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A guide on tackling knee pain

Aug 27, 2019

Introduction

Imagine the frustration that knee pain brings to your energetic child for failing to play soccer in the streets or ride a bike due to the excruciating and irritating knee pain or an old man who is trying to move around but has to do it with crunches because of the agonizing pain. It is worse in a young athlete who is trying to reach the epitome of his/her career but can't due to the associated medical and financial strain that follows knee pain. Consequently, individuals live a low-quality life due to reduced occupational and social activities.

Knee pain- a world-wide traumatizing experience

Knee pain is a degenerative disease of the joints which is more prevalent in adults but is also common in young people.  It can be differentiated according to the root causes and an understanding of the root causes is critical for the provision of effective mechanisms of treatment. Knee pain can emanate from a strain of the ligaments due to overuse, conditions such as for overweight, injury and natural causes such as age just to mention a few sources. In some cases, knee pain can be a symptom of other serious conditions such as arthritis and osteoarthritis and severe cases often result in risk factors that may lead to disability.  Common symptoms of knee pain include localized pain prolonged periods of time, swelling, inability to fully lengthen the knee and a warm feeling when the affected knee is touched. Depending on the root causes and severity, some symptoms respond well to home remedies and others need medical attention through surgery.
 

Knee pain why it happens


Degenerative tissue disorders- Common degenerative tissue disorders include osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative condition of the joints which is caused by the continuous wear and tear of the bones over time. This is a disease which is common in the old age. Risk factors include age and individual genetics as some of the conditions are inheritable. Common symptoms include swollen knees due to prolonged periods of activity which result in knee pain and stiffness that is associated with long periods of rest.  Vulnerability to osteoporosis increases with age, lack of exercise, dietary factors and specific genes. Another degenerative disease which may result in knee pain is Osteoporosis. This condition results from the thinning of bones which leads to damaged cartilage and connecting tissues in the knee and consequently knee pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis- This is the most common auto-inflammatory connective tissue disorder that causes knee pain. In this type of disease, the immune system attacks its own tissues and knee pain occurs when rheumatoid arthritis attacks knee tissues. Symptoms of RA include inflamed joint, fever, fatigue, appetite loss and pain. 

Infection- Knee pain can be a result of a bacterial infection. Common bacterial infections that cause knee pain include cellulitis. If it remains untreated cellulitis can cause infection in the joint and common symptoms of cellulitis include redness around the knee, swelling pain, and knee stiffness. This condition occurs when bacteria that is commonly found on the surface of the skin penetrates skin's protective layer. 

Obesity- Obesity increases the risk to knee pain especially in knee joints due to excess weight which exerts a lot of force on the joints than they can handle resulting pain in and inflammation over time. Knee joints support the body in movement and overweight will exert a heavy load on them resulting on strain on the joints.

Trauma: Trauma results when one starts a physical activity or exercise will properly conditioning the body by properly stretching before the start of the exercise. Traumatic knee injuries are more common in individuals who participate in intense sport and dancing like ballet. Some of the Knee pain is a result of accidents that result in fractured ligaments.

Quality of Life- lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking increase the susceptibility of individuals to knee pain.

Gout –affects how the knee moves, it results from the build-up of uric acid which then crystallizes in the joints causing inflammation. Being overweight increases the risk of gout as the production of uric acid increases.

Tendinitis –is the inflammation of the tendon, knee injuries affect the ligaments and tendons. This condition causes knee pain outside of the joint

Tips for avoiding knee pain


Staying active is a great way of strengthening muscles. One should exercise regularly. Different methods have been implemented to help with knee pain; these include physical activity through walking as it helps the knee’s functional status without increasing pain.

Knowing the correct sitting posture and avoiding repetitive unnecessary movement are other ways of avoiding the agonizing knee pain.  By knowing the right posture and the right support can minimize knee pain. Pain can be reduced by wearing supportive shoes and avoiding broken heels as they can result in abnormal forces being exerted causing wear on the knee. Osteoarthritis can be avoided by staying healthy through exercises and eating well as well as avoiding injuries. It is crucial to exercise as it can delay the development of osteoarthritis. Staying active boosts the cartilage tissue and thorough exercising strengthens body muscles. Staying in shape prepares muscles for proper conditioning and proper exercising equipment should be utilized for the best fitness results.  The rate at which muscles weaken is reduced by being flexible and strong.

Shedding off some weight by maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things to do for your knees because overweight puts a strain on joints which increases the risk of injuries. Dealing with overweight is an effective way in the reduction of knee pain. Intervention from the public health on how to avoid being obese can work as a catalyst on educating people on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, this would make an impact on the rate of lower limb disability.

Compression and elevation help in treating mild knee pain as it brings comfort and free circulation. Resting and avoiding further injuries gives the tissues time to heal.

Stay active, flexible and healthy.

Knee pain can be managed

Lifestyle factors and individual care increase the susceptibility of an individual to knee pain

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