The Bottom Line:
Did you know that one in four adults’ reports having joint pain? The knee is a commonly injured part of the body because it is a weight-bearing joint, making it is more susceptible to several acute and overuse injuries. This means that anyone can be affected by knee pain - whether you are an athlete who runs, a naturally aging older adult, or someone who walks frequently. But rather than focusing on the symptoms, how do you determine the actual cause of knee pain?
Why It Matters:
Knee pain can be caused by a lot of things, from a direct injury causing trauma to a biomechanical cause. Here are some common reasons people seek help for knee pain:
- Trauma - There is a wide range of ways knees can be injured, most having to do with a rapid movement where someone is twisting, bending, or even falling. These movements can lead to tearing of important stabilizing ligaments or disruption to the menisci. The most important thing to note about traumatic knee injuries is that getting it checked out as quickly as possible is key to preventing long-term complications.
- Overuse - Repetitive motions like walking long distances, climbing stairs, running, and jumping can cause overuse injuries in the knee. Overuse can lead to conditions like IT band syn-drome, patellar tendinitis, or strained ligaments - all causing pain. These conditions are equally as important to seek care for as sudden injuries because the pain in your knee often leads to poor movement patterns and misuse over time, which in turn can cause even more pain or make the problem worse!
- Other Causes - Other causes of knee pain are less common but just as severe and can include referred or radiating pain from the low back or a nerve entrapment near the knee joint. For these conditions, you must keep track of exactly where the pain is located and any other associated symptoms like numbness, weakness, or the feeling of pins and needles.
Regardless of the type of knee pain you have, it is essential to seek treatment from a movement-based healthcare professional like us! After we determine the cause of your knee pain, we can create a complete treatment plan to help you get back to your favorite activities as quickly as possible.