Chronic Knee Pain
Chronic knee pain is long-term pain, swelling, or sensitivity in one or both knees. The cause of your knee pain can determine the symptoms you experience. Many conditions can cause or contribute to chronic knee pain, and many treatments exist. Each person’s experience with chronic knee pain will be different.
Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. Many people experience temporary knee pain as a result of an injury or accident.
Chronic knee pain rarely goes away without treatment, and it isn’t always attributable to one incident. It’s most often the result of several causes or conditions, such as osteoarthritis, tendinitis, or one of several other conditions. Additionally injuries, sprains or strains, and other factors can often make chronic knee pain worse.
People who are overweight or obese are at a greater risk for knee problems. For every pound that you are overweight, your knee must absorb an extra four pounds of pressure when you walk, run, or climb stairs.
The symptoms of chronic knee pain are different for each person, and the cause for the knee pain often affects how the pain feels. Chronic knee pain may present as a:
• constant ache
• sharp, shooting pain when in use
• dull burning discomfort
• You may also experience chronic swelling and pain when the knee is touched.
Treating Chronic Knee Pain
Each underlying cause of chronic knee pain has a specific type of treatment. These treatments may include:
• physical therapy
Bursitis, a common cause of knee pain, is treated in the following ways:
Ice the knee for 15 minutes once an hour for 3-4 hours. Do not apply the ice directly to the knee; instead, cover your knee with a cotton towel. Place ice in a plastic zip-close bag, and then place the bag on the towel.
Wear cushioned, flat shoes that support your feet and don’t exacerbate your pain.
Avoid sleeping on your side. Use pillows positioned on either side of your body to prevent you from rolling onto your side. When lying on your side, keep a pillow between your knees.
Stay seated when possible. If you have to stand, avoid hard surfaces and keep your weight equally divided on both legs.
Lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
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