Knee pain can occur whether you are young or old, male or female, sedentary or active. The key to properly handling knee pain is to learn whether you are suffering from pain that will pass in a couple of days or whether you are dealing with a chronic condition or a painful injury that may not heal without help. Gulf Coast Pain Institute's healthcare professionals can help find the source of your pain and help bring you back to full health.
What Is Knee Pain?
Your knees provide stability and support for your body. They also give you the mobility that allows you to bend, walk, stand, run, and jump.
Bones, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons all work together to give you this movement and stability. When things go wrong, the result can be pain, inflammation, and difficulty engaging in the everyday activities you enjoy.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
The pain in your knee will depend on its cause as well as characteristics individual to you. Sometimes the pain is a dull throb that is felt throughout the region. Sometimes it is a sharp and concentrated pain. Knee pain may also be accompanied by other symptoms that can include:
- Reduced flexibility or movement in the knee joint.
- Snapping, grinding, or popping sensations or sound coming from the joint when you attempt to move it.
- Coldness, tingling, or numbness in the joint.
- Bruising or swelling.
- Color changes around the knee, such as paler skin or shades of blue or red.
- Weakness or instability in the joint. A feeling that your knee will not hold you up.
Sometimes the pain is persistent. Other times, it is only felt when you attempt to put pressure on the knee. Still other times, you will be able to walk without difficulty, but will have trouble squatting, jumping, or performing activities like climbing stairs.
What Causes Knee Pain?
Knee pain can have a wide range of causes. Some of them are acute injuries. Others are the result of repetitive stress.
Causes of acute trauma to the knee can include:
- blunt force to the knee.
- falling on the knee.
- atypical motions like twisting or overextending the knee.
- sprains and strains to the area. This can result in stress on the ligaments and tendons around the knee.
- fractures to the kneecap or the bones of the leg where they meet the knee.
Repetitive trauma to the knee can occur when the joint is overused or used improperly. A few examples of repetitive stress injuries that can cause knee pain:
- ACL damage
- synovial plica syndrome
- iliotibial band syndrome
These can be the result of long periods of standing, climbing stairs, running, cycling, and jumping.
Diagnosing Knee Pain
Diagnosis of your knee pain will start with a physical examination and an analysis of your medical history. We'll look at factors like your range of movement, what triggers pain in your knee, and factors in your history that can cause knee pain.
In addition to the physical examination, we may opt for imaging diagnostics that can give us a look inside the knee. These can include X-rays, MRIs, bone scans, and ultrasounds.
Treatments for Knee Pain
Knee pain can be treated in a number of ways. Rest of the joint can help prevent further stress while it is healing. Knee braces can help provide support for the joint.
Ice and heat can both be effective for pain relief. Ice is best used immediately after injury to reduce swelling and dull pain. Heat can help relax muscles and reduce pain in the days after.
Regenerative medicine can be helpful in aiding, healing, and preventing a future re-injury of your knee.
Physical therapy can be used to help you regain mobility and to strengthen the area around your knee.
Interventional treatments such as joint injections can help when you have inflammation around the knee that is causing pain.
Request a Consultation
Is knee pain negatively affecting your life? We can help. Our Pensacola practice involves healthcare providers from a range of disciplines to provide a comprehensive approach to your health. Call today for an appointment. We'll find the right diagnosis for the cause of your pain and create a customized treatment plan that fits your health and your life.