Do you experience chronic or acute knee pain? If so, you aren’t alone. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 12 million visits to the doctor’s office each year are due to knee pain. In addition, more people visit an orthopedic surgeon in the U.S. for knee pain than any other complaint.
There are many potential causes for knee pain, including knee osteoarthritis, a torn meniscus, and other injuries. While you cannot stop the aging process, there are several actions you can take to help decrease the risk of knee pain and injuries.
As the largest joint in the body, your knees are also one of the most easily damaged. Ligaments help control the motion of your knee by bracing joints against forces and connecting your bones. On the other hand, cartilage cushions your knee and helps distribute pressure when the joint is in motion.
Knee pain can also be caused by osteoarthritis, which is when joint cartilage wears away. This condition can result from repeated injury, excessive body weight, and chronic joint deformities, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Osteoarthritis affects middle-aged and older individuals mostly; however, a knee injury sustained as a teen or young adult can make you more prone to develop this disease earlier in life.
Another common knee injury is anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL). Many anterior cruciate ligament tears are caused by changing direction quickly, pivoting, twisting, or landing awkwardly after a jump. Sports such as basketball, skiing, soccer, and volleyball are common causes of an ACL tear. Athletes will often feel a “pop” in their knee when the injury occurs as well as knee pain and instability.
Medial collateral ligament injuries, most common among football players, are often caused by a blow to the knee. The less common tearing or spraining of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is the result of contact sports. A quick twist or simple misstep can result in a torn meniscus or knee cartilage.
Curious about what other fitness-related activities can cause injuries? Check out our blog, Exercising Gone Wrong: Fitness Injuries That Can Require an ER Trip.
Fortunately, the medical team at ER Near Me is experienced in caring for trauma and sports-related injuries such as these. With no wait time, ER Near Me provides the highest quality care and concierge services and is fully equipped to address your injuries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. To find your nearest ER, visit our locations page.
Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases can also cause knee pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and psoriatic arthritis. Gout and pseudogout can also cause recurrent swelling and pain.
Additional causes of knee pain might include:
You know your body best; when in doubt, it’s always best to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor. However, in more serious cases, or if you can’t get an appointment with your doctor, our team at ER Near Me is ready to help.
With a knee injury, you might feel your knee give out from under you or experience a “popping” sensation. Occasionally, a knee injury may not cause pain right away but will develop swelling and pain 24 to 48 hours later. In severe cases, you may feel excruciating pain and the inability to walk.
Many doctors recommend a “RICE” method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation for the first 1 to 3 days after a minor knee injury. Take it easy after you injure yourself, and call your doctor right away so you can receive proper diagnosis and treatment.
Below are a few additional tips for minor pain or incidents:
The steps to alleviate your knee pain will depend on what type of injury or disease you have. However, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recommends the following actions for people of all ages to help reduce the risk of an injury and prevent knee damage:
As with most injuries, it can be difficult to know when to go to the ER for knee pain or if you should schedule an appointment with your doctor or specialist. If the pain and swelling intensify, pain is severe, or you cannot reach your doctor, visit your local ER Near Me immediately.
Other signs you need an ER visit include:
Sometimes, your knee injury can’t wait for a doctor’s visit, and knowing when to go to the ER for knee pain can make a significant difference long term. ER Near Me offers no wait time and superior concierge service. Emergency treatment is available for both children and adults anytime you need it. Visit the clinic closest to you for emergency services or schedule an appointment by phone.
Looking for joint-friendly exercises you can do to prevent knee damage and more tips about knee pain? Check out our free printable PDF for a quick rundown of knee pain causes, treatment, and joint-friendly exercises.