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Health & Wellness

What Causes Knee Pain, and How to Stop It

by Dr. Asma Khan

Knee pain is a common predicament and 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.

Risk Factors

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 notice any swelling or instability. We’re here to keep those knees in good shape, and get you back on your feet!

About Hudson River Health Care

Founded over 40 years ago as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Hudson River Health Care (HRHCare) is one of the nation’s largest community health providers. The HRHCare network of 43 health centers throughout the Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island provides affordable, accessible care to over 225,000 patients annually. The network’s exceptional primary care practitioners, specialists, and support staff have made HRHCare a destination for convenient, high-quality care for all. In 2018, Brightpoint Health, an FQHC network with sites in all five boroughs of New York City, joined HRHCare. www.hrhcare.org

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