If you suffer from knee pain you are certainly not alone. Pain and discomfort in the knee area is responsible for around one third of all visits to the doctor for muscle or bone pain. Knee pain is a particular issue for people who lead an active life, like athletes and sportspeople, but anyone can suffer from knee pain and there are many reasons for this condition. The knee joint is highly complex and there is a lot that can go wrong. Read on for symptoms of knee pain and the most common causes.
What Does Knee Pain Feel Like?
The location of the pain or the discomfort varies depending on what is causing the condition. The symptoms of this issue include swelling, stiffness, redness, warmth, weakness in the knee or instability, crunching or popping sounds when you move the joint, and an inability to straighten the joint. If you cannot bear any weight on the knee, if it is highly swollen, or if the pain is accompanied by fever, visit your doctor immediately. Often, however, the cause of knee pain is not life-threatening but it should be remedied as quickly as possible.
Common Reasons for Knee Pain
- Bursitis. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions the knee joint. If you fall or you overuse the knee then the bursa can become irritated, which causes pain. Bursitis is often called housemaids knee or preacher’s knee. You may also suffer from a Baker’s cyst, where the bursa in the back of the knee swells.
- Osteoarthritis. Anyone can suffer knee pain from osteoarthritis although it is more common in people over the age of 60.
- Tendonitis. This is a swelling of the tendons in the knee and overuse of these tendons can result in inflammation and discomfort.
- Knee injury. Injuries to the knee joint include tearing the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or the meniscus.
- Broken bone or cartilage floating in the joint space. This tiny piece of bone or cartilage may interfere with the joint movement, causing pain and limiting mobility.
- Dislocated kneecap. A dislocated kneecap occurs when the plate covering the front of your knee slides out of place.
- Hip or foot problems. If you are walking in a different way due to hip or foot issues this will put pressure on the knee.
- Gout. Gout may occur in the knee – it is a build-up of uric crystals in the joint.
For treatment options, whatever the cause of your knee pain, see the following article.