When chronic knee pain becomes such a burden that it starts having a significant impact in the quality of your day to day life, finding relief from the pain becomes a top priority. Not being able to perform simple everyday tasks because of bad knees is quite frustrating for those suffering from chronic knee pain.
When pain persists over time, that pain becomes classified as “chronic” instead of “acute”. The reasons for the development of chronic knee pain are many, and include excessive tension placed on the knees or disease. The incidence of chronic knee pain becomes higher as we age.
It helps to have a core understanding of what the knee’s structure is in order to comprehend the causes of chronic knee pain. To put it in terms that most people can understand, the knee is a joint involving a complex system of soft and hard tissues which links the upper and lower parts of the leg in a way that allows it to have a wide range of movement. If you ever tried walking in a cast you should have a clear appreciation for just how important the knee is, as it has to do all of this while supporting the entire weight of a person. If any of the elements of this complex system are damaged, a person is likely to suffer from some form of chronic knee pain.
Because the knees play an essential role in most basic activity, there is a certain amount of wear and tear on the joint, and overuse of its structures often leads to chronic knee pain. As an example, if overuse leads the cartilage disc that acts as a buffer between the knee cap and the bone to degrade significantly, there will be chronic knee pain as a result of the friction between them.
In cases where there is a problem with the patella (the round bone we think of as “the knee”), it may be necessary to use a support to effectively sustain its alignment to the femur. Such a support can help alleviate chronic knee pain associated with this condition, known as Patellofemoral Syndrome.
Among the usual injuries that can cause problems are ligament injuries and tendinitis, which can be treated through normal means such as rest as anti-inflammatory drugs. Ice can also be used to help alleviate an issue of this sort.
Another common problem would be a meniscus tear, which is a much more serious issue that requires surgical correction. Those with serious knee pain should see a doctor and get an x-ray to determine the extent of the problem.
Diseases That Cause Chronic Knee Pain
In terms of diseases that lead to chronic knee pain, we have various types of arthritis and gout. In cases of osteoarthritis there is a problem causing the deterioration of the cartilage in the knee structure. In contrast to that, there are gout and rheumatoid arthritis which can often lead to pain from the formation of a cyst at the back of the knee. The cyst is formed because of the inflammation in these conditions, which causes fluids to gather.
Issues can also be caused by conditions such as lupus and bursitis. Bursitis is thought to be caused by excessive tension, for example kneeling too often. Lupus on the other hand is a disorder of the connective tissue in the knee’s structure which has no clear, known cause. While anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin can be used to treat the symptoms of these disorders, it is highly advisable that a doctor be consulted, especially when the pain persists.
There are many things you can do to prevent chronic knee pain from arising due to an injury, such as:
- Dieting, because the knee has to support nearly your entire body weight, getting rid of excess fat will be of enormous benefit in easing the stress it has to deal with on a day to day basis.
- Avoid jumping into activities without being prepared. Slowly ease your way into any new exercise routine so your body has time to adapt and protect your joints.
- Good shoes that are comfortable and provide good support will protect your knees when you need to spend extended periods on your feet.
Even though you may feel deprived of a full life because of chronic knee pain, there is no reason you can’t use the information and treatment methods that modern medicine gives us to deal with the issue intelligently and minimize the negative effect knee pain has on your daily life.