Knee pain is never pleasant and unfortunately, it can also be an early sign of arthritis.
Most knee pain increases gradually and becomes common in the mornings or after periods of low activity. As the pain becomes more severe, everyday activities can become a chore and you may even start experiencing pain when sitting or sleeping.
Some people with osteoarthritis have even reported pain when it rains or when the temperature changes.
Whatever the cause, knee pain should never be ignored.
7 Leading Causes of Knee Pain
Here are some of the primary reasons why people start experiencing knee pain and should consider visiting a reputable orthopaedic clinic (https://www.westernorthopaedics.com.au/).
Inflammation, swelling and tenderness caused by bone spurs or fluid on the knees can lead to knee pain. Swelling is usually worse in the mornings or after periods of inactivity. The skin of the knee may also appear red and feel warm. If left untreated, this can turn into chronic inflammation that doesn’t improve with medication.
There are three types of arthritis that could affect your knees, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: An inflammatory disease that can occur at any age
- Osteoarthritis: A disease that slowly wears away the cartilage of your joints
- Post-traumatic arthritis: Typically develops after the knee is injured
- Popping or Cracking
If you start to feel a grinding sensation in your knees or experience a cracking or popping sound, it could be a sign of arthritis. These feelings and sounds develop once the knee cartilage begins to wear away and it can result in pain as well as a loss of movement.
- Buckling and Locking
If the joint structure of your knee becomes unstable or the knee gets too weak, it can cause the knees to buckle or lock, which leads to pain and the frustration of not being able to move your leg when you want to.
- Loss of Joint Space
A loss of joint space can lead to sounds, a poor range of motion and pain. An x-ray is able to diagnose whether bone spurs are restricting your movement and reducing joint space.
- Restricted Range of Motion
When arthritis starts affecting how the knee joints glide, it can lead to pain and a poor range of motion. If you’ve noticed that it’s become difficult to climb stairs or partake in other activities because of knee pain, it may be time to schedule a consultation at an orthopaedic clinic. Osteoarthritis is responsible for wearing away the knee cartilage and if left untreated, even walking can become very difficult.
The muscles surrounding the kneecap can become thin or appear sunken, which leads to muscle weakness and pain. When the knees point toward each other or bend outward, it could indicate that a knee deformity has developed. Some knee deformities are barely noticeable, while others can become quite severe so it’s always best to seek help sooner rather than later.