away in certain areas.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack healthy joints.
- Psoriatic arthritis, another autoimmune disorder that can cause stiff, painful knees.
- Gout, which causes tiny crystals of uric acid to build up in the joint, causing swelling and redness.
People who are older, have had previous knee injuries, are overweight or have a history of playing sports that place stress on the knees (such as hockey and running) have an increased risk for chronic knee pain.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
Since the knee is a complex joint, you may not experience the same knee discomfort as someone else. Where you feel knee pain will depend on the nature of your injury or arthritis and the areas of the knee your condition affects.
For example, while you may experience pain in your knee, someone else may only feel pain behind or on the outside of their knee. People who suffer from knee discomfort may also experience stiffness or weakness in their knee, which can create instability when moving. Others may notice odd sounds when moving their knee, such as grinding or popping noises.
Bruising and swelling are other symptoms that you may notice along with knee discomfort.
How Can Knee Pain Be Treated?
Treatment for knee pain will all depend on the cause of your discomfort. While some people may benefit from exercise and physical therapy to improve their knee injury or arthritis, others may need more invasive techniques, such as surgery. Your pain management physicians can let you know which treatments you qualify for during your appointment.
You may also have the option of using anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections or regenerative medicine (such as stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma therapy) to treat your knee discomfort. No matter what’s causing your knee pain, you have options to help reduce your discomfort and get back on your feet!
Schedule a Consultation With Our Board-Certified Pain Management Physicians
Are you suffering from chronic knee discomfort that hasn’t responded to conventional therapies, such as medication? If so, schedule an appointment with the certified pain management physicians at Summit Spine & Joint Centers by calling (770) 962-3642 or submitting our online form to find out how we can help you improve your knee pain.