Why Does My Knee Hurt?
Knee pain is a common condition among people of all ages. It can either be the result of trauma or injury, or a medical condition that causes chronic knee pain. Many people experience pain asking why does my knee hurt when i walk? or why does my knee hurt when its cold?
If you want to skip right to the treatment, check out this 5-minute secret ritual from the Feel Good Knees website, which decreases knee pain by 58%. Otherwise, let’s get started with the most common causes of knee pain.
What Are the Symptoms of Knee Pain?
Knee pain often comes with extra symptoms and challenges. The numerous causes of knee pain, which will be explored in-depth in the following sections, can generate different levels of severity. The most common symptoms include pain, local swelling of the knee, and stiffness, which makes moving more difficult or even impossible.
The knee cap might feel warm when touched, or it may be red. Knees can pop or crunch during movement, and you might even be incapable of moving or straightening your knee.
Do you have one or more of these additional symptoms to knee pain? If yes, check out the following possible causes, ranging from injuries to mechanical problems, arthritis, and others.
Risk Factors for Knee Pain
It is important to understand the risk factors which can turn into long-term knee pain. Whether you already experience knee pain or you want to diminish the chance of developing any conditions which lead to knee pain, consider the following:
Overweight or obese people are more likely to suffer from knee pain. The extra pounds will increase the stress and pressure on the knee joint. This means that regular activities such as climbing the stairs or even walking become painful experiences. Additionally, excess weight increases your risk of osteoarthritis because it speeds up the breakdown of cartilage.
Another factor is a sedentary life, with improper development of muscle strength and flexibility. Strong muscles around the hips and thighs will help you minimize the pressure on your knees, protecting the joints and facilitating motion.
A third risk factor for knee pain is sports or activities. Some sports, such as basketball, soccer, skiing, and others, can stress your knees and cause pain. Running is a casual activity, but the repeated pounding of your knee can increase the risks for a knee injury.
Some jobs, such as construction or agriculture, can also enhance the chances of developing knee pain. Lastly, people who suffered previous knee injuries are more likely to experience further knee pain.
Some risk factors cannot be controlled, such as age, gender, and genes. More specifically, the risk for osteoarthritis increases after 45 years old until about 75. The wear and tear of the knee joint will also wear down the cartilage in this area, leading to arthritis.
Studies showed that women are more prone to knee osteoarthritis compared to the opposite sex. This might be due to the hip and knee alignment and hormones.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament
One common injury happens to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). It is often caused by sudden changes in direction, such as those performed by basketball or soccer players.
The ACL is one of the ligaments which link the shinbone to the thighbone. The ACL makes sure that your knee stays in place, and it does not have too much unneeded motion.
It is one of the most injured parts of the knee. When the ACL tears, you will hear a pop in the knee. You will feel as though your knee will give out easily if you stand, or it feels wobbly and unstable. If the tear of the ACL is severe, you might even have swelling and severe pain.
Fracture of the Bones
Another cause for knee pain might be a fracture of the bones, which can be broken following a fall or a collision. Individuals with osteoporosis and weaker bones can fracture their knee just by making a wrong step or getting out of the bathtub.
You will recognize the fracture as a grating sensation when you move – similar to your bones grinding against each other. Fractures can be of different degrees, some of them as small as a crack, but also more serious ones.
If you have quickly twisted your knee while applying weight on it, you might have a torn meniscus. The meniscus is a rubbery, tough cartilage that protects your thighbone and shinbone by acting as a shock absorber.
Most people do not realize that their meniscus has been injured. It can occur, for instance, if you rapidly twist the knee while the foot remains planted on the ground. However, in time, and without proper treatment, your knee movements will be restricted.
It is common to have difficulty in straightening or bending the knee. Most often, this is not a severe injury, and rest can help it heal. Some cases can also turn into more severe complications, and even surgery might be needed.
Tendinitis means inflammation and the irritation of tendons – those tissues which attach your muscles to the bones. If you are a runner, cyclist, or skier, do jumping sports or activities, you can develop tendinitis because of the repetitiveness of the stress to the tendon.
Injuries to the Foot or Hip
Injuries targeting the foot or hip can cause you to change the body position to protect the painful area. As you change the way you walk, you can put more pressure on the knees, shifting too much weight to that area.
This causes stress to the joint, and you become more prone to wear and tear. The pain can be pulsing, dull, or throbbing and might get worse only when you move.
Issues Due to Aging
A common cause of knee pain as you age is the floating loose bodies. Such particles can enter the knee joint space, including pieces of collagen, bone, or cartilage. As we age, the bones and cartilages suffer wear and tear, and small pieces can enter the knee joint. This often goes unnoticed, but it can cause knee pain and restrict movement.
