Chronic pain sufferers are all around us. This type of pain doesn’t discriminate by age, sex or race, though older people are more prone due to deterioration of joints, muscles and bones. Some people suffer from relatively minor, yet constant pain in their knees. For others, the pain can be so intense that it limits everyday activities. Chronic knee and joint pain affects many people, some of whom struggle to find the right treatment. Relief is not always immediate when treatment begins – it may take time to find the right medication, therapy and/or holistic treatment. Some people even need surgery. The knee is the body’s largest joint and is in use whenever we move the lower body for things like standing, sitting, walking and running. There are many conditions that can cause or contribute to chronic joint pain. These include injuries (new or old), arthritis, tendonitis and bursitis.
Types of Joint Pain
Injury is one of the most common causes of chronic knee and joint pain. People can badly injure a knee during exercise, a fall, an accident or while participating in sports. This can cause cartilage damage, ligament tears, dislocation of the kneecap or injury to the inner or outer meniscus. While all of these injuries cause immediate pain, it can linger until it’s treated, but for some it becomes a chronic condition.
Arthritis is also very common among chronic knee pain sufferers. Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. There are many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Causes of this condition include immune system malfunction, injury, genetics, infections and metabolic disorders. Arthritis of the knee can cause swelling, pain, tenderness, stiffness, redness and warmness. Doctors may suggest exercise, rest, medications such as analgesics, physical therapy and surgery.
Tendonitis is the inflammation, swelling and irritation of tendons in and around the knee. Tendons can deteriorate with age and use. Tendonitis is common among athletes including runners, skiers and those who play baseball, basketball, football and tennis. The tenderness and stiffness associated with this condition can be aggravated with further movement so it’s important to get treatment as early as possible. Treatment can include rest, ice, compression, elevation, medication, injections and in severe cases, surgery.
Bursitis of the knee causes inflammation of bursa near the knee joint. These fluid-filled sacs are meant to reduce friction between the bones, tendons and muscles. This condition can limit mobility and cause pain. It is caused by repeated pressure on the knee, frequent falls, a bacterial infection, trauma to the knee and complications from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. People at risk include those who kneel a lot, play certain sports and those who are obese. Medication, therapy and surgery are common treatments.