Whether you are physically active, or live a sedentary lifestyle, your knees are at risk for injury in any type of physical activity you may attempt to perform. Understanding how to protect your knees is important but it is also important to understand the very basis principle of knee injuries so as to determine the best way to resolve the acute complications associated with knee pain.
One type of knee pain, known as repetitive injury, can affect anyone of any lifestyle or activity level. Unlike disease or sudden trauma, repetitive knee injury is progressive and often results in the slow transformation of knee pain, often misdiagnosed, until the condition has progressed to a complex condition.
Patellofemoral syndrome, also known as Runner’s knee, is a condition in which repetitive running, walking, jumping and squatting may attribute to inflammation and cause the patella to slip or tilt. When this tilting of the patella occurs, the cartilage begins to wear down, resulting in inflammation and pain. If you are engaged in these activities, and experience pain after sitting for a prolonged period, or pain when climbing stairs, Patellofemoral syndrome may be the culprit. To remedy at home, use of NSAIDs for inflammation and rest will resolve the complication to some extent, however you may need to see an orthopedist for further evaluation.
In addition to Runner’s knee, some individuals experience a repetitive knee injury involving bursitis, also known as Housemaid’s knee. With bursitis, the synovial fluid, in the joint of the knee, swells and places pressure against the joints. Most often, this pain is associated with the frequent bending and kneeling which places pressures against the knees. Symptoms commonly present as a progressive pain and stiffness when bending and kneeling. To treat Housemaid’s knee, be sure to rest, avoid bending and kneeling, apply ice and use NSAIDs. Often, this rest of the knee, with use of anti-inflammatory medication, will allow the bursa sac to decrease in swelling after a few days.
In some individuals, a condition known as Osgood-Schlatter disease can create a complication and is also associated with repetitive motion. Attributed to frequent running and jumping, this repetitive knee injury affects teenagers and young adults who are actively participating in sports, especially in basketball. Pain associated with Osgood-Schlatter disease usually presents as pain below the knee with some evidence e of a bony protrusion in that area. This pain can linger for months and usually is not remedied by simple rest and relaxation but, instead, with time and as growth plates set into final place. However, the use of NSAIDs and rest can be effective.
As with any knee pain, the key to optimal health recovery lies in the early diagnosis and treatment. Because repetitive knee injuries are often progressive, it is important to seek out early diagnosis and rest the knees as much as possible so as to prevent lifelong complications which may lead to surgical intervention.