The knees are incredibly important joints that allow us to walk, run, swim and jump without a second thought. They are the biggest joints in the human body, although this is sometimes incorrectly attributed to the hips due to the size of the bones involved (femur and pelvis). The knee joint comprises several bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilages that work together to enable its smooth function. If any one of these components becomes damaged—either due to illness or injury—the joint does not function properly and often exhibits physical symptoms, such as pain.
What can cause knee pain without injury?
Although injuries are one of the most common causes, knee pain can also be the result of non-injury-related causes, such as:
Arthritis — Even without a fall or injury, both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can cause severe knee pain. Osteoarthritis is commonly associated with the pain and swelling that continues with age. Joints are not indestructible, and the structure of each one naturally wears down over time. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disorder that also causes joints to swell and become inflamed. Those whose knee pain is caused by RA might also have pain in other joints.
A Tear — A common misconception is that tears are associated with a traumatic injury. Many ligament and meniscus tears may be caused by an injury, but this is not always the case. Wear and tear over time can also cause tears within the knee, which can cause a great deal of pain.
Bursitis — Affecting both athletes and non-athletes alike, bursitis usually stems from overuse. This can occur when the tiny cushions within the knee become inflamed. Normally, these cushions protect the bones within the joint from rubbing against each other, however, when inflamed, can cause pain that can be long and dull, or fast and sharp.
Tendonitis — Also occurring from overuse, tendonitis in the knee (nicknamed ‘jumper’s knee’) can be felt over time, even without having suffered a traumatic injury. Tendonitis pain, however, usually only occurs when physically active, and typically does not present itself during periods of rest. Knee pain is often localized to under the knee cap, or patella.
How do I know if my knee pain is serious?
Knee pain may be serious if:
- Your knee is swollen
- Your knee is “locked” and cannot be straightened
- Your knee feels unstable, or you felt a pop
- You have significant weakness when straightening your knee
- You have significant difficulty walking
When should I go to a doctor for my knee pain?
The following signs and symptoms can be indicative of a serious problem and should be addressed by a doctor as soon as possible:
- Deformity of the joint
- Difficulty walking
- Inability to hold weight
- Knee instability
- Less sensation in the knee
- Long-term pain or discomfort
- Pain that interferes with daily activities
- Pain that affects sleep
- Redness or swelling around the joint
- Reduced range of motion
How can my doctor treat knee pain?
Doctors can treat knee pain in a variety of different ways. With the many medical and technological advancements, new therapies and procedures have become available that do not rely on surgery or medications to deal with pain. This is largely due to the fact that both surgery and drugs can cause more problems than they resolve, which is why both doctors and patients are looking for more natural ways to conquer their pain. A few of these innovative medical therapies include Hyaluronic Acid (HA) injections, which are developed from substances that naturally occur in the body. More hands-on treatment options include massage therapy and physical therapy, which both work their magic by stimulating the body’s muscles and soft tissues to rebuild strength and remove pain. Both massage and physical therapy are nonsurgical and nonpharmacological (drug-free).
If you are experiencing knee pain and do not want to mask it with pain-relievers or risk worsening it with surgery, come to Renew Health today. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced at getting to the root of the problem for effective and longterm relief of pain. Call us today at (281) 369-8445 to book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 1850 Avenue D, Katy, TX 77493. Our clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and on Friday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. We serve patients from Katy TX, Brookshire TX, Houston TX, Richmond TX, Fulshear TX, Sealy TX, Pattison TX, and Cypress TX. Looking forward to serve you!