Knee pain is one of the most common complaints for patients of Omega Physical Therapy, and it’s really no surprise. Over time, the stress and strain that your knees undergo every day take a toll on your joint health. This leads to a number of issues, including pain, inflammation, and stiffness.
Although knee pain is common in older patients due to the natural aging process, it also occurs in the younger crowd. Regardless of your age, Dr. Dmitry Shestakovsky works with you to create a personalized, structured physical therapy routine to help reduce pain and inflammation. There are hundreds of reasons you may experience knee pain. Here are the top five common causes.
1. Acute injuries
Your knee is the largest joint in your body. This makes it the most vulnerable to injury. Many knee injuries occur during sports, such as football, soccer, and basketball. Common injuries include:
- Ligament tears
- ACL and PCL injuries
Typically, bracing, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy can treat injuries such as sprains. Other injuries such as tears may require surgery.
2. Knee stress
Your knees have the task of supporting your body as you stand, walk, bend, and move about your everyday life. While it’s impossible to remove all of the stress on your knees, a proper exercise regimen can help strengthen your knees so you avoid serious problems from pre-existing stressors. Common knee stressors include:
- Physical exertion
- Improper movement
- Lack of flexibility and strength
If you have signs of knee stress, Dr. Shestakovsky often recommends a PT routine to improve joint health and prevent further pain or injury. He may also prescribe NSAIDs to help relieve pain and minimize inflammation as needed.
3. Mechanical problems
The many components of your knees can fragment or become too tight or too loose to work properly, leading to mechanical problems. Additionally, if you experience pain in your other joints, you may begin to change your gait to ease that discomfort, which can affect the way your knee moves and cause knee pain and inflammation. Common mechanical problems include:
- Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome
- Dislocated kneecap
- Hip, back, and foot pain that affects your gait
Treating the underlying cause of your mechanical problems typically relieves your knee pain. This may include surgery but often consists of physical therapy, exercise, and NSAIDs.
While many tend to think of arthritis only affects older people, this isn’t the case. People of all ages, even children, can develop arthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, the most common of which is osteoarthritis. Other common forms of arthritis are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Treatment for arthritis depends on your specific case. Dr. Shestakovsky may recommend a workout routine and medication schedule or refer you to a surgeon. If you do need surgery to correct the problem, Dr. Shestakovsky recommends physical therapy to help you post-surgery.
5. Previous injury
If you’ve had a knee injury in the past, your risk for repeat injuries increases significantly. This is especially true for athletes. Common repeat injuries include:
- ACL and PCL tears
- Meniscal tears
- Tendon tears
- Joint fractures
If you have experienced any of these injuries before, treatment may be more invasive during subsequent treatments. Dr. Shestakovsky might recommend surgery, followed by a PT routine, to repair and strengthen your injured knee.
If you experience knee pain, schedule a consultation with Omega Physical Therapy. Even if you believe your pain is minor, addressing the problem early can help to prevent it from becoming worse or requiring more extensive treatment — don’t wait until surgery is your only option. Call or book online.