Knee pain is a relatively common condition. The knee joint is particularly susceptible to pain and damage as it is the joint that takes the complete body weight. This is probably one of the main reasons that overweight or obese people have more chances of developing this condition. Causes of knee pain include ligament strains/sprains, joint inflammation, obesity, and overuse syndromes or infections related to the joint. Multispecialty healthcare centers in Brooklyn, NYC, offer effective knee pain treatment to address the symptoms associated with the condition. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about knee pain –
Q: What are the causes of knee pain?
A: Several factors can contribute to the development of knee pain such as injury, medical conditions, and chronic/overuse conditions. Common injuries to the joint include fractures, ligament strains or sprains, ACL injury, joint inflammation, meniscus injuries and joint dislocation. Medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, pseudo gout and septic arthritis (infectious arthritis) also cause knee pain. Chronic use/overuse conditions associated with the knee are tendinitis, housemaid’s knee or bursitis, iliotibial band syndrome, and plica syndrome.
Q: What are the potential risk factors for knee pain?
A: A number of factors can increase your risk of having knee problems, including – excess body weight, lack of muscle flexibility and strength, previous injury/trauma, high impact sports activities and repetitive stress injuries.
Q: What are the symptoms that accompany knee pain?
A: The location and severity of knee pain may vary and depend upon the specific cause of the problem. Key signs and symptoms include –
- Weakness or instability of the joint
- Swelling and stiffness
- Redness and warmth to the touch
- Popping or crunching noises
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
Q: Can losing weight reduce knee pain?
A: Carrying extra pounds can exert additional pressure on your knee joint as it is the joint that bears the complete weight of the body. Being overweight increases a person’s chances of developing osteoarthritis (OA) which causes degeneration of the knee joint and pain. Maintaining an ideal body weight is important, and if overweight, losing as little as 11 pounds can decrease the progression of your knee OA, according to an expert from Cleveland Clinic’s Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Treatment Center.
Q: What does knee pain assessment involve?
A: A detailed physical exam will be conducted wherein the physician will inspect the knees for swelling, pain, tenderness, and visible bruising. The structures in knee will be evaluated and the physician will see how far you can use your legs in different directions. Tests such as X-rays, MRI scan, ultrasound, and computerized tomography (CT) scan may be used to determine the exact cause of pain.
Q: How is knee pain treated?
A: Pain management centers in Brooklyn, NYC offer a wide range of non-surgical treatments to relieve the symptoms and reduce the complications associated with this condition. Depending on patient considerations, treatment plans may include a combination of modalities such as physical therapy, pain management injections, TENS, ice and heat application, and anti-inflammatory medications to manage pain, swelling and accelerate the healing process.
Q: What lifestyle changes can be made to manage knee pain?
A: Managing the symptoms of knee problems needs a systematic approach. Incorporating significant positive lifestyle changes along with effective treatment can help in managing the pain better. Self care measures for knee conditions include –
- Exercise – People with knee pain can benefit from low-impact/minor exercise programs like walking, swimming, stationary training; elliptical machines and water aerobics which increase joint flexibility and strength.
- Weight control – In addition to exercise, maintaining a balanced diet is necessary to shed excess pounds.
- Rest – Take regular breaks from normal activities to reduce repetitive strain on the knees.
- Knee braces –Wrapping the injured area with an elastic bandage or brace will help decrease swelling.