What are the causes of knee pain
What causes knee pain? There are numerous reasons for your stiff, achy jointsWhat causes knee pain and why do my knees continually hurt? Let us count the possible reasons …
Any person that has pronation, or inward foot rolling, when walking or running, as well as those with flat feet (no arch) and a pronating forefoot, can acquire runner's knee. Those with “Morton’s foot,” where the second toe is longer than the first toe which leads to extreme pronation, are apt to suffer from this condition eventually. Runners are especially susceptible to this condition.
The medical term for this is chondromalacia patella, patellofemoral disorder.
The first indication that this condition has developed is a clicking feeling in the joint when getting up from a sitting position, stiffness after sitting a while and soreness when walking up and down stairs.
When the foot consistently rolls in (pronates) as a person walks this makes the kneecap do something it shouldn’t do. It is supposed to ride up and down in the v-shaped groove in the femur when a person walks or runs.
However, if the person is a pronator this causes the cap to scrape along one side of the groove rather than sliding up and down in the middle in a smooth fashion. The cartilage is essentially sandpapered by this action. Fluid is leaked and this is what makes this area of the leg feel stiff.
When this condition is identified it can be helped by arthroscopic surgery. The cap surface can be mechanically smoothed and it will stay smooth for half a year or so. However, if the person continues to walk or run as he has been, it will reoccur.
Another option is cutting the connective tissue that holds the cap in place. This loosens it in within the groove. The tissue that is cut is called the retinaculum. However, this, too, is just a temporary reprieve. The tissue will get tight again and maybe even tighter than it was initially.
INJURY OR DYSFUNCTIONAL JOINTS
Pain can also be the outcome of dysfunctional joints or an injury or the result of limited mobility in the hip joints or ankles.
When mobility is limited in one area or another, the tendency is to shift stressors and the person ends up overusing the joint, causing injuries.
When a person has inflexible ankles this makes the rotation that should occur at the ankle joint to move upward. Reduced range of motion in the ankles significantly increases the stress that the knee endures.
WEAK BUTT MUSCLES
If the butt (gluteal) muscles are weak and under-used this muscle cannot properly externally rotate the femur. Instead, other muscles assume the role and rotate the femur internally. When this occurs, the knees tend to inwardly collapse when a person squats and this puts extreme and unnatural pressure on the joints. Pain is the outcome.
TORN OR OVERLY STRETCHED LIGAMENT
If a person has sustained an injury to any of the four ligaments located on the inside and outside edges or within the joint this can cause pain. Ligaments are the bands of tissue that hold the bones together. When a ligament is torn or over-stretched the individual may hear a popping sound.
Osteoarthritis is the wear and tear form of arthritis that people tend to develop when they get older. Overuse of any joint can lead to this condition because the cartilage gets worn out over time. This causes aching, stiffness and swelling and a crunching sound when the person is moving.
TIGHT HIP FLEXORS
When a person sits all day, his hip flexors can become tight. The rectus femoris muscle is involved when straightening the leg and it also helps your hips flex. When this muscle becomes too tight it results in tension that is not evenly distributed on the cap. This causes pain.
Unfortunately, this kind of pain is very common particularly in athletes and older people. Consult with your physician. Get an accurate diagnosis and proceed from there. With treatment, the pain can be kept under control using braces, supports and other therapies or maybe even eliminated altogether.
Wearing supportive shoes when you walk and run can help you avoid injuries, wear and tear on your joints and the subsequent pain.
Do not let this kind of pain keep you on the couch. You've got a lot of living to do.