The cause of chronic pain in the knees can be due to multiple factors, but it is important to see a doctor to rule out or diagnose the underlying causes in order to find a treatment that brings you relief. Learn about these five causes that could be an alert!
One of the warning signs of knee pain is when this discomfort is chronic and gradually worsens until it has a significant impact on your quality of life. In these cases, it is necessary to find a timely intervention, depending to the origin of the symptom, such as an autoimmune disease such as arthritis.
According to medical experts, knee pain can occasionally occur in healthy patients due to excessive exercise or strenuous activity. However, if the discomfort is recurrent, it could be a case of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
2. ACL in the knees
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries don’t just happen to high-performance athletes. Each year, more than 100,000 Americans are admitted to emergency rooms and operating rooms to diagnose and treat cruciate ligament tears.
But beware since this type of injury does not always cause pain when it occurs and, in some cases, it could go unnoticed. Therefore, if you have symptoms such as a ‘cracking’ of the knees and difficulty putting weight on the leg where you feel pain, it is time to go to the doctor to rule out this type of injury.
3. Tear of the menisci of the knees
Do your knees crack and you don’t know why? It could be a meniscus tear! This injury usually originates from a sudden movement or an excessive load of weight on the knees, and it manifests itself, among other symptoms, with knee cracking that is usually painful.
Other symptoms include pain, pronounced swelling in the area, and inability to put weight on the affected knee. Meniscal tears have an incidence rate of 61 cases per 100,000 people, and occur especially in people over 65 years of age.
4. Collateral ligament injury
Collateral ligament injury, or LCL, is an injury that occurs in the knees and causes them to ‘pop’. This type of tear is usually associated with another injury to the same area, causing weakness, numbness, and generalized pain.
Collateral ligament injuries are one of the least common, and tend to occur in high-performance athletes. In addition to the symptoms mentioned, the knees can crack and, in the most severe cases, become dislocated, requiring emergency surgical intervention.
5. Cartilage injury
Cartilage injuries could be the answer to why knees crack, causing pain and discomfort both when walking and when at rest. If a part of the cartilage is damaged, you will most likely hear a clicking sound when moving the joint back and forth.
Treatment to prevent the knees from popping due to cartilage wear consists, in the mildest cases, the use of a special boot and elevating your leg while cold compresses are applied. This should be monitored by an orthopedist.