Introduction to Knee Pain
Knee pain is usually due to overuse or injury of the knee.
What is Knee Pain?
Knee pain is usually due to overuse or injury of the knee. Exertion of the knee such as jumping or running can cause injury as the whole body weight is taken by the joint. As people get older, they are more likely to experience knee pain as a symptom of a disease. In most cases, knee pain will resolve itself but if it is more long term, you can’t put weight on it or the knee looks deformed it would be worth seeing a general practitioner (GP). They might refer you for more specialist treatment by an orthopaedic surgeon.
What causes Knee Pain?
Damage to the knee is the most common cause of knee pain. Damage can be a result of strain, osteoarthritis, torn ligaments and tendons surrounding the knee and gout.
Over use of the joint can cause tendonitis and repetitive movement over the knee joint can cause bursitis.
Significant damage to the knee can cause bleeding into the joint which can be very painful.
What are the symptoms of Knee Pain?
Knee pain can be accompanied by swelling or stiffness of the joint and be warm to the touch. If injured, it may feel weak or unstable when pressure is put on it during walking. Knee pain can also be a symptom of certain diseases.
How is Knee Pain treated?
Sprains causing pain to the knee can often be managed at home using PRICE therapy (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation) as well as painkillers. Tendonitis and bursitis can also be managed by PRICE therapy and painkillers to alleviate swelling and pain.
Damage to the menisci or ligament and tendon damage might need to be treated by surgery. In this case, the GP would refer you to an orthopaedic specialist.
Knee pain caused by osteoarthritis is often reduced by wearing appropriate footwear to reduce strain on the joint; using a walking stick to assist you or taking pain killers.
Gout can limit the movement of the joint it is affecting. The GP would usually advise using ice packs and prescribe painkillers. You might also need to change your diet or receive additional medication. Colchicine can be prescribed to reduce some of the swelling and pain associated with a gout attack.