6 Common Causes of Knee Pain

It’s not unusual to experience knee pain at some point in your life.  Many people experience mild, annoying knee pain that keeps them from participating in activities that they enjoy, while others suffer from severe knee pain that can be quite debilitating.  Either way, you don’t have to tolerate knee pain.  There are a variety of causes of knee pain, just as there are a variety of treatment options.  Read on to learn more about the most common causes of knee pain.

Injuries to the Knee Ligaments

Your knees are made up of ligaments that connect your lower leg to your thigh.  These ligaments hold the bones in place and stabilize the knee.  Injuries to these ligaments are very common amongst athletes.  The three most frequently injured ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medical collateral ligament (MCL), and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).  Injuries to these ligaments typically cause severe pain and can require surgical repair.

Tears in the Knee Cartilage

Aside from the propensity for damage to the ligaments in the knee, the cartilage in the knee can also be damaged.  Cartilage is a tough, flexible tissue that covers the ends of the bones in your knee.  The menisci are specific types of cartilage in the knee.  The medial meniscus is located on the inside of the knee, while the lateral meniscus is located on the outside of the knee.  A meniscus tear is a common knee injury that usually must be repaired by surgery.

 

Knee Arthritis

Stiffness, swelling, and difficulty bending the knee are often caused by arthritis.  Arthritis is a common, degenerative condition that can affect nearly any part of the body, but the knees are a common location.  There are several types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.  Arthritis can cause severe pain and limit mobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Knee

As we previously discussed, there are several types of arthritis.  Rheumatoid arthritis accounts for about 10-15% of all cases of arthritis, but it can be quite severe.  It is a type of autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the tissue surrounding the joints.  This inflammation can become chronic and cause damage to the cartilage.

Post-Traumatic Arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that develops as the result of an injury, such as a fracture or torn ligament.  The cartilage in the knees can become damaged as a result of these other injuries, resulting in pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis.  This is also known as wear and tear arthritis, as it is a progressive wearing away of the cartilage in the knee or other joint.  Osteoarthritis is more common in people who are over the age of 50.  In the knee, osteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness, swelling, tenderness, deformity, and limited range of motion.

Osteoarthritis is often caused by age and genetics.  Other contributing factors include being overweight, illness, sports injuries, and occupation-related wear and tear.

Knee pain can also be caused by wearing improper footwear.  The bones, tendons, and ligaments in the feet and lower legs all work together.  If the feet are not receiving the support that they need, a person can develop pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and even lower back as a result.

If you want to prevent knee pain or you already suffer from arthritis or other conditions, you should stop by Foot Solutions.  We can help you to find the right combination of footwear, insoles, or custom arch supports to support your feet and prevent or relieve pain.  Come in to Foot Solutions to see the options today.