Why do my knees hurt

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Give your knees a rest when they start singing
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Learn why your knees hurt and how to ease the pain

When getting up from a chair is a challenge, it’s time to ask one question: why do my knees hurt? Finding the source of knee pain help you identify ways to reduce any strain you may unintentionally put on them. Consult with a physician to learn what you can do to reduce knee strain and eventually ease if not eliminate the pain.

If old age or genetics seem like the most obvious answer, keep in mind that knee pain strikes people of all ages for a variety of reasons. The best way to find out why your knees hurt is to piece together as many details as possible. These fragments serve as clues to narrow the list of sources and eventually find the cause of your pain. Make a list answering the following questions:

  • When did the knee pain start?  
  • Did an activity trigger the pain?  
  • How long has the pain continued and has it gotten worse?  
  • How old are you?  
  • How much exercise do you do per week and what types of activities are involved?  
  • Have you injured your knees before?  
Causes and locations of knee pain

Overuse -

The explanation for your pain may be determined by its location. For instance, anterior knee pain happens at the front of the knee and commonly occurs in athletes young and old. The main cause for this type of pain is overuse. Fortunately, switching up your exercise regimen to light conditioning and incorporating more recovery time may treat anterior knee pain without surgery.

Apophysis –

Your apophysis is an area where cartilage grows on the bone. Knee pain in children occurs when the growth of this cartilage is active, causing an imbalance with surrounding muscles and tendons. One common cause of pain here is also known as a growing pain. Symptoms include a tender bump above or below the knee. In children, this pain will typically go away on its own, according to the National Library of Medicine. Rest and ice will ease the throbbing in the mean time.

Tendinitis –

Aggressive exercise without proper conditioning tends to lead to tendinitus. A few exercises that may cause this include stair climbing, hill running and repetitive squats.Rest for a few days then tone it down at the gym and gradually intensify you workout over a few weeks.

Runner’s Knee –

New runners experiencing constant knee pain likely suffer from, you guessed it, runner’s knee. This occurs when the impact of every footfall sends a shock to the knees. If this pain is already occurring, give yourself some ice, a few days in a comfortable self-lifting chair, and cross train to strengthen your abs and leg muscles. Prevent this injury from returning by making your strides shorter, leaning forward off of your ankles when you run, and landing midfoot instead of on your heel.

In addition to following a doctor’s orders, a few simple activities help treat most types of knee pain.

Stretch –

Inflexible muscles contribute to knee injuries. Stretching the muscles around your hips and knees is a simple way to improve your flexibility. Focus on your hamstrings, calves and quadriceps and repeat each stretch 4 times for 30 seconds each.

Wall Slides –

Squats can be challenging to do correctly, but wall slides make it easy to get your alignment right. Set your feet about 1 ˝ feet apart and stand against a wall with a ball between your knees. Slide slowly down the wall, stop when your knees are bent at 90 degrees and keep this position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times 3 times a day.

Enduring knee pain is frustrating. Treat yourself kindly and give your knees a rest. Buy shoes that fit right. Buy a chair that gives you a lift up. Eliminate deep bends when cleaning and exercising. See your doctor if your knee pain doesn't respond to gentle care on your own.

Photo Credit: Flickr: Steven Depolo
Nationwide Children's: Why does my knee hurt
National Library of Medicine
Runner's World: Build a better knee

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