Chronic knee pain is long-term pain, swelling, or sensitivity in one or both knees. The cause of your knee pain can determine the symptoms you experience. Many conditions can cause or contribute to chronic knee pain, and chiropractic and other treatments exist. Each person’s experience with chronic knee pain will be different.
What causes chronic knee pain?
Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. Many people experience temporary knee pain as a result of an injury or accident. Chronic knee pain rarely goes away without treatment, and it isn’t always attributable to one incident. It’s most often the result of several causes or conditions.
Physical conditions or diseases can cause knee pain. These include:
• osteoarthritis: pain, inflammation, and joint destruction caused by degeneration and deterioration of the joint
• tendinitis: pain in the front of the knee that is made worse when climbing, taking stairs, or walking up an incline
• bursitis: inflammation caused by repeated overuse or injury of the knee
• chondromalacia patella: damaged cartilage under the kneecap
• gout: arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid
• Baker’s cyst: a buildup of synovial fluid (fluid that lubricates the joint) behind the knee
• rheumatoid arthritis (RA): a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disorder that causes painful swelling and can eventually cause joint deformity and bone erosion
• dislocation: dislocation of the kneecap most often the result of trauma
• meniscus tear: a rupture in one or more of the cartilage in the knee
• torn ligament: tear in one of the four ligaments in the knee — the most commonly injured ligament is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
• bone tumors: osteosarcoma (second most prevalent bone cancer), most commonly occurs in the knee
Factors that may make chronic knee pain worse:
• injuries to the structure of the knee can cause bleeding and swelling and can create a chronic problem over time if not treated properly
• sprains and strains
• bad posture and the need for chiropractic analysis.
• not warming up or cooling down before or after physical activity
• improperly stretching the muscles
Treating chronic knee pain
Each underlying cause of chronic knee pain has a specific type of treatment. These treatments may include:
How can chronic knee pain be prevented?
You can prevent some, but not all, of the possible causes of knee pain.There are things you can do to alleviate the pain.
If your chronic knee pain gets worse because of overuse, or tends to be the most painful after physical activity, you can make lifestyle changes to help treat the pain. These approaches include:
• Warm up before exercise. Stretch your quadriceps and hamstrings before and after exercise.
• Try low-impact exercises. Instead of tennis or running, give swimming or bicycling a shot. Or mix low-impact exercises with high-impact exercises to give your knees a break.
• Lose weight.
• Walk down hills. Running puts extra force on your knee. Instead of running down an incline, walk.
• Stick to paved surfaces. Rough roads or pocked walkways may be hazardous to your knee’s health. Stick to smooth, paved surfaces like a track or walking arena.
• Get support. Shoe inserts can help treat foot or gait problems that may be contributing to knee pain.
• Replace your running shoes frequently to ensure they still have proper support and cushioning.
• Chiropractic care to ensure all the skeletal structure is working with the most normal mechanics as possible.
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