Part 2: Understanding the Knee, Kneepain, and Discomfort

 The knee is a valuable asset that works day in and day out for us, with just about every movement we make. It works when you go on the ground to play with your kids, when you get in or out of your car, and when you’re walking through your office in a rush to get some papers over to Mary.

 The truth is, that we don’t often think about the effect that certain actions may have on our body, until the day that something goes wrong. You know that nagging stiff knee that becomes agitated all of a sudden because you made a semi wrong movement? It could be a simple as a little bit of joint pain, or as serious as a medical condition. Below I will talk about some common knee conditions and possible remedies to help alleviate pain or discomfort.

 Common Knee Conditions

Patellar Tendonitis

            Patella is another word for the knee cap and because of its constant use it could lead to inflammation. The tendon connecting the Patella to the Tibia (shin bone) becomes inflamed as a result of over use. This is a common issue amongst running athletes and athletes who perform a lot of jumping, basketball players for example.

 Knee Effusion

            This condition can occur to anyone who has arthritis or who has suffered a knee injury. The knee will swell due to fluid buildup inside of the joint, that can be a result of inflammation due to an injury. This is a troubling condition because the swelling causes pain, discomfort and inhibits the ability to walk.

 Knee Bursitis

            Again, this condition comes as a result of overuse or injury. The knee becomes aggravated when it continuously performs actions it is not intended to. There are 11 Bursae on each knee and when these become inflamed it leads to swelling, pain, and warmth within any of the 11. A Bursa is a fluid filled sac or sac like cavity that cushions pressure points within the bodies bones, tendons, and muscles that are near joints.

 

Chondromalacia Patella (Patellofemoral Syndrome)

            The overuse of the knee is something that we should all keep in mind at all times because the wear and tear that they take eventually leads to one of these. This tongue twister of a condition is the result of irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the kneecap (patella) causing pain. The interesting thing about this one is that it is common amongst young people.

 Knee Pain, Discomfort Remedies

 R.I.C.E Therapy

            This seems to be the most common therapy for knee pain when self-treating. RICE is an acronym that stands or Rest or Reducing daily activity, Ice, Compression with the help of a bandage, and Elevation. As an athlete, I’ve used this many time and can say that it’s definitely helped ease pain and discomfort while reducing swelling.

 Over the Counter Pain Medicine

            These are your common Motrin, Tylenol, or Aleve that that you can purchase at any pharmacy. Although, pain or swelling may decrease it doesn’t work as a permanent solution. Finding the answers to your condition and working on those to treat the pain might be a better option.

 Physical Therapy

            If you decide or have to head down this road you will definitely get the works. The physical therapists will develop an exercise program specifically for you that can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. As a result of improved strength, knee stability will increase. In addition to creating an exercise program for you the physical therapists will use some of the following: Ice, heat, ultrasound massage, stretching, electrical nerve or muscle stimulation.

 Things to Think About

            Become conscious of your daily activities. Human beings tend to be able to create change for the better when they become conscious of the things they don’t want happening to them. Keep yourself walking without knee pain or discomfort for as long as possible by simply becoming aware of the possible positions that could be leading to the knee pain or swelling. One piece of practical advice is if you walk with your feet turned out like a duck you are over compensating for bad positioning. You should be able to walk with straight feet because that is when your body is in the most optimal and strong position.

           

All the Best

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/knee-bursitis/basics/definition/con-20030816
  2. http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/picture-of-the-knee#1
  3. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00325