The knee joint is one of the largest and most complex. Every day it is subjected to a huge load, so it is not surprising that from time to time it ceases to function normally. If your knees hurt, their swelling is noticeable, and the pain is almost constant, then you should definitely consult a doctor. Such a pathological condition can be a signal of the development of one of the diseases that deforms the joint. Naturally, it is necessary to learn to distinguish between situations when a visit to the doctor is very necessary. But the lack of treatment or self-treatment can lead to complications.
- The structure of the knee joint
- Pain in the knee: causes
- Diseases of other organs as a cause of pain in the knee
- Injury as a cause of pain
- Who is at risk?
- In which cases it is necessary to consult a doctor
- Varieties of pain
- Diagnosis of pathology and first aid
- Knee Pain: First Aid
- Knee pain: medication
- Therapeutic gymnastics and massage
- How to treat knee joints at home?
- Prevention of pathology
The structure of the knee joint
To better understand why your knees hurt, you need to understand their anatomy. So, the joint consists of a femur, tibia and patella. The two largest bones have two protrusions: the inner and outer condyles.
All surfaces that come into contact with each other are covered with hyaline cartilage. Thanks to it, mobility of the knee joint, its depreciation properties are ensured. Around this junction of bones is a kind of capsule, lined with a synovial layer from the inside. It is filled with synovial fluid, due to which the joint is powered, and its mobility is ensured.
The knee joint is not only made up of bones. All its elements are combined by cruciate and collateral ligaments, femoral muscles, tendons. The patella is attached to other elements through its own ligament. In order for the knee to move, 6 synovial bags are needed. The nutrition and innervation of the presented joint is carried out through nerves and blood vessels, which are located in the soft tissues surrounding the joint.
Pain in the knee: causes
If the knee begins to hurt, swelling appears, mobility is limited, and the discomfort is strong enough, you must immediately consult a doctor. If the destructive process has already begun, then it will be impossible to completely cure the knee. However, it will be possible to stop or slow its progression.
So, we can distinguish such causes of pain in the knee joint:
gonarthrosis. It occurs in almost 50% of all cases of joint damage. Pathology develops for a very long time. Among the symptoms of this disease, the following can be distinguished: the knee does not hurt at rest, but it becomes difficult for a person to climb the stairs, walk for a long time, squat and get up from his haunches. During movement, the patient hears a crunch in the knee, his mobility decreases. Over time, due to wear of the cartilage, the distance between the bone surfaces decreases. In this case, osteophytes appear, nerves and blood vessels are compressed, and the knee itself is deformed;
- circulatory problems (necrosis). This disrupts the nutrition of the knee. Most often, this condition manifests itself in adolescents. It is they who have too fast bone growth, in which their nutrition is somewhat difficult. If at first the pain in the knee joint is strong enough, then after a while its intensity decreases. The pain is usually localized at one point, and does not extend to the entire knee. Discomfort may increase due to hypothermia;
- arthritis. This is an inflammatory pathology of the knee that can be diagnosed in young people, especially women. At the same time, the knee hurts very much, the affected area is characterized by swelling, the skin turns red. Pain at night becomes more pronounced. The knee hurts even at rest, when the weather changes. The reason for the development of pathology is excessive body weight, old age, weak immunity;
- синовит. Тут воспаление затрагивает синовиальную оболочку коленного сустава. В области сочленения при этом появляется отек и жгучая боль;
- periarthritis. This disease is more often diagnosed in women who have a large body weight, and who are over 40 years old. At the same time, discomfort is felt when climbing stairs, when legs are straightened. The pathological process affects the tendons, ligaments and muscles, the joint capsule. Aching pain, swelling on the limbs;
- chondromatosis. This disease is characterized by the formation of small nodules from cartilaginous tissue, which are located in the shell of the articular bag. In this case, dehydration of the joint is manifested, its mobility is limited, a crunch is heard when moving. Since the soft tissues are pinched, the patient feels severe pain;
- chondromalacia of the patella. Here the cartilage undergoes degenerative changes: it simply dies. The reasons for this pathological condition are commonplace: knee injury, features of some professions. At the same time, the knee hurts very much, discomfort becomes more pronounced with any movement. In the left or right knee, crunching, crackling is very well heard. A person can hardly stand on the affected limb;
- bone tumor Pain in the knee appears due to the growth of the neoplasm, which squeezes the soft tissues with nerves and blood vessels;
- Baker’s cyst. This is a small hernia that can occur in young people and children from 3 to 7 years. It is so small that it can not always be diagnosed during examination. It does not pose a threat to human health and does not represent discomfort. However, if it grows, the joint may hurt, especially when bending and straightening the legs. If the hernia is large, then an operation is performed to remove it;
- knee joint tendonitis. This is an inflammation of the tendons in the knee area that cannot function properly. Almost everyone is affected. The pain is usually aching, and the affected area responds to changing weather;
- knee osteochondritis. Here, cartilage exfoliates from the articular surface. At first, the knee does not hurt very much, but over time its intensity increases, and inflammation joins the pathological process;
- Koenig’s disease. Here, some part of the cartilage can separate from the bone and move ins >
These reasons are basic, but not the only ones. Therefore, it is necessary to consider other factors, as a result of which knee pain appears.
