Some knee pain may subside with adequate rest and other physical therapies, which can be done at home; however, knee pain that doesn’t dissolve easily with rest should be considered serious and requires medical attention. Knee pain is the most common complaint of the musculoskeletal system. The knee is the joint that attaches the bones of the upper and lower legs. The main functions of the knees involve:
- Bearing the weight of the body
Signs and symptoms that can pose a risk include:
What causes severe knee pain?
There might be numerous medical conditions and factors that cause severe knee pain; however, all the causes can be clubbed into five main causes—trauma, degenerative tissue disorders, connective tissue disorders, metabolic problems, and infection.
Knee pain can also be acute and chronic based on the causes. Acute knee pain can be caused by a trauma or infection, whereas chronic knee pain is caused due to inflammation and injuries.
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL): It is a sports injury caused due to the violent twisting of the knee.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL): More serious than ACL, it occurs due to a serious blow on the knee, causing excruciating pain and swelling.
- Tendon rupture: Extensive stretching or kicking can rupture the tendon (the band of fibrous tissue attaching the muscle to the bone) present inside the knee.
- Meniscal injuries: Injury or overuse of the meniscus (cartilaginous structure) that cushions the knee joint can lead to its tear. The meniscus will tear off and float in the knee joint.
- Knee dislocation: A powerful blow to the knee may cause knee dislocation leading to a medical emergency.
- Dislocated kneecap (patella): Injury to the knee or forceful straightening of the leg causes dislocation of the kneecap.
- Bursitis: The joint sac of the knee gets inflamed as a result of a trauma, an infection, or crystalline deposits.
Connective tissue disorder involves rheumatoid arthritis, which is a painful, inflammatory autoimmune disorder affecting all the joints of the body.
Infection involves the inflammation of the knee due to various microorganisms. Gonorrhea is one such organism that infects the knee causing pain and swelling.
Other causes include:
- Tendonitis: Inflammation of the tendon in the knee typically seen in a basketball or volleyball player
- Osgood-Schlatter disease: This condition occurs due to repetitive stretching of the knees, causing inflammation of the bony protuberance at the top of the shin bone.
What are the different ways to prevent knee pain?
Knee pain cannot be avoided, although trying out certain things may make you less susceptible to sustaining a knee injury. These include:
- Staying slim
- Stretching your knees or performing strengthening exercises
- Exercising according to your body
- Protecting the knee with knee pads
- Using proper footwear
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top How Do I Know If My Knee Pain Is Serious? Related Articles
Dislocated KneeWith a dislocated knee, the femur and shinbones are out of alignment. Severe pain, swelling, and joint deformity are symptoms and signs of a knee dislocation. Treatment typically involves reduction of the joint, surgery to repair torn ligaments, and immobilization.
How Do I Know if My Knee Pain Is Arthritis?If you have knee pain from arthritis you might notice symptoms including stiffness and swelling, increased pain and swelling in the morning or after sitting, increased pain after activity, 'locking' or 'sticking' of the knee, and weakness or buckling in the knee.
How Do You Relieve Pain In The Back Of Your Knee?Learn what medical treatments can help relieve pain in the back of your knee and help you manage pain in the back of your knee.
Knee InjuryKnee injuries, especially meniscus tears, are common in contact sports. Symptoms and signs of a torn meniscus include knee pain, swelling, a popping sound, and difficulty bending the leg. Treatment may involve resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the knee, in addition to wearing a knee brace, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and stretching the knee.
Knee Joint PictureThe knee joint has three parts. See a picture of Knee Joint and learn more about the health topic.
Knee PainAcute injuries, medical conditions, and chronic use conditions are causes of knee pain. Symptoms and signs that accompany knee pain include redness, swelling, difficulty walking, and locking of the knee. To diagnose knee pain, a physician will perform a physical exam and also may order X-rays, arthrocentesis, blood tests, or a CT scan or MRI. Treatment of knee pain depends upon the cause of the pain.
Knee ReplacementFind out what to expect with knee replacement surgery in this WebMD slideshow.
OA of the Knee ExercisesLearn about osteoarthritis and exercises that relieve knee osteoarthritis pain, stiffness and strengthen the knee joint and surrounding muscles through this picture slideshow.
Pain Management: All About Your KneesThey do their job so well that you might take them for granted. Learn how they're put together, what can go wrong with them, and what you can do about it when something does.
Knee Pain Dos and Don'tsYour knees go through a lot in the course of a day, and sometimes they can run into trouble. Here are a few things you can do when knee pain hits.
What Can Cause Pain Behind the Knee?What causes pain behind the knee? Learn about Baker's cyst and other causes of pain behind the knee and what to do about them.
What Exercise Can I Do with Knee Bursitis?What is knee bursitis? Learn which exercises can help ease symptoms.
What Helps Knee Pain from Sitting All Day?Knee pain can affect people at any age and can result from an injury or some type of medical condition. Things that help knee pain from sitting all day include the right mixture of stretching and strengthening exercises to help by improving joint movement and functioning.
What Is the Best Treatment for Knee Tendonitis?Learn what medical treatments can help ease your knee tendonitis symptoms and speed up your recovery.
When Should You See a Doctor for a Baker’s Cyst?A Baker’s cyst is caused by excess fluid putting pressure on the back of the knee joint. Learn about the signs and symptoms, how a Baker’s cyst is diagnosed, and the treatments available.