Knee pain is one of the most common types of joint pain, and many people will have at least one episode in their lifetime. It is a bothersome symptom that is not quickly relieved and sometimes requires urgent medical attention. But if you or any other member of your family suddenly experience knee pain, is there anything special you need to know? What is causing knee pain? What can you do about it?
2What causes knee pain?
There are various causes of knee pain, but we could divide them into traumatic and non-traumatic causes.
Traumatic causes of knee pain
These are more common which non-traumatic triggers, particularly in athletes and active individuals but also in sedentary and obese individuals with an excess load in their articulations. These are the more common causes of traumatic knee pain:
◘ Musculoskeletal injuries: Muscle pain is a common cause of knee pain if it is associated with all the quadriceps, the main muscle at the thig. This muscle is connected to the patella, and tearing of this muscle near the patella may lead to knee pain found in the anterior area of the knee.
◘ Fractures: Any bone that is associated with the articulation of the knee may suffer a fracture in a sudden contusion. Even the femur, tibia and the patella can be susceptible to excessive pressure resulting in fractures and acute knee pain that compromises walking along with other functions performed by this articulation.
◘ Stress fractures and repetitive motions: Another significant source of knee pain is stress fractures and repetitive movements, which is especially the case in athletes and active people. Repetitive motions, primarily when correlated with heavy loads and contusions, can cause microscopic fractures that slowly impair the normal use of the articulation and result in chronic knee pain.
◘ Obesity: Obese people often suffer from knee pain, and the mechanism of illness is similar to what happens in stress fractures. Carrying excessive load in the articulation of the knees leads to wear down of the articulation and may also activate a form of degenerative arthritis known as osteoarthritis of the knee.
◘ Ligament tears: This cause is especially common in athletes. The most frequently involved ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament, but there are a posterior cruciate ligament and lateral ligaments which may be ripped as well. Each one of them results in another type of pain and distinct findings in the physical exam.
◘ Rheumatoid arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis generally involve the knee at a certain stage of the illness. Knee pain in rheumatoid arthritis slowly progresses and finally becomes a severe disability that will not allow patients to walk or climb stairs. It usually appears in adults, however, you can find juvenile forms of arthritis which may affect children as well.
◘ Osteoarthritis: It’s the most common form of arthritis which is associated with knee pain. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative type of arthritis, which means that it results in wear-and-tear of the articulation. It usually appears in older adults and progresses as the articulatory cartilage wears down and leaves the bony ends of the femur and the patella assembly and rubbing against each other with each movement.
◘ Post-traumatic arthritis: Some patients may develop a form of post-traumatic arthritis following a traumatic event from the articulation of the knee. The mechanism of disease is similar to osteoarthritis, usually linked to degeneration of the joint surface resulting in joint instability and progressive damage and wear from the articulation.
◘ Gout: It is just another form of arthritis that is based on the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the articulations. Gout is often associated with pain in the articulations of the lower extremities, especially the foot and the toes, but may also lead to knee pain. Very similar to other forms of arthritis, individuals with gout frequently have a swollen and reddened articulation related to abrupt and severe joint pain.
◘ Pseudogout: The mechanism of disease of pseudogout is similar to this of gout, but rather than uric acid crystals there are deposits of calcium crystals in the articulations.
The inflammation could possibly be due to infectious diseases, and autoimmune reaction, or portion of their articulation.
◘ Systemic Lupus Erythematous: Additionally, there are uncommon causes of knee pain, like in systemic lupus erythematous. This is an autoimmune disease that affect distinct body systems and cells, and patients would have different symptoms depending on the sort of SLE.
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