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6 Different Types of Knee Pain and Their Characteristics

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That jarring pain in your knee says more than you think. Before swallowing those pain relievers, it’s important to understand what type of pain it is. While older people are more susceptible to knee injuries than the youth, anyone, irrespective of age, can experience one or another type of pain-inducing knee injury.

Knee pain is a common health problem. It may be caused by medical conditions, health complications or acute injuries. This pain could be diffused throughout the entire knee or localized to a specific knee spot. Treatment of knee pain depends on the underlying causes. A keen physical examination is critical to determine the appropriate type of treatment.

Knee pain is extremely painful and uncomfortable. The cause could be a jolt or high impact in the knee that leave you wincing in pain. At other times it could cause an infection around the knee joint, or further away in the stomach. Whatever the cause, you can’t ignore a knee injury. Some pain may go away by itself while at other times you will need to hold the knee together with a brace. For more complicated knee injuries, a professional chiropractor is your best bet.

The following are six types of knee pain:

Type #1: Knee Pain Induced by Infections

Infections are a major cause of knee pain. It usually results from a microorganism or bacteria that infect the tissues surrounding your knee joint. Sometimes the infections could be further away from the knee. For instance, a stomach infection may trigger an auto-immune reaction that could transport pain to your knee. Among conditions that induce knee pain include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Type #2: Meniscus Injury Knee Pain

A meniscal tear is a type of knee pain injury caused by the twisting of the knee. The menisci (lateral and medial) is composed of cartilage and acts as a bone shock absorber. A meniscus injury is a result of a tear in the rubbery knee cartilage, which protects the shinbone. The tear can be a result of a forceful rotation or twisting of the knee.

Some of the symptoms of knee pain caused by a meniscus injury include difficulty extending the knee, stiffness, and swelling. To treat this type of pain, you need rest, physiotherapy, ice therapy, and pain relievers.

Type #3: Knee Fracture Pain

A direct blow to the knee can break any of the little bones and cause knee pain. Knee fractures are very painful. They also disrupt the normal mobility of the leg.

A kneecap or tibial plateau fracture is an example of an acute knee injury. These fractures complicate your day-to-day functions such as weight-bearing. If you get a knee fracture, seek prompt medical attention to alleviate the pain. Get a thorough examination done to detect other possible pain sources.

Type #4: Ligament Injuries

Torn ligaments fall under the acute knee injuries category. ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury is a common sports-related injury caused by a sudden change in direction. All other ligaments; medial collateral ligament, lateral collateral ligament and posterior cruciate ligament are not as prone to injuries.

Although ligaments are strong, you can stretch or tear them. This leads to other types of sprains. A ligament tear is normally caused by the application of extreme force on a joint. This may be due to a fall or any other high-impact event. Most ligament tears occur to the wrist, back, knee, or thumb.

Type #5: Knee Dislocation Pain

Pain from a dislocated knee is excruciating. Besides the pain, the knee appears deformed and one may at times not experience any feeling below the knee. Should the knee relocate, it swells from the resulting fluid. With a dislocated knee, every movement of the affected leg is painful.

A knee dislocation is rare. It often occurs as a result of severe trauma. This includes car crashes, falls and other high-speed, high-impact injuries. A dislocated knee appears angulated or deformed. If it goes back to its original position (relocates), there is still significant damage. Although the pain will persist for some time, it will subside with time.

Type #6: Overuse/Chronic Use

One of the major causes of pain in the knee is overuse or chronic use. This condition is called patellofemoral pain. The pain is felt deep in the knee just behind the cap or in front of it. The pain gets worse when you squat, run, sit or go up or down steps. A knee injury resulting from overuse is usually a result of micro-trauma associated with repetitive exertion of the knee tissue. Besides patellofemoral pain, other knee injury pains include patellar, tendinopathy/quadriceps, and iliotibial pains.

While self-diagnosis and self-care measures are adequate for minor injuries, for more extensive ones, you need a proper diagnosis from a qualified medical practitioner. For minor injuries, knee braces and physical therapy can help relieve knee pain. On the other hand, some types of knee injuries require surgical repair to alleviate the pain.

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