We use our knees every day. Whether it be kneeling to pick something up, jumping, running, walking and a variety of other activities, these all require us to bend the joint that joins our lower leg to our upper leg. Because of its complexity and how often we use it, the knee is especially susceptible to injury. Thankfully, in most cases, simple home treatments are enough to get you back on your feet and doing the activities you enjoy. But for some, serious injuries or medical conditions can cause chronic knee pain.
If you’re experiencing difficulties with one or both of your knees, it may be time to seek out professional medical assistance. Spine Institute of North America is here to offer an accurate diagnosis for your knee pain, so we can come up with an effective treatment plan that will get you back to full mobility.
What Is Knee Pain?
When you experience pain in your knee, it may be comforting to know you’re not alone. This is an extremely common complaint. The knee is a complex and essential joint — it’s made up of many components, including bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and a wedge-shaped piece of cartilage called the meniscus, which is vital to a fully functioning knee joint.
Because these parts are moving and working every single day to keep you active, you can injure this large joint in many ways. If any of the knee’s parts become irritated or damaged, it will probably result in pain. However, underlying medical conditions can also cause knee pain.
Symptoms of Knee Pain
Because knee pain is such a common complaint, many people ignore it, hoping the discomfort will fade on its own. In many cases, it does. But waiting too long to go to the doctor can lead to long-term damage if you have a serious injury or condition. That’s why you should seek medical attention if you experience any of the following signs:
- Knee gives out
- You hear a popping or crunching noise
- Unable to move your knee or fully straighten it
- Weakness or instability
- Swelling, redness or warmth to the touch
- Severe pain that doesn’t subside
Common Knee Injuries That Cause Pain
Because the knee joint is a complicated set of moving components, the chance that you will injure it is high. We see quite a few knee injuries come through our doors, the most common of which are:
- Fractures: The bones of the knee, including the kneecap, can break because of accidents, sports injuries or even stepping wrong.
- ACL Injury: Tearing your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which connects your shinbone to your thighbone, can lead to excruciating knee pain.
- Torn Meniscus: You can tear this tough cartilage with a sudden jerking movement or by wearing it down over time.
- Bursitis: Bursae are small fluid sacs that prevent friction in the joint, but they can become inflamed because of overuse.
- Tendinitis: Inflammation or irritation in one or more of the knee’s tendons can lead to pain.
- Dislocation: Dislocation occurs when the kneecap slips out of place.
Causes of Knee Pain Other Than Injury
Although an injury is the most common cause of knee pain, it could also be the result of an underlying medical condition. Seeking treatment for these disorders as soon as possible helps alleviate symptoms and prevents permanent damage. Some common causes of knee pain other than an injury include:
- Arthritis: Although more than 100 different kinds of this disease are characterized by joint inflammation, the two that most commonly affect knees are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease: Especially prevalent in teenagers, this condition causes a painful bump to develop below your knee, which can hurt when patients overdo exercises.
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Alignment issues in the knee, muscle imbalance and excess tightness can cause patients’ knees to buckle.
Treating Knee Pain
When you come to Spine Institute of North America, we seek to offer a diagnosis quickly, so we can begin an individualized treatment plan as soon as possible. We always start with non-surgical solutions first and foremost. This could include physical therapy and medication combined with cold or hot compresses and other home remedies. We may also recommend a knee brace. Plus, our office specializes in the use of regenerative medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma injections.
If these techniques do not work, however, your knee issue may require surgical intervention. We offer a wide variety of methods, many of which are least or minimally invasive options, such as:
- Viscosupplementation of the knee joint
- Genicular nerve block
- DRG stimulator
Choosing Spine Institute of North America for Your Care
We don’t want knee pain to impact the lives of our patients negatively. That’s why when you come to New Jersey’s Spine Institute of North America, we strive to give you the most effective treatment options available. Make an appointment today to begin the recovery process.
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