Common Knee Problems

Knee pain is one of the worst ailments one can suffer, especially if it is incapacitating. There are people that can’t even move their legs at all when the pain hits excruciating levels. This is why it is important to treat the pain, so that the afflicted person can live normally. It is not enough just to make the discomfort go away superficially though. One must discover the underlying source of the ache and tackle that as well. And when it comes to the knee, a very complicated joint with many parts, it can be one of a number of causes.

Knee pain is not something that only adults or the elderly experience. Some children that experience sudden growth spurts feel discomfort in the knees. This is due to Osgood Schlatter disease, a commonly experienced phenomenon among adolescents. In this case, only the passing of time will truly help.  It isn’t serious, but if it is too intense, mild pain killers can be prescribed. Associated with this bone growth is something more serious called Osteochondritis dissecans, a disorder that causes actual bone and cartilage damage.  This is not as common, but surgery may be needed.

For older people, the gradual weakening of the joint, ligaments, and cartilage is enough to cause knee problems. Some people don’t experience this as severely as others, but eventually some level of pain will be felt. Because of the weakened knee structure, it is very common for the elderly to develop arthritis. The main problem here is the deterioration of cartilage. When healthy, cartilage helps in making everything smooth for the knee. With arthritis, it can be very painful to even move the joint. There are other reasons why one may have arthritis. An autoimmune disease may attack the cartilage around the knee, and in this case, even young people may experience the problem.  Arthritis can also be caused by a virus or bacteria. Sometimes only pain killers are prescribed, but if the cause of arthritis is something like a broken bone, then surgery is surely necessary.

Speaking of broken bone, that’s another obvious cause for knee pain, but one that falls under the realm of physical injury. Other knee injuries include sprains, strains, and torn ligaments and cartilage. The pain caused by these injuries can range from mere discomfort to agonizing pain. Different activities can cause these injuries, but they are mostly related to sports, running, and poor workout execution. Don’t be complacent even if you aren’t that sporty — a simple twist while getting up from a chair is enough to cause some sort of damage to your ligaments. Tendinitis, which describes damaged tendons, can also happen during these activities, but it is usually associated with jumping.

Other knee problems include bursitis which is the swelling of the fluid sacks around the joint, and Baker’s cyst, which involves fluid build up behind the knee. In any case, all of these conditions can cause various levels of pain and mobility problems. The minute you have trouble walking, seeing a doctor should become a priority. Prepare for a lot of rest, immobilization, and possibly, surgery.