Diseases of other organs as a cause of pain in the knee
Some pathologies that are not related to the knee joint can cause pain in it:
- Fibromyalgia. Discomfort is localized in the muscles and soft tissues, but can give off to joints located nearby. The inflammatory process does not develop. In addition to aching pain in the knee joint, a person feels stiff in movements, fatigue, convulsions may appear in him.
- Dysplasia or coxarthrosis of the hip joint. Pain in this case extends to the entire leg.
- Sciatic nerve neuropathy. It is pinched by the vertebrae of the lumbosacral spine. Severe throbbing pain can give to the thigh and knee.
What systemic pathologies can cause knee pain? In addition to the reasons that have already been described above, there are other factors contributing to the development of pain:
gout. The presented disease arises due to metabolic disorders of uric ac >
- osteomyelitis. The presented bacterial pathology causes quite severe pains of a boring nature. In the area of the affected joint, the skin turns red, and the discomfort intensifies with any movement. The danger of this disease is that its consequence is the beginning of the death of bone marrow;
- infectious diseases. They are characterized by pain in the knee joint, which disappear after a course of antibiotic treatment;
- Paget’s disease. In this case, bone tissue is not formed correctly, so the spine begins to deform. With this pathology, it is precisely the tubular bones that subsequently become very fragile. It is quite difficult to recognize this disease, as the symptoms may not appear. The only thing that can indicate the presence of pathology is that the sore knee hurts at night, and heat is felt at the site of the lesion.
If the pain in the knees was caused by a systemic disease or pathology of the skeleton, then it is not always possible to completely get rid of it. However, treatment must be done so that the disease does not develop further or at least slows down.
Injury as a cause of pain
Pathological processes in this case can develop both immediately after receiving damage, and some time after it. We can distinguish such injuries of the knee joint:
- Tearing, tearing or tearing of knee ligaments. These injuries lead to the appearance of the syndrome of “extension” of the joint. In addition, a person feels severe pain, joint arthritis develops, which becomes unstable.
- Injury. Here the intensity of the pain syndrome is small. There are no serious consequences after a bruise. Edema, as well as hematoma, usually disappear on their own in one to two weeks.
- Meniscus tear. A strong blow to the front region of the knee joint leads to it. After the acute period of the pathology has passed, the pain syndrome usually bothers the patient during the climb up the stairs, which is quite difficult to implement. In the area of the knee joint there is a slight swelling.
- Fracture. It appears when falling from a great height or a strong impact. The pain is strong, sharp, swelling appears in the affected area, and the skin turns pale. The injured person cannot stand on his injured leg. During the fracture, crunching and crackling are heard, and the bone can break through the skin.
- Tendon rupture. This injury is infrequent, but it leads first to acute, and then to aching pain. When walking, pain in the left or right knee intensifies.
- Dislocation of the knee joint. In this case, some of the components of the joint may come out of it.
Injury can cause chronic diseases. For more details, see the video:
Most pathologies of the knee joint have similar symptoms, so it can be difficult to recognize them. That is why self-medication is not worth it, since you can aggravate the situation even more.
