What can I do to relieve knee pain?

knee pain relief

Quality Help for All Your Needs

When you’re a child, you hop, jump, run, and skip without thinking. Then, you injure your knee on the football field or at cheer camp, or many other ways. As you get older, even though that knee injury healed, you experience knee pain, and man can that be debilitating! 

Ask almost any adult, and you’ll find that most have experienced such horrible knee pain, to touch it just sent them into a painful frenzy. There is a difference between knee pain or muscle pain too. With knee pain, you may walk, or maybe you can’t. Walking up even just a few stairs can challenge you and forget about hopping or jumping! Not all knee pain is associated with knee injury though. 

What can cause knee pain without injury?

Sometimes you can suffer knee pain without cause, or a realization of a cause, from any of these common causes: 

Bursitis: Caused by the tiny sacs of fluid that normally cushion the bones become infected or irritated, then inflamed. You may notice redness around the knee joint with tenderness, giving you the obvious knee pain, and sometimes a fever. 

Tendinitis: This is caused by the tendons in your knees that binds the bones and muscle to bones becomes irritated, stretched, or torn. You may feel a dull ache that increases the more you use the knee. Some people will have painful swelling. Usually resting the knee will take care of it, letting it heal itself. Sometimes, a severe case requires medical attention to ease the knee pain.

Baker’s cyst or Popliteal cyst: This is indicated by swelling from fluid filling the backside of the knee and will restrict movement, often this results from a knee injury that hasn’t been diagnosed. Most of the time, it will heal itself, but for some, will need to have the cyst drain is the only cure before they are free of knee pain. 

Osteoarthritis: This condition causes inflammation and swelling of the knee and is caused the knee deteriorating, giving the patient that continuous knee pain, usually because of an old injury, poor posture, or overweight. 

Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease that is often compared to osteoarthritis. It affects more than one joint like the knee, and patients with this disease suffer with pain, stiffness, and swelling. 

What does arthritis in knee feel like?

There are hundreds of arthritis types that can cause knee pain, but the more common are osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis, with osteoarthritis being the more common of the two. Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition in which the cartilage gradually disappears from the knee joint and typically becomes more apparent in midlife years. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that can affect people of all ages and affects the entire body. This is an autoimmune disease that can involve all the joints, not just knee pain, and it is common for the patient to have additional symptoms. 

It is common for anyone that suffers a knee injury to develop arthritis. It can be a post-traumatic arthritis that happens from knee fracture, ligament injury, or torn meniscus. The symptoms may not appear until later in life when they have constant knee pain. While osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis have similar symptoms, they also have symptoms key to them specifically. 

  • 1. Gradual pain increase: Arthritis pain is usually slow to appear, like first thing in the morning or after sitting for a long period. As you become more active, you may notice the pain is getting worse, like climbing stairs, kneeling down, or doing from sitting to standing. Walking can be painful. 
    • Rheumatoid arthritis affects the small joints and is symmetrical with both sides of the body affected, including a redness and warmth to the joint (s).  Osteoarthritis can progress rapidly or slowly, affect each person differently. The knee pain and other joint pains will get worse, then improve and can change day-to-day. 
  • 2. Swelling and/or tenderness: With osteoarthritis, the patient may experience hard swelling from bone spurs forming or they may experience soft swell form extra fluid causing swelling around the joints. 
    • The more active the patient is, the more noticeable the swelling will occur and become noticeable. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that causes joint swelling. Other symptoms experienced by patients with rheumatoid arthritis is fever, general tiredness, and not feeling well. 
    • People with RA may also have other symptoms other than knee pain, such as a fever, tiredness, and a general feeling of being unwell. 
  • 3. Buckling and locking up: Damaged knee joints will become unstable overtime, causing them to buckle up or lock up, creating knee pain. The tendons that bind the bones and muscles together are affected by rheumatoid arthritis and the patient will lose the stability in the knees. Where the cartilage erodes, allowing the bones to rub, bone spurs can develop and a bumpy surface will cause the joint to lock up, making bending or straightening the joint difficult.
  • 4. Cracking or popping: If you hear a cracking or popping sound as you straighten your knees, or feel a grinding, this is called crepitus. This occurs when the cartilage has worn down or off. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can suffer from cartilage damage. Damaged cartilage can cause bone spurs to develop, thus creating knee pain. 

Other symptoms that can be signs of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis are a loss of motion range, loss of joint space, and knee deformity. Each of these can disable the person suffering with either of these arthritis types.

What are the symptoms of cartilage damage in the knee?

Cartilage is a flexible but tough tissue throughout the body that covers joint surfaces and provides shock absorption so that the bones can slide over each other easily, which is frequently why knee pain exists. There is no cartilage. Cartilage damage is a fairly common injury that usually involves the knees. Other joints can be affected by cartilage damage like the ankles, elbows, and hips. The symptoms of damaged cartilage are: 

  • Joint pain when weight is put on a joint but can continue when resting too. 
  •  Swelling that usually developed over a two to three hours, maybe days. 
  • Stiffness.
  • Clicking and/or grinding feeling and sound. 
  • Buckling, giving way, or locking up joints. 
knee pain

How do I know if my knee pain is serious?

Taking into consideration that everyone has a different level of pain tolerance, but if putting any weight on your knee causes an immense knee pain, or pain anywhere in the body, it could indicate a knee injury. That injury can be anything from a sprain or twist, to a bone contusion, cartilage injury, fracture, or ligament tear, any of which should be seen by a doctor immediately.  

Walk It Off! A Few Closing Words

If you’ve ever played sports, you’ve heard the coach tell an injured player “WALK IT OFF!), but is walking good for knee pain? It seems like a catch-22 when you’re experiencing knee pain.  Moving hurts, but then movement will help it past that sore stage. 

So, yeah, when you first move your knee or put any weight on it, it will be achy, even downright painful. Experts say that it is best to keep doing what you do, even with osteoarthritis. Exercise and walking will mobilize the joint fluid, lubricating them and overtime, they will improve.