by Dr. Asma Khan
Knee pain is a common predicament, which affects people of all ages. Most types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care, but some cases may require medical expertise. Let’s talk a little more about what causes knee pain, and when you may need to talk with your doctor.
Causes and Symptoms
Knee pain is usually either the result of an injury, such as an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury, a fracture, or torn meniscus, or a medical condition, like arthritis. The location and severity of knee pain may vary, depending on the cause. Signs and symptoms include:
- Swelling and stiffness in the knee
- Redness and warmth to the touch
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or crunching noises
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
Another underlying cause could be patellofemoral pain syndrome, a general term that refers to pain that arises between the kneecap (patella) and thighbone (femur). This is very common in athletes, including recreational athletes, and older adults who may have dislocated a kneecap.
There are several things that may increase your risk of having knee pain, including:
- Increased stress on knee joints due to being overweight
- A lack of muscle strength and flexibility
- Certain sports, including basketball, soccer, skating, lacrosse, and downhill skiing
- Exercising without proper and regular stretching
- Having had a previous knee injury
Having even a minor knee injury makes it far more likely you will have similar injuries in the future if left untreated.
Knee Pain: What You Need to Know
In order to prevent knee pain, or keep it from getting worse, listen to your body. If you’re feeling any pain after exercising or playing a sport, try a switch to swimming, water aerobics, or another low-impact activity at least a few days per week.
Always see your doctor or visit HRHCare Urgent Care if the pain is persistent, you can’t fully flex or bear weight on your knee, or if you notice any swelling or instability. We’re here to keep those knees in good shape and get you back on your feet!
Asma Khan, MD, is the Clinical Director at HRHCare Urgent Care, 84 N Highland Ave between High Street and Sickles Ave in Nyack. Along with offices in Haverstraw and Spring Valley, the facility is part of the 28 health center HRHCare network in the Hudson Valley and Long Island providing comprehensive primary care.
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