Who is at risk?
Pain in the knee joint, crunching and swelling in the affected area appear more often in some people than in others. The risk group includes those people who have:
- The presence of primary pathologies.
- Genetic predisposition.
- Permanent sports knee overload.
- Excessive body weight.
- There was surgery on the knee joint.
- Insufficiently good development of the muscular apparatus of the knee joint.
In addition, women, as well as people of advanced and older age, are more affected by knee diseases.
In which cases it is necessary to consult a doctor
If a person felt that his knees hurt, then he urgently needs to consult a specialist in this case:
- The patient has had aching pain for more than two months, which does not allow him to sleep peacefully at night.
- If the pain syndrome is of high intensity, it appears suddenly.
- A crunch is heard in the knee joint when walking.
- Knees hurt daily, and at certain times, under certain conditions.
- In the knee joint, instability is felt from time to time.
- If there are additional pathological signs: a rash on the skin, fever, fever.
- There was aching pain, which is accompanied by deformation of the joints, limiting their mobility.
- Pain syndrome becomes a constant companion of a person.
- There were signs of an inflammatory process: redness of the skin, swelling, increased local temperature in the affected area.
Already these signs are enough to make a decision to see a doctor. By prolonging the visit, the patient increases the duration and complexity of therapy, and also allows the pathology to develop further.
Varieties of pain
Why knees hurt, most of the reasons for the development of a pathological condition are already understood. But the nature of the pain may be different. For example, depending on the disease that caused it, the pain is of the following nature:
- sharp, sharp. It causes rupture of the meniscus or ligaments, reactive arthritis, the acute phase of bursitis;
- dull, pulling. Bursitis or synovitis can provoke it;
- aching. This type of pain is characteristic of arthrosis, gonarthrosis;
- throbbing. Her person feels during a meniscus injury or due to a defeat by deforming arthrosis;
- burning. It is characteristic of pinching the sciatic nerve, as well as bone tuberculosis;
- stitching. It is caused by a cyst of the synovial bag. And stitching pain is characteristic of osteoporosis, an inveterate meniscus injury;
- boring. It causes osteomyelitis;
- periodic. It appears when the patient develops inflammation of the tendons or muscles;
- shooting through. It causes pinched nerve endings.
Diagnosis of pathology and first aid
Even “neglected” joint problems can be cured at home! Just remember to smear it once a day.
Many people complain that their knees hurt, and they don’t know what to do. But when you feel pain and crunch in the knee joint, it is necessary to undergo an examination and begin treatment.
Diagnostics involves the use of such procedures:
- Laboratory tests of blood and urine.
- Blood chemistry.
- Puncture of bone marrow and synovial fluid.
- Smears for the presence of bacterial microflora.
- Arthroscopy This procedure is used both as a diagnosis and as a treatment for joint pain. It is not difficult to do, and a long period of rehabilitation is not required.
- MRI or CT scan.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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Knee Pain: First Aid
If a person feels aching or pulling pain in the leg in the knee, first of all, he must ensure the rest of the limb. Treatment at home involves taking painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs – Analgin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen.
You can relieve pain with a cold compress. Cold is used as an anesthetic when pain is caused by trauma. The limb is immobilized and placed on a hill. When there are wounds in the joint area, they should be treated with an antiseptic. These measures are not a complete treatment. They need to be taken only before a visit to the doctor.
Knee pain: medication
So what to do if a crunch is heard in the joint and severe discomfort is felt? First you need to find out why these symptoms appear. One of the stages of therapy is medication. So, with pain in the knee joint, you can quickly remove severe symptoms with the help of such drugs:
- antibiotics (when discomfort is caused by a viral infection);
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – Ibuprofen, Aspirin.
Some pathologies must be treated with surgery. If there is fluid in the cavity of the knee joint, it must be removed. The cyst can also be treated through surgery or hydrocortisone blockade.
If joints hurt due to trauma, then in some cases it is necessary to reduce the bones. A tight bandage, an orthosis, and even gypsum are applied to the affected joint. It is necessary to treat a limb not only with the help of tablets. Often the patient is prescribed to wear or use special orthopedic appliances so that you can remove the load from the knee.
