Knee pain: here’s why it happens and how to fix it

Knee pain is a common condition, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. Specialists provide treatment recommendations and how to prevent it.

Knee pain is a common problem. Global estimates suggest that more than one in five people over 40 have some type of chronic knee pain. It is something that can have a high impact in people’s lives, affecting not only their activity levels, but also their emotional well-being.

But just because knee pain is common This doesn’t mean you have to live with him. Whatever the cause, treating knee pain is usually relatively simple if you know what to do.

knee pain It is usually caused by trauma such as an injury while playing a sport or at work, especially if it involves manual or heavy work. Meniscus tears (damage to the cartilage inside the knee) and rip of the cruciate ligament (which holds the knee together) are among the most common knee injuries due to trauma. Although meniscus tears can heal on their own, cruciate ligament tears usually require surgery.

In young people, pain in the front of the knee This may be linked to problems with the tendon on which the kneecap rests. (known as kneecap), or problems with the position of the kneecap (called patellofemoral pain syndrome) ) .

Many young people, especially women, have very elastic joints (a condition known as hypermobility ), which can cause pain where tendons attach to joints, including the knee.

After age 40 or 50, the most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis . Typically, osteoarthritis causes five to ten minutes of pain and stiffness in the morning. This pain may worsen depending on your activity during the day. Chronic knee pain can also cause loss of muscle mass , mainly on the thighs. This can make movement difficult and lead to more tendon and knee problems.

Sometimes also knee pain It may come from another part of the body. For example, hip osteoarthritis or the pressure on the lower back nerves They can also cause knee pain.

In rare cases, a spontaneously swollen and painful knee may occur as a result of infections such as salmonella (called reactive arthritis ) or infections in the knee joint (called septic arthritis ). People with inflammatory arthritis, such as drop either rheumatoid arthritis, They may have flare-ups that cause knee pain.

Managing pain

The best way to manage knee pain depends on the cause. If you have suffered trauma or your knee is very painful or swollen, it is important to look for Professional advice to ensure you receive the right treatment.

But if you experience intermittent or chronic knee pain, here’s what you can do:

1. Stay strong and active: Strengthen the muscles around the knee will significantly reduce pain and stiffness . If your knees are quite weak, a good way to build strength is to walk in a pool. As you get stronger, consider using a stationary bike or elliptical trainer. It’s normal to feel some additional pain when you first start exercising. This will calm down as you build strength.

If your knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis, you will likely benefit the most from a supervised exercise program to ensure you are performing exercises tailored to your needs. Some exercises that can be indicated to you develop strength They include step ups (stand on a step or box and lift your weight through the raised leg) and chair squats (lean back until your butt touches the chair, then immediately stand up again in standing up position). . It is important to continue the exercises over the long term to maintain the benefits.

2. Watch your weight: Being overweight or obese can put extra strain on your knees. Losing weight will help reduce this pressure and also reduce inflammation.

Any amount of weightloss May improve symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. But it is recommended to lose at least 10% of your body weight and the more weight you lose, the more benefits you will see.

So far, the benefits of weight loss on knee health have only been studied in people suffering from osteoarthritis.

3. Change your activities: Some people find that spacing out their activities (such as doing certain tasks when the knee pain is not so severe or spacing out activities that they know may cause pain), using walking aids, or wearing knee braces shoes with cushioning soles (like good sneakers) is a good thing. useful. . But these changes might only make a small difference in treating knee pain.

If you find that your knee pain gets worse with work, you may also want to perform some changes in the way you usually do things to help reduce pain. For example, if you spend a lot of time sitting at work, try getting up and moving around more often. But if you spend a lot of time standing, take the time to sit down from time to time to relieve your joints.

Prevent pain

Most people can successfully manage knee pain through exercise and other methods of self-control (such as weight loss or stretching), so surgery is usually not necessary. But if your knee pain is due to a problem such as a torn ligament or advanced osteoarthritis, for exampleKnee surgery may be recommended.

For people with advanced osteoarthritis, operations such as a total knee replacement can cause big improvements on pain, the ability to perform daily activities and general well-being.

General practitioners may recommend painkillers in certain circumstances, For example, if knee pain prevents you from exercising. However, some of these medications can have significant side effects with long-term use. For example, ibuprofen can cause stomach ulcers.

If you hope to prevent knee pain in the future, the best strategies They include staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. Keeping your thigh muscles strong will also help support your knees. And many of these knee strengthening exercises can be done at home without any equipment, like the raise your right leg (sitting on a chair with your back straight and raising your leg before lowering it).

* Philip Conaghan Director, Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Leeds

** Anna Anderson Qualitative Research Expert, University of Leeds

*** Hemant Govind Pandit Professor and Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, University of Leeds

Source: Latercera

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