Whatever level of activity you may experience in your daily life, if you are a healthy adult, chances are you’ve spent a good portion of your life on your feet walking, running, standing and squatting. Your knees bear the brunt of all of this activity, and as a result, knee pain can become a common complaint for adults of nearly any age.
Knee pain and stiffness can result from a number of causes, including fractures, injuries or skeletal problems, as well as medical conditions such as tendonitis or certain types of arthritis. For more information on some of the specific knee conditions you could be suffering from, see below, or contact us to see how European Massage and Physiotherapy Center in Mississauga can help you.
Some specific conditions that can cause patients to experience knee pain include:
Bursitis: Your knee normally is cushioned by small, fluid-filled sacs, individually called "bursa". When these bursae become inflamed or swollen from overuse, injury or mechanical problems, knee pain or stiffness can result, restricting movement and interfering with your regular daily activities.
Tendonitis: Tendonitis is a relatively common complaint, especially among athletes who participate in jumping sports, such as basketball and volleyball. There are two main types of tendonitis that affect the knees: Patellar tendonitis and hamstring tendonitis.
Patellar tendonitis refers to an injury to the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shinbone. You use this tendon every time you straighten your knee. Patella tendonitis typically manifests as pain right below the kneecap, although it may be felt on the side of the kneecap, in front of the kneecap, or even behind the kneecap in some cases. Patella tendonitis normally does not cause swelling of the knee, or an inability to flex or fully extend the knee. If you suspect you may be afflicted with patella tendonitis, you should seek medical advice sooner rather than later. The tendon will continue to weaken with use and the longer you wait, the weaker your knee will become.
Hamstring tendonitis occurs when the tendon that connects the hamstring muscle to the outer part of the knee becomes damaged or inflamed due to the application of excessive strain or force, or failure to sufficiently perform warmup exercises. Symptoms include pain at the back of the knee and thigh, which increases over time or when resuming activity, as well as swelling and inflammation, and aching or stiffness after completing activity.
Employ the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) for the first 72 hours after being injured. Rest is a crucial part of hamstring tendonitis treatment, not only because it allows the body time to heal, but also because it avoids the possibility of incurring further damage. Applying ice to the affected area will help to reduce any swelling and inflammation and also provide cooling pain relief to the injury.
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that affects the joints. It occurs in the knee when the cartilage that cushions the meeting place of the knee joint degenerates or breaks down, allowing the bones to rub against one another more closely and causing pain, swelling and decreased range of movement. While osteoarthritis is more common in older patients, it can affect individuals of any age. Osteoarthritis can be inherited genetically, but can also result from injury or infection, or even from being overweight.
Torn or sprained meniscus (MCL / ACL): Two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage in your knee act as "shock absorbers" between your thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). When people talk about torn cartilage in the knee, they are usually referring to a torn meniscus.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the front of the shinbone to the back of the thighbone and is responsible for preventing the shinbone from sliding forward. Damage to the ACL, such as a sprain or a tear, is the most common type of knee injury and is often the result of a sudden change in direction or hyper-extension when landing from a jump. ACL injuries typically require surgical repair through the construction of a new ligament of tissue harvested from one of the tendons around the knee. The rehabilitation period from an ACL injury can vary from 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the severity of the injury.
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is another of the primary ligaments that support the knee. An injury to the MCL most commonly occurs as a result of a direct blow to the outside of the knee that causes the MCL to stretch or tear. Symptoms include pain or tenderness on the inner side of the knee, as well as stiffness and/or swelling. It takes about six weeks for an MCL injury to heal and surgery is usually not required. During the healing period, the knee should be immobilized to keep it stable. Rest, ice, elevation and pain relievers can help reduce pain and swelling caused by an MCL injury.
Regardless of whether you are dealing with minor pain and discomfort or may be concerned about the possibility of a more serious condition, trust that the experts at European Massage & Physiotherapy Center can provide an accurate diagnosis and assist in the recovery process so you can function pain-free in your day to day activities. Contact us today for an appointment and say goodbye to knee pain.