It is necessary to treat systemic pathologies in a comprehensive manner. Pain in the knees in these cases has to be treated with immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticosteroids. To eliminate the symptoms of gonarthrosis, injections of drugs into the joint, chondroprotectors are used.
Therapeutic gymnastics and massage
If the knee joint hurts when standing up, a crunch is heard, and discomfort bothers even at night, physical exercises, as well as massage sessions, will help get rid of stiffness and relieve pain.
At the same time, gymnastics should be done if the person is not very painful and with the permission of the doctor. All exercises are performed slowly. Sudden movements cannot be made. If your knees hurt a lot, then you need to go to the simplest exercises possible. Weekly load can be increased.
While lying or sitting, you can do flexion and extension of the limbs, alternating half-turns, pulling the knees to the stomach, legs to the side. After completing the set of exercises, you need to relax, and then go on to massage. This procedure is also very effective in relieving pain.
Sick knees can be kneading, rubbing yourself, but it will be better if a specialist does it. In order to get rid of most of the symptoms, you need to perform a course of massage procedures, one session of which lasts no more than 20 minutes. The rubbing of the inner and outer, as well as the side surfaces, pressure on the patella is performed. During the execution of procedures, you need to ensure that the person is not hurt.
In this video, Dr. Odintsov conducts an indicative massage of the knee to the patient:
How to treat knee joints at home?
A crunch in the knees, as well as pain that appears at night, is an unpleasant phenomenon. Why these symptoms appear is already known. However, it is possible to relieve pain and restore the normal functionality of the joint not only with medicines. You can do this at home with the help of folk remedies.
Quickly get rid of the pathology does not work. In this way, you need to treat the knee for at least two months. In addition, you need to find really effective tools that have good reviews.
The following recipes may be helpful:
- In half a liter of boiling water, 2 large tablespoons of saberfish grass should be poured, after which you need to let it brew. Drink the drug should be twice a day for 100 ml. You can impose on the sore knee decoction of saber fellow as a compress for the night.
- A decoction of oats will help get rid of pain. To prepare it, you need to take a liter of water and a glass of grain. The mixture is boiled, and then left overnight for insisting. For a day you need to drink 2 cups of liquid, dividing it into several parts. It is necessary to treat joints in this way for 2 weeks.
- To relieve unpleasant sensations and improve blood circulation in the affected area, you can apply a compress of grated potatoes and horseradish, taken in equal proportions. It will help get rid of pain quickly enough. A compress should be applied to the sore knee and covered with a clean cloth. Wash it off after 15 minutes. To remove unpleasant symptoms, just 10 procedures are enough.
- Mustard compress received good reviews, which is applied to a sore foot for the night. For its preparation, a tablespoon of mustard is taken, mixed with the same amount of honey and soda. By morning, the compress will help relieve severe discomfort.
- If the knee joints are sore, tincture of bitter pepper can be used for grinding. Half a liter jar should be filled with chopped pepper, and then pour alcohol to the very top of the container. It takes a week to insist.
You can carry out self-massage of the knee at home. How to do this, see the video:
If it is already known why the discomfort appeared, then you can choose the appropriate alternative methods of therapy that will help to remove them. But before that, you should consult a doctor.
Prevention of pathology
In order for the knee joints to remain healthy and function well for a long time, it is necessary to follow the simple recommendations of doctors:
- Reduce articulation load.
- It is rational to combine rest and work.
- Timely treat any infectious diseases in the body.
- Avoid hypothermia of limbs.
- After 35 years, it is advisable to start taking chondroprotectors.
- During sports, it is necessary to protect the joints with knee pads – special orthopedic devices for fixing the joint.
- It is important to normalize your weight.
- Not the least role in skeleton health is nutrition. It is better to reduce the intake of animal saturated fats, white bread, sweets. It is necessary to introduce more fiber, vegetable oils, vegetables and fruits into the diet. Proper nutrition will not only help relieve discomfort, but also improve the functionality of the joints.
Traumatologist Vitaliy Kazakevich talks about the rehabilitation of an injured knee: