The Top Causes of Knee Pain

By St Helena Sports Medicine
December 15, 2016

Your knee is the largest joint in your body, and it’s also one of the hardest working. And because it’s a necessary component to your mobility, your quality of life can be affected significantly when it sustains damage. That’s why it’s important to know what contributes to knee pain in an effort to avoid a more serious injury later on.

Physical conditions that can cause knee pain include:

  • Being overweight. Excess weight or obesity adds stress to your knee joints even when you’re going about everyday activities like walking or going up and down the stairs. It also accelerates the breakdown of cartilage in your joint and puts you at greater risk for osteoarthritis. Even taking simple steps like reducing portion sizes and taking a walk after a meal will help you shed pounds.
  • Sports. Some sports put greater stress on your knees than do others. The biggest culprits are basketball, running, soccer, skiing, cycling outside, and long walks on rougher terrain. Anytime you jump, pivot or repeatedly pound your knees during sports, you’re increasing your chance for knee pain.  It’s good to incorporate calf stretches and hamstring stretches into your sports regimen to avoid knee pain and potential injury.
  • Previous injury. A knee injury can damage the knee’s surrounding ligaments, tendons or fluid-fills sacs (bursae). Some of the more common knee injuries include the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a knee fracture, torn meniscus, and inflammation of the tendons (tendinitis).
  • Overuse. It isn’t a good idea to do a hard workout every day. When you push yourself too hard it can lead to overuse injuries from repetitive strain. One of the best things you can do for your knees is to find balance between working out and recovery.

When to See the Doctor
Schedule a visit with your doctor if you have marked knee swelling, stiffness in your knee, an obvious deformity in your leg or knee, trouble bearing weight on your knee, or if you feel like your knee is unstable and may “give out.”

Want to learn more about mild to chronic knee pain? Contact Napa Vacaville Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.
For more information about sports-related injuries, contact us today.  You can reach us directly at 707.258.2547 in Napa or 707.446.6206 in Vacaville.

 

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