Chronic knee pain is a pain or strong sensitivity that has lasted more than six months. It can vary from being quite mild and just result in sensitivity to being absolutely excruciating. Same goes for the pain periods: chronic knee pain doesn’t necessarily mean a constant pain – it can come and go periodically. Worst case scenario is to have a serious case of knee pain where the pain is neverending and is much stronger than just a little inconvenience.
Chronic knee pain can originate from joints, kneecap or ligaments and cartilage as well as it can bother people from all ages. However, those in a greater risk of developing chronic knee pain are people who are older, overweight, have previous injuries or traumas or are doing intense physical exercise, hence risking with overusing the joints.
What causes chronic knee pain?
Chronic knee pain might not always be a result of one single condition – it is often a result of several different issues. Commonly, knee pain is divided into 3 categories: pain caused by acute injury, chronic pain due to medical condition and pain caused by chronic use conditions.
Acute injuries are traumas and injuries of the bone structure, ligaments, cartilage or even issues caused by dislocation. These issues are often related to sports or other physical activities but can be caused by motor-vehicle accidents as well.
One of the most common causes of chronic knee pain are medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or septic arthritis and conditions that are caused by use or overuse of joints. Tendinitis, gout, bursitis, Baker’s cyst and meniscus tear are among those conditions.
Already developed conditions, genetic conditions and mechanical injuries are not the only causes for chronic knee pain. Factors that can worsen knee pain are for example bad posture, infections and most notably ignoring stretching while exercising or stretching improperly.
How to recognize chronic knee pain?
The symptoms can vary for different people, but there are some aspects that may be signs of chronic knee pain. In general, if you are having knee pain that doesn’t disappear after a few days or after taking some rest, you should go and see a doctor. Besides the constant or sharp pain you might experience some discomfort while joints are in use (like while walking or exercising), the knee might be deformed or swollen or you might not be able to bend it well (or at least bend it without sharp pain).
If you have experienced one or more of those symptoms, it’s about time to let your knee be evaluated by a professional. Chronic knee pain is diagnosed using different tests, including X-rays, MRI scan, examination and blood tests.
Chronic knee pain, as uncomfortable and disturbing it might be, can be managed with the help of proper treatment and healthy lifestyle. If you avoid overusing the joints, exercise regularly according to your physical abilities and keep your weight stable, you can manage the chronic knee pain and keep it from worsening.