Young or old, no one is discriminated against when it comes to joint pain.
Typically, knee pain occurs when there is some friction or issue at the joint from injury or overuse. While age plays a factor since walking and repeated exercise can and will over time wear the tissue surrounding the knee, it’s not to say that it cannot affect those who are younger, too.
Everyone’s body is made differently and responds differently to things like sports or recreational activities, therefore knee pain can certainly be an issue for anyone.
Common Causes of Knee Pain
If you have a suddenly occurring knee injury, it is more likely than not you know the cause of it if it occurs during a moment of activity. It can also occur as a result of repetitive use, or an underlying issue that you may or may not have been privy to. Identifying the root of your pain is the first step in determining how it should and can be treated.
The next step would be to verify which type of pain you are feeling. Is it stiff, sore, swollen, or painful to bend? These factors will inevitably assist you in finding the proper treatment or remedy for your pain.
- Dislocated knee cap: This typically occurs when there is a trauma or a sudden shift of your knee cap out of place due to movement. Your kneecap slides out of position, causing pain and swelling. This is a common injury that can affect anyone of any age bracket, especially if high impact physical activity is involved. Depending on your level of discomfort or pain, it can be managed on your own or with the aid of a medical professional.
- Meniscus tear: In layman terms, a meniscus tear refers to a tear in the cartilage or soft bone surrounding your knee to tear or rip. Pain is felt when the rough edges begin to get caught in the joint and swelling ensues. Depending on the location of the tear and the severity, pain can be managed at home or may possibly require surgery if the pain persists.
- Bursitis: This is essentially inflammation of the knee. A bursa is a sac that holds a small amount of fluid that’s under the skin above your joint. This fluid works to ease friction when your knee bends, but when it is overused or has repeated trauma such as falls, it can become irritated which leads to pain and swelling.
- Osteoarthritis: Generally affecting those who are over 50 years of age, just simply from the wear and tear of the joints over time. It typically is noted by the feeling of stiffness in the mornings and achiness or swelling when becoming more active.
Prevention of Knee Pain
Certain injuries just seem to occur without any warning in which there is no preventative measure to be taken if you simply did not anticipate them happening.
In a general sense, maintaining a healthy body weight can relieve the pressure on the knees having to carry the load of the upper half of our bodies. For every pound that you are overweight, your knee must absorb an extra 4 pounds of pressure when you walk, run, or climb stairs. When walking, the knees not only keep your legs moving in a fluid motion but can only do so safely and without injury if the balance of body weight helps to keep less of a burden on those already heavily used joints.
Prior to doing any form of high impact, intense or strenuous physical activities, always stretch the muscles to warm them up for all of the strain they will likely endure. Likewise, once you have completed your workout session, ensure that you take the proper time to stretch the muscles and allow for them to properly cool down. After an intense workout where your muscles were hard at work, the buildup of lactic acid will create a burning sensation which means that there is a lack of oxygen to break down the glucose in your blood.
Stretching can prevent so much when it comes to your joints and the muscles surrounding them. Even a good morning stretch can aid in better joint health to kickstart your day by warming up those stiff joints.
The biggest prevention method is to simply listen to your body. At any sign of discomfort during a workout or any other instance, ensure that you do not cause further potential injury by continuing that specific movement–you can always modify the motion so as to not put more pressure on that joint.
Knee Pain Relief
There are many remedies to be had depending upon the level of pain you are incurring and or the type of injury. With topical ointments, salves, and braces, there are options to help alleviate the pain of knee injuries.
- Ointments: What is ideal about ointments is that they can provide immediate relief to aching joints. Hempvana’s Pain Relief Cream contains Trolamine salicylate, which is a common ingredient in topical pain products, as it can work fast to temporarily relieve minor joint pain and aches. Hempvana also offers a Gold Pain Relief Cream, which offers additional helpful ingredients such as turmeric and aloe, both ingredients known for their calming and soothing effects.
When it comes to alleviating pain in the knees, speediness of relief is a huge factor given the fact that without their support, mobility is severely affected. The types of ointments and creams available can vary depending on your discomfort level and need. A menthol based product like Hempvana’s Cold as Ice Pain Relief Gel offers a cooling sensation which can feel like it provides a burst of soothing relief to the affected area.
- Knee Braces: Likely one you have seen more often than not, a good knee brace can do wonders for your aching knee. Specifically, when it comes to knee cap issues, a brace acts as a splint of sorts to hold the kneecap in the proper place to allow for healing. The stability a knee brace provides is an ideal product to allow you to regain your strength and mobility. When investing in one, look for a compression-based brace which can also promote blood flow, which is critical for a healthy functioning knee.
- Elevation: If the pain becomes too unbearable to walk or move around, try elevating your leg to allow pressure and swelling to subside. Blood flow will resume back to your leg, with the circulation helping to aid in reducing the swelling. Movement is good, but sometimes so is just simple rest. Hempvana’s Leg Ramp provides an ideal angle to elevate and allow that rest to occur when needed, especially if you have had a long day of activity.
- Stretching: As previously mentioned, stretching is not only a preventative measure in keeping your knees and joints healthy but a great way to alleviate pain from overexertion. Slowly stretching the muscles and joints surrounding the knee allows for the reduction of the swelling by allowing blood to circulate properly. If the pain is too unbearable or feels deeper than the muscle, discontinuing is always advised, but for general stiffness or muscle pain, this is a viable option.
- Icing and Rest: To reduce swelling, especially when it comes to bursitis, putting an ice pack on the knee will provide some needed relief. Try the technique of putting an ice pack on for 15 to 20-minute increments every 3 to 4 hours. If in 2 to three days the swelling does not subside, then it may be time to pay a visit to your doctor. Ice will be able to provide a numbing and calming effect on the swollen joints and is one of the easiest things you can do to provide immediate care.
- Supportive Shoes: Having the proper footwear is essential in helping to ease the tension that your knees need to do to support your body weight. When wearing supportive shoes, some of that tension is transferred to the feet, allowing your joints to have less pressure upon them. Finding inserts that fit directly into your existing shoes can also be a good alternative if purchasing new shoes is not a feasible option at the moment.
These relief treatments are of course for temporary comfort, and if long-standing pain occurs, a physician’s consultation is always advised. No long term treatment should be implemented without the green light from a medical professional, as you could open the door to further injury if not treated properly.
As far as joints are concerned, knees are one of the most vital joints in our bodies–our entire mobility relies on whether or not they are in functioning, healthy shape. When a knee gives out, even with your other knee still remaining intact, just simply walking becomes a huge burdensome chore.
Only when an issue occurs do you come to the realization just how important knees are and the huge role they play in helping keep you feel like you are a healthy individual who can walk on two feet. Knee pain should not be taken lightly, as it is such a vital role in how we operate on a day to day basis.
Ensure that you take the time to properly care for your body and listen to the cues at the very first sign of possible injury to give yourself the best chance of recovering properly!