Chronic pain is a common condition that affects a lot of people. It’s also now easily managed and treated. For some, their chronic knee pain can be a result of a previous injury, while there are also those that may have it simply as a part of another medical condition they may be suffering from. Whatever the cause, one thing is the same: chronic knee pain can cause severe discomfort.
You’ll come to terms with the knowledge of having this condition after a doctor’s thorough diagnosis. But it’s not just enough for you to leave it all up to the doctor. The more that you know about chronic knee pain, the more involved you become with your overall care and pain management.
This article offers everything you need to know about chronic knee pain including the symptoms, causes, and treatment or management options.
Symptoms Of Chronic Knee Pain
There are a lot of conditions that can cause knee pain, including sprains, strains, ligament tears, dislocations, joint injuries, joint inflammation, and bursitis.
The symptoms of knee pain can be mild to severe. These include:
- Swelling on the painful knee: This generally occurs when there’s a build-up of fluid around your knees. This can be a result of overuse of the knee, an injury, or an undiagnosed condition. To determine the real cause, your doctor will most likely take a sample of the fluid on your knees, and then test it for any infection.
- Change in your movement ability: When you have chronic knee pain, you might notice a change in the way you walk or move. This is because your knee feels stiff and feels like it’s ‘giving out.’ You might experience difficulty in getting in and out of bed or a chair, and even pain while walking and running.
Causes Of Chronic Knee Pain
Chronic knee pain occurs because of a wide range of causes, such as:
- Injuries: When your knee gets damaged, this can cause the accumulation of excess fluid. Some of the common injuries that bring about chronic knee pain are broken bones, torn ligaments, and irritation.
- Obesity: This refers to disease from having excessive body fat. Beyond being simply a vanity concern, it’s a serious health condition. Obesity can lead to other serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease. Because your body is carrying excess fat, this can cause pain and discomfort in muscles and joints.
- Meniscus damage: Menisci are small bones found in the back of the knee that attach the femur (thighbone) to the shinbone (the tibia). When meniscus damage occurs, it can result in extreme pain that makes it nearly impossible to move your knee. This type of knee problem needs immediate medical attention. There are surgical treatments available to relieve the pain and inflammation of Meniscus damage.
Treatment Of Chronic Knee Pain
In most cases, if you get the right kind of treatment, you’ll be able to reduce the symptoms of your knee condition.
Fortunately, in this day and age, there are so many advancements in technology that has made treatment more accessible, accurate and reliable. You may even be given high-tech and modern equipment that can help you heal faster and better, such as using a knee scooter. At this point, you’re now aware of these causes and symptoms of chronic knee pain. So, if you feel you have these, it’s about time you see a doctor.
You need to understand that if you are suffering from chronic knee pain, you need to consult leading orthopedic surgeons. Treatment mechanisms might differ from person to person. While someone might be prescribed physiotherapy, others might be asked to undergo ACL surgery. In other words, treatment plans will differ according to individual assessments. Before you try on any treatment plan for yourself, make sure to get yourself extensively examined by an expert.
These medical professionals can give you the appropriate treatment needed, which include:
- Imaging tests: Before any treatment can be done, imaging tests will be required first by the doctors. This can help clearly show where the problem in the knee is located, and what the underlying issue is. Generally, imaging tests can be any of the following:
- MRI: This is a test that will detect any soft tissue and tendon injury that typically can’t be seen on X-rays.
- X-Ray: This is needed, in order to rule out broken bones. By ruling this out, diagnosis of chronic pain can be more accurate, such as determining the possibility of the existence of arthritis.
- Ultrasound: When arthritis or other conditions are suspected, this test is done to verify the existence of the condition.
- Physical Therapy: This is one of the best treatment options that can be done to help alleviate the onset of chronic knee pain. The goal of physical therapy sessions is to improve the patient’s ability to move and function. If your doctor recommends for you to undergo physical therapy, you’ve got to understand that this is in your best interest. Here are some of the benefits of undergoing physical therapy:
- Elimination of pain: Your physical therapist will perform therapeutic exercises on you to help restore muscle and joint function.
- Improve mobility: Strengthening exercises will help restore your body’s ability to move. This is achieved through a customized individual care plan so that whatever physical movement or function you have difficulty doing will be addressed in your therapy sessions.
- Prevent and recover from a sports injury: Given that sports injuries are some of the more common causes of chronic pain, this is a very helpful advantage for you to consider. Your therapist will design you the appropriate exercises needed, so you can safely go back to your sports events.
- Joint Aspiration: This is also referred to as arthrocentesis. In this procedure, the doctor will drain some fluid from your knee, which is the root cause of your pain. Once this fluid is withdrawn, typically, another test will be performed to determine whether or not blood or bacteria is present in the fluid.
- Medications: If your chronic pain isn’t that severe, your doctor may also see it fit for medications to be your recourse. Oral corticosteroids may be given to help ease any inflammation
- Acoustic wave treatment (also known as shockwave therapy) is another safe, effective, and non-invasive way to treat chronic pain and restore mobility in the knees.
If you want to know more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of chronic knee pain in-depth, talk to your doctor. They’ll be able to give you the right kind of advice about how to go about your condition. You don’t have to suffer its effects for the rest of your life. In fact, you can still have a better quality of life as you go about managing your condition.