With 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain and knee pain being the second most common cause, you might also be dealing with this type of chronic pain. If so, there are a few things you can do to alleviate knee pain if you are having discomfort.
Although older people are more likely to experience knee pain, anyone at any age can experience pain in their knees. Keep reading to see what options you have to help relieve knee discomfort.
Easing Knee Pain at Home
If the pain is not overbearing where you think you need help from a doctor you can apply a combination of ice packs and heat packs. Sometimes you can also calm the pain with either acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
There are muscle rubs and creams that you can use topically to treat your knee pain. If you have a physical therapist they might also recommend weaning a brace to support your knee.
When to Call a Doctor
Anytime you are having severe knee pain after you fall it is a good idea to go see your doctor. Also, if you are finding that you can’t support your weight with your knee you need to go see a doctor.
When you can’t extend your knee all the way or your knee looks swollen then you need to get your knee checked professionally. Sometimes a doctor will suggest getting a knee arthroscopy especially if your pain is bothering you for longer than a few days. This is when they use a fiber optic camera along with narrow tools inserted through a few small incisions around your knee.
Incorporating daily stretching is also helpful for knee pain. You can work out the kinks in your muscles with a foam roller. This will target any tight and painful areas in your muscles and myofascial tissue.
Using the roller is also known as the myofascial release process. This process can also be performed via a hands-on massage. The goal is to relax the tissue which releases tension in the muscles and leads to reducing pain.
Possible Causes of Knee Pain
There are plenty of ways to hurt and injure the knee but the most common knee pain comes from injuries, overuse, and arthritis. The most common knee injuries are bursitis, ACL injury, kneecap dislocation, and meniscus tear.
When the knee is overused through repetitive activity this will also lead to knee pain. Runners tend to deal with patellofemoral pain which is also known as runner’s knee. This is pain under or around the kneecap.
When kids have swelling in the shinbone under the knee cap because of overusing their knees it is called osgood-schlatter disease. Another example of overuse is tendonitis which tends to happen to those that play repetitive jumping sports like basketball and volleyball.
For those that have pain in their knee due to arthritis it can be very painful because the joint in the knee swells. This tends to develop as you get older, but it can happen to anyone. The two common types of arthritis that affects the knees include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This is when the disease attacks the joints in the body and it causes swelling or inflammation and breaks down the joints. Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage breaks down in the joint after a long period of time.
Because extra body weight can place extra stress on the knee, it is important to maintain a healthy body weight via regular exercising and having a balanced and nutritious diet.
Managing Knee Pain
If it’s arthritis that is causing your knee pain, your doctor will probably have you do physical therapy a few times per month or week and they might also give you some type of medication to ease the inflammation. For those that have unbearable and serious knee pain a knee replacement surgery might be necessary.
Typically, physical therapy always helps relieve discomfort, so it is a good idea to ask your doctor if they can refer you to a therapist no matter what is causing your knee pain.
Ready to Feel Better?
With our top tips on easing knee pain, you can pick and choose what you think is best for your specific type of knee pain. Remember to go see a medical professional if the pain is unbearable. The last thing you want to do is make your pain and symptoms worst.
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