You’ve been walking normally and continuing with your daily activities till suddenly, you experience pain in your knee that just won’t go away. It may feeling that there is no end to this. One of the hardest decisions to make, is whether you should stop or continue walking and risk making your condition worse?
It’s not really surprising. Knees have quite a complex structure of joints and lack of protection puts knee health at a very vulnerable position. Certain knee injuries can lead to chronic knee conditions such as osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of disease that affects the knee.
What causes knee pain?
Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. Temporary pain can be a result of a minor accident or injury while a chronic knee condition can leave long-term effects.
Here are some causes of knee pain:
- Osteoarthritis: Degeneration and deterioration of the joint
- Bursitis: Repeated injury or overuse of the knee that causes inflammation
- Gout: Type of arthritis that is caused by accumulation of uric acid
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Painful swelling caused by a chronic autoimmune disorder
- Dislocation: Displacement of the kneecap as an outcome of trauma
- Torn ligament: A tear in one of the knee ligaments
- Baker’s cyst: Buildup of the fluid that lubricates the knee under the kneecap
What can you do to manage knee pain?
If you want something to manage your temporary knee pain, you can get some relief by following a simple idea called R.I.C.E. This stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation.
If you have hurt or sprained your knee, slow down and stop your activity. Whatever activity you are pursuing, discontinue your activity.
Keep a bag of ice (cover with a towel or other material) on your knee between 4-8 times a day for 15 minutes. Don’t hold the ice pack longer than that or it can cause frostbite.
If you notice continued knee pain, use a compression bandage to reduce the swelling. Talk to your doctor to understand which type of wrap you should use and how tight it should be.
Another way to reduce the swelling is to elevate your leg on a pillow or a chair to the level of the heart. This causes the accumulated fluid to exit the leg and head back to the body effortlessly.
When is it time to see a doctor?
You can’t go wrong when it comes to treating any mild or temporary injury with the R.I.C.E. guidelines, however, when to see a doctor depends on how bad you are suffering. If you have severe pain that lasts for more than 2 weeks, it is time to consult a doctor and ask for help.
It’s very common that people put off their pain for too long and by the time they go to a doctor, their condition has already worsened and developed into a bigger problem.
If you have any red streaks around the knee, can’t move more than 5 steps, experience numbness or it appears crooked, don’t wait to see a doctor.
If at any point you are unsure of what to do or how severe your condition is, reach out to your doctor for management. Once you treat your knee pain with proper measures, you will be fit and running in no time!
Don’t know who to talk to? If you suspect you might have a physical or mental health issue, you can now book an appointment with a doctor without having to leave your home!