Formerly Sturgeon Valley Physiotherapy

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knee pain

Knee Pain, Is It Arthritis?

Are you experiencing pain in your knee and not sure why?

Two of the most common reasons for knee pain are injury and arthritis. If you have not recently experienced an injury to your knee then you may be suffering from an arthritic knee; of course, there are a few other possible reasons for your pain. In this post, we’re going to differentiate pain as a result of a knee injury to pain that is due to arthritis.

Knee Pain Due To Injury

Sprains and strains, runner’s knee, muscle tendon injuries and meniscus tears, and knee dislocation are just some injuries the knee can sustain especially if you live a very active lifestyle. If these injuries are left untreated, they can lead to chronic pain.

Sprains (injuries to the ligaments) and strains (injuries to the muscles and tendons) are graded according to the level of damage that have been incurred:

  •       First-grade injuries – stretch the ligaments or muscles and tendons but do not tear them
  •       Second-grade injuries – partially tear the ligaments or muscles and tendons
  •       Third-grade injuries – completely tear the ligaments or muscles and tendons
knee-sprain-grading

Image credit to kneesafe.com

While mild cases can be addressed by RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), more serious conditions may require months of physiotherapy or even surgery.

Knee Pain Due To Arthritis

There are many types of arthritis but the most common that affect the knee are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post traumatic arthritis.

  •       Osteoarthritis – This is the most common type of arthritis affecting the knee. People aged 50 and over are more prone to osteoarthritis though it has been known to occur in younger people as well. The cartilage in the knee gradually wear away, leaving very little cushion between the bones. In turn, this results in knee pain as bone rubs against bone. It may produce also produce painful bone spurs.
  •       Rheumatoid arthritis – The synovial membrane in the joint becomes inflamed, resulting in knee pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease such that the body attacks its own tissues which, in this case, are the ligaments and cartilages in the knee. It also occurs on both knees.
  •       Post-traumatic arthritis – An old knee injury may develop into post-traumatic arthritis over time especially if it has been left untreated. Damages to the joint surface by injuries like meniscal tears can result in additional tear and instability in the knee joint over time.

A visit to the doctor is the best way to help you differentiate knee pain from arthritis and knee pain from an injury. However, a knee injury must be treated properly to prevent it from developing into post-traumatic arthritis down the line, and this is where physiotherapy can make all the difference.

Whether you are experiencing knee pain due to an injury or arthritis, we can help you manage the discomfort and rehabilitate the injury. Don’t let the pain stop you from living your life! Call us today for a free consultation.

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