Looking for a helpful guide to Knee Pain? You’re in the right place! We’ve assembled this succinct and straight-forward guide to Knee Pain packed with helpful information answering some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this health condition.
A GUIDE TO
When is the last time you looked down at your knees to see if they are internally or externally rotated? Never?! What about your feet – do you have pronation? Well I challenge you to take a look at your patella to see the rotation of your knees if you have knee pain. Also look at your feet if they externally or internally rotate. If your knees and feet are not in neutral alignment then we have work to do and you can find out more on how to fix your knee pain below.
WHAT IS KNEE PAIN?
Knee pain includes pain in or around the knee, suggesting an issue of the knee joint itself or the soft tissue around the knee. The knee joint consists of the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone), the fibula (smaller bone alongside the tibia), and the patella (knee cap). There are two pieces of cartilage called the medial and lateral menisci in the knee joint meant to absorb shock and cushion the bones involved. Then there are ligaments that provide stability, which includes the anterior cruciate ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament, lateral collateral ligament and medial collateral ligament. Finally there’s the tendons that connect the bones of the knee to all the muscles that cross it, to include most of the hamstring, quad, and calf muscles. Damage to any of these components of the knee joint can lead to knee pain.
Depending on the cause of the knee pain, it can feel a variety of different ways, and where the pain is coming from can point to the cause. Knee pain can be chronic, acute, or activity related. In some cases, proper movement will alleviate the pain or by contrast only certain movements bring it on. The pain can also be accompanied by stiffness, soreness, bruising, and inflammation. It is a common complaint that affects people of all ages, and being inactive or overweight increases the risk of knee problems.
WHAT CAUSES KNEE PAIN?
Knee pain can have a variety of reasons for rearing its ugly head. It may be caused from acute injury such as torn tendons and ligaments; which can happen through various events to include repetitive motion, improper posture, a rough fall, sports injury etc. Conditions such as genu-varus or its counterpart genu-valgum otherwise known as being “bow legged” or “knock kneed” respectively could cause pain/discomfort and leave you at higher risk of succumbing to injury if left unattended. Another potential cause of pain could be tendonitis/tendinopathy brought on from poor diet choices, genetics, or Improper loading at the gym, workplace, or any other physical activity.
In regards to physical activity the most common cause seems to be the lack of variability in movement meaning you do too much of the same movement; and exposing your body to loads that it wasn’t quite ready for yet, if you’re familiar with the gym atmosphere you may have heard this referred to as “ego lifting”. Diets high in inflammatory foods, or those short in anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits and vegetables fall under the category of poor diets. Then we have genetics, unfortunately, some of us are born with predispositions to food sensitivities or allergies that contribute to poor recovery and are more likely to fall victim to injury in certain physical settings.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF KNEE PAIN?
The symptoms will depend on the cause of the pain, and the pain can come on suddenly, especially if it’s from an injury, or slowly and over time. It can be felt deep in the knee joint, meaning it may be due to wearing down of cartilage and from bone on bone grinding, and be accompanied by stiffness and gait abnormalities. Some people even notice popping or crunching noises during certain activities. These sounds can be heard in a healthy joint, too, but when it is coupled with pain then there is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. More symptoms include soreness, bruising, inflammation, redness, warmth to the touch, weakness, instability, and even joint destruction if left untreated. Pain and swelling can be worse in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time. Injuries to the knee can cause bleeding or lead to infection, which can come with a fever.
Knee pain can worsen with improper movement such as exercising with poor form, improper stretching, or not warming up and cooling down when performing physical activities. Improper form leads to an uneven wear of the cartilage in the knee joint. The pain can result in a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to a further weakening of the joint, limited range of motion, less-than smooth movement of the joint, an inability to fully straighten or bend the leg, and imbalances in the structure of the knee.
HOW DO YOU TREAT KNEE PAIN?
Understanding the above statements and finding the cause of your pain is must in order to work through your pain and lead a healthy lifestyle. There are immediate solutions such as anti inflammatory drugs, knee sleeves/braces, massage, hot and or cold therapy that can help symptoms temporarily. However, while we do wish that there were always a quick solution these methods may not work for you and it may take some time to get to the root of the problem. In some cases, a simple physical intervention in which posture is taken into consideration and a “therapeutic” protocol is followed can work wonders. This may be due in part by helping your body move in ways that are more structurally sound; or it could simply be that it forces you to move in ways out of the ordinary effectively helping with issues caused from repetitive motion.
For others it may be more of a nutritional intervention; it can be as simple as trying to cut refined or fake sugars and adding some more fruits and vegetables into your diet, or it can be a bit more complex in the form of taking some food sensitivity tests and having them deciphered in order to find the exact foods that are damaging your body. In extreme cases there are surgeries that may be needed and in this case obviously consulting a physician or multiple physicians to get different points of view is highly recommended.
A HEALTHY LIFE FOR A BETTER LIFE
At Bare Health we are dedicated to helping our clients live better, healthier lives. Whether you are struggling with Knee Pain, want help building a sustainable nutrition program, or want to improve your physical fitness, Bare Health can help you! Remember, a better life starts by creating a healthy life.