Most people assume that their knee pain isn’t severe or in need of medical attention because they haven’t suffered a significant injury. While that may be true sometimes, damage to your knee joint can also occur slowly over time, and affect you just as much as a significant accident or injury can.
First, let’s stop with assumptions. Any pain you are experiencing is a sign that something is not right. So, why not have a specialist take a look? With extensive imaging, a trained orthopedic specialist can get to the bottom of your nagging knee pain and try to help relieve some of that distress. If you haven’t suffered an injury, however, your doctor will want to diagnose the pain and possible causes. There are some more common causes for non-trauma related knee pain:
Either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can cause leave you with severe knee pain, even without a fall or injury. Osteoarthritis can be characterized by the pain and swelling you continue to feel as you age. Your joints are not indestructible, and the structure inevitably wears down over time. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is a chronic disorder that also causes joints to swell. If you suspect RA is behind your knee pain, you might have pain in other joints, as well.
Again, there is a misconception that if a tear is what’s causing your knee pain, you must have experienced a traumatic injury. While many ACL and meniscus tears can be caused by an injury, it’s not always the case. Wear and tear (no pun intended) over time can also cause tears within your knee, causing a great deal of pain. Think of an old rubber band, cracking under the pressure from years of stretching.
Bursitis can affect athletes and non-athletes alike, but it usually stems from overuse. This can occur when the tiny cushions within your knee, protecting your bones within your joint from rubbing against each other, become inflamed. The pain can be long and dull, or be felt in fast, sharp pains.
Also occurring from overuse, tendonitis is also nicknamed ‘jumper’s knee.’ This means avid runner or jumpers can feel this over time – again, even without having suffered a traumatic injury. Tendonitis pain, however, usually only begins when you begin physical exercise, and doesn’t usually stick around when you’re resting. The knee pain is usually localized to under your patella, or knee cap.
Also, many of these conditions can be associated with repetitive motion/stress. While this is actually a form of injury, it is very similar to putting your knees years of wear and tear. If you are experiencing nagging knee pain and you haven’t suffered an injury to warrant the pain, speak to our orthopedic specialists. We have offices in Little Rock and North Little Rock, and offer onsite MRI and physical therapy, which helps make the process as seamless as possible. To schedule an appointment, call (800) 336-2412 or use our Online Appointment Request Form.