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Health & Wellness

Dealing with Knee Pain

Photo courtesy of John Hopkins Medicine

Knee pain is a common predicament that 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 how to talk with your doctor about it.

Causes and Symptoms

Knee pain is usually either the result of an injury, such as an ACL 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.

What You Need to Know

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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 Sun River Health 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!

This article is sponsored by Sun River Health. Sun River Health is a network of 43 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) providing primary, dental, pediatric, OB-GYN, and behavioral health care to over 245,000 patients annually.

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