These foreign bodies can even prevent full straightening or bending of the knee, causing severe bursts of knee pain. Most likely, this is a degenerative condition that can lead to long-term, chronic knee pain, but sometimes, they simply go unnoticed.
There are many types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common type, which can cause you knee pain. This is also a direct cause of aging. Small fragments of bone grow into the knee joint and cause damage to the cartilage between the femur and tibia.
In time, the cartilage and the joint space become thinner, and you will experience limited movements. The reduced motion leads to inflammation and knee pain, and it is a degenerative ailment. Osteoarthritis grows more painful as the inflammation evolves, and it is more common in women.
Why Are Women More Prone to Osteoarthritis?
Some researchers claim that women’s bodies and the function of their joints make them more prone to triggering osteoarthritis than men. For instance, women usually have wider hips, which is believed to affect the alignment of the knee.
The wider hips put more pressure on the inside of the knee, although more research is needed.
Childbirth is another factor that was recently linked to osteoarthritis. A study was conducted on more than 1,600 women between 50 to 79 years old. It showed that women who had between 5 to 12 children had 2.6% more chance of needing a knee replacement.
The levels of hormones can also affect and trigger knee conditions. It was demonstrated that the rate of women who develop osteoarthritis after menopause increased. Women who already had osteoarthritis noticed a rapid worsening of their condition. This led to the conclusion that a drop in estrogen triggers arthritis, although more studies are needed to confirm this relationship.
Others suggest that a low level of testosterone is what leads to an increased risk of arthritis. The male hormone plays a huge role in building muscle. Thus, men have higher levels of this male hormone, which gives them stronger muscles. Stronger muscles support the knee joint and lead to a decreased risk of osteoarthritis.
Despite all these factors which cannot be controlled, women can do something to prevent knee pain. Losing extra weight and doing exercises that do not put a strain on knee joints can help to avoid these conditions.
Gout is a condition wherein your blood has high levels of uric acid, which crystallizes in the knee joint. They cause sudden, sharp knee pain, swelling, and redness. One way of controlling this condition is to adapt your diet to it and exclude foods that are rich in purine.
Examples of these include veal, trout, shellfish, turkey and bacon, alcohol. Your body transforms the purines in these foods into uric acid. However, this can also be caused by a malfunction of the enzymes which are supposed to breakdown the purines.
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
If you experience pain when walking up the stairs, squatting, or bending down, you might have patellofemoral pain syndrome. The pain is usually located at the front of the knee, around or under the knee cap. This is caused by the inflammation and irritation of the kneecap structure, including tendons and ligaments.
The pain is often dull or throbbing, and sometimes it can happen if you stand or sit down for a long time. You could also hear a crack or a loud pop when you move.
Another cause of patellofemoral pain syndrome is the unequal development of the muscles. For instance, if one side of the knee is more developed than the other, this can cause improper movements of the kneecap in the channel. In turn, this will cause pain and irritation. Additionally, weak muscles around your hip area can put further strain on the knee.
What Can I Do to Relieve Acute Knee Pain?
If you have knee pain as a result of injury, there are some things you can do to relieve the pain. Mild to moderate injuries will most likely get better on their own. Make sure you rest for a few days to speed up the healing process.
If you have acute pain and swelling, place some ice on your knee. Keep it for approximately 20 minutes every 3-4 hours until the pain and inflammation are gone or for a maximum of 2-3 days.
Another way to relieve knee pain would be to use an elastic bandage, sleeves, or straps to wrap the knee tightly. This will reduce the swelling and add some support, curbing the pain. Additionally, you can place a pillow under your heel when you sit or lay down, which will also reduce swelling.
If the pain is severe, you may consider taking anti-inflammatory medications, such as naproxen or ibuprofen. This will help you with the pain, swelling, and reduce inflammation. However, this is not recommended for everyone, as they might have serious side effects, and a doctor should be consulted before proceeding.
What is more, the use of anti-inflammatory medications is not a viable option for chronic knee pain. Long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs can have negative effects on your health.
If you had an injury, you might want to consult your doctor. In severe cases, torn ligaments or serious knee injuries will require surgery. In milder cases, you might need physical therapy to recover sooner.
What Can I Do to Relieve Chronic Pain?
If you still suffer from chronic knee pain, which restricts or limits your movement, there is one important step you should consider.
We have a solution for stronger knees, with a 58% reduced pain severity in only five minutes. In order to improve the quality of your life, follow up on this simple 1,000-year old 5-minute ritual from the Feel Good Knees website. It will help you relieve knee pain without harmful drugs or any invasive surgeries.
Imagine a life free of knee pain! Every single day gets better and better. Once you have worked out why your knee hurts, you can do something about it. You can now enjoy all your favorite activities without suffering from knee pain, inflammation, or swelling. Learn how to feel and live again like you were 20 years younger.