The knee is a “hinge” type joint that allows the leg to bend and straighten. Your knees are the largest joints in your body and you need them for practically everything you do. As a result, your knees take quite the beating throughout your life. Knee pain is common among older people; however people of all ages can have knee pain and injuries. Knee pain can stem from a degenerative (arthritic) condition, a systemic condition, or from an injury. Chronic knee pain is long-term pain, swelling, or sensitivity in one or both knees. Whether it’s due to arthritis or an injury, it is important to know what has caused the knee pain in order to properly diagnose the problem
Common Causes of Knee pain
Sprains and Strains
Injury – Sad, but true: sometimes, an active lifestyle can backfire if you fail to safeguard your knees. Skiers, cyclists, runners, and people who participate in jumping sports (tennis, basketball) are prone to knee pain and injuries.
Patellofemoral Pain – Patellofemoral pain syndrome is pain in the front of the knee and around the patella, or kneecap. It is sometimes called “runner’s knee” or “jumper’s knee”.
Tendinitis – Tendinitis is pain in the front of the knee that is made worse when climbing, taking stairs, or walking up an incline
Bursitis — Inflammation of a bursa is called bursitis. The knee is lubricated by joint fluid that is produced by the lining of the joint and by six lubricating “bursa” sacs. The bursa sacs can become irritated as a result of injury, excessive pressure, or overuse.
Osteoarthritis — Osteoarthritis is caused by degeneration (or age related changes) of the articular cartilage.
Muscle strain — the quadriceps muscles and the hamstring muscles straighten and bend the knee and are susceptible to strain (“pulled muscles”). Such strains occur most often in sports requiring rapid acceleration and deceleration (basketball, softball, football, soccer).
Meniscus tear — the meniscus is a specialized “shock absorber” cartilage located in the knee joint between the thigh and shin bones. There are two menisci in the knee, one on the inside (medial meniscus) and one of the outside (lateral meniscus). Traumatic tears occur when a sudden, twisting force tears an otherwise healthy meniscus.
Knee Pain Diagnosis
To diagnose you with a specific type of knee pain, Dr. Anden will need to perform a physical exam and check to see how you respond to different movements using your legs. If your pain increases when the knee is moved in one specific direction, or when performing a movement like standing up, it can point to which exact part of the knee is damaged or inflamed. You may also be referred for additional testing such as an x-ray or MRI.
Conventional Treatments for Knee Pain
Dr. Anden feels that an often overlooked aspect of treating knee pain is the need for different interventions depending on someone’s current fitness level. For example, a young woman who experiences knee pain after running for several months will benefit from a much different treatment approach than an older man with osteoarthritis of the knees. When treating knee pain injuries, Dr. Anden first looks at your symptoms and then discusses your lifestyle and exercise habits.
Non-Surgical treatments for knee pain:
- Regenerative Medicine – This would involve injecting different growth factors into the damaged area to reduce inflammation and promote natural healing processes. Clink the link to read more about this!
- Compression, icing and elevation of the affected knee
- Physical therapy and at-home exercises
- Use of a knee brace
- Ultrasound Guided Cortisone Injection used to reduce inflammation, lubricate the knee and treat swelling.
- Rarely, Surgery may is recommended as a last resort option. This would be considered only after other treatments have failed.
Dr. Corey Anden is a Board certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician who has been practicing for more than 10 years. She specializes in diagnosing and treating pain using a customized approach. She typically starts with non-invasive treatments like physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises before turning to spinal procedures.
5825 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT 84403
P: (801) 732-5914
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