Did you know that 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which negatively impacts their quality of life, sleep quality, and mood? Chronic knee pain is the number one complaint of all people with a chronic disease. Many conditions can cause knee pain, such as old injuries and arthritis, but chronic pain is typically caused by structural issues in your joints. Luckily, you don’t have to live with it! Relievus can help relieve your chronic knee pain, regain function and function, and enjoy all that life has to offer. In this article, you will learn about its symptoms and causes and how Relievus’ treatment options can help improve your quality of life.
What is Chronic Knee Pain?
Chronic knee pain is an issue that an estimated 30 million Americans of all ages deal with. The knee is one of the most complex joints in the body. It consists of three bones: the femur, tibia, and patella (kneecap). In addition, two menisci (a fibrous disc that sits between the bones) and many ligaments help keep this massive joint together. As humans age, conditions such as osteoarthritis and arthritis can start causing pain.
Chronic knee pain is often an end-stage result of these conditions, which usually worsens and becomes more widespread over time. It may last more than six months and increase in severity over time. It often occurs after a person has suffered an injury or surgery to the knee or long-term damage to joints, muscles, or nerves. Common symptoms include constant swelling around the joint, limited mobility, decreased range of motion, sensitization, and adaptation issues, which means your body changes how it responds to the stimulus.
9 Causes of Chronic Knee Pain
Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. When a person suffers an injury or accident, the pain or discomfort is usually temporary and goes away once the initial cause of has been treated. However, chronic knee pain lingers on and isn’t always attributable to one incident—it can be caused by many factors over time.
Chronic knee pain is most often the result of several causes or conditions, including:
- Osteoarthritis: A degenerative condition causing wear and tear of the cartilage in the knee joint
- Tendinitis: Inflammation of the tendons attaching the muscles to the knee joint and may cause pain in the front of your knee as you climb stairs or walk up an incline.
- Bursitis: Knee inflammation that results from overuse or injury.
- Gout: The buildup of uric acid in the joint may cause arthritis and pain. It most commonly affects the big toe but can affect the knee as well.
- Baker’s Cyst: This is the accumulation of fluid behind the knee.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): An auto-immune condition that causes intense pain, joint deformity, and bone erosion.
- Dislocation: Kneecap dislocation due to injury or accident may cause lingering pain.
- Meniscus Tear: A rupture in one or more of the cartilages in the knee.
- Torn Ligament: Knee ligament injuries are common; knee ligaments most often include the anterior cruciate and medial collateral.
8 Symptoms of Chronic Knee Pain
Chronic knee pain is an inflammatory process or condition caused by damage to the meniscus and cartilage. Any person who has experienced acute sharp pain in their knee is more likely to experience chronic knee pain.
- Constant ache
- Sharp, shooting pain
- Dull burning discomfort
- Swelling and stiffness
- Redness and warmth to the touch
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or crunching noises
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
How to Treat Chronic Knee Pain
Here are some tips for self-remedy that may help you get over the initial pain:
- Rest. A couple of days’ rest may be enough to heal a minor injury.
- Ice. Ice reduces pain and inflammation, but do not apply ice longer than 20 minutes at a time because of the risk to your skin.
- Heat. Apply a heat pack or hot-water bottle to the painful area on your knee.
- Compression. The lack of fluid buildup in damaged tissues and the knee’s continued alignment and stability helps prevent further injury.
- Elevation. To reduce swelling, elevate your injured leg.
Treatment options for chronic knee pain include:
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe pain medications to help relieve the constant discomfort and to treat the conditions causing your knee pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is the cornerstone of chronic knee pain treatment. That may include different strengthening exercises based on the specific condition causing your pain. Physical therapy can help you regain mobility and strengthen your knee area.
- Injections: In some cases, your doctor may suggest injecting medications directly into the joint, depending on the condition. Other interventional treatment includes ablation and genicular nerve blocks that can help when you have inflammation around the knee that is causing pain.
- Surgery: Surgery may be recommended when your knee has structural damage.
When Should I Seek Treatment for Chronic Knee Pain?
The following situations warrant a visit to the doctor’s or physical therapists:
- If you can’t bear weight on your knee
- If you feel unstable
- If your knee is swollen
- If you have a limp
- If you see an obvious deformity in or near the joint
- If you experience severe pain when moving the joint in addition to redness/swelling,
Relievus has skilled staff in dozens of specialties, including chronic knee pain who work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.
Why Choose Relievus for Chronic Knee Pain Relief?
When it comes to knee pain, knowing whether you are dealing with a short-term or chronic condition can help determine the best way to treat your ailment. Relievus physicians can help find the source of your pain and help bring you back to full functionality.
Relievus provides cutting-edge treatment centered around bio-physical therapies, including physical therapy, orthotics and braces, electrical stimulation (EMDR), soft tissue treatments, acupuncture, massage, minimially-invasive steroid injections, and lifestyle programs. Book your appointment today!