While some types of knee pain are easy to understand, such as traumatic ACL tears and total knee replacements, most of us who experience knee pain haven’t sustained any particular injury.
So what then causes knee pain, and why is it so common?
Let’s look at a few of the most common types of knee pain to get a better understanding. These are the 3 most common types of knee pain:
- Patello-femoral Pain (pain under the knee cap)
- Ligament Sprains
- Meniscus Tears
1. Patello-femoral Pain: this fancy name basically means you have pain underneath or deep to your knee cap. People with this type of pain will typically have difficulty performing activities that add extra compression to the front of their painful knee. This includes things like going up and down stairs, trying to squat, and trying to stand up from a low chair.
2. Ligament Sprains: the knee has several ligaments. The most common are the ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL. While ACLs and PCLs are more prone to tearing, MCLs and LCLs often experience milder sprains. These 2 ligaments help stabilize the inside (MCL) and outside (LCL) of the knee. When sprained, they’re often tender to the touch, and they often cause pain when the knee is twisted or bent to the inside or outside.
3. Meniscus Tears: small meniscus tears are also very common in the knee. Each knee has 2 meniscuses between the 2 primary bones. You can think of each meniscus as a kind of soft-tissue ring that outlines the perimeter of the joints. When torn, the knee will often feel like it “locks” in place. This sensation can also be followed by a painful pop when the knee “unlocks” (this is different than just popping noises alone without pain). Twisting activities are also typically painful with meniscus tears.
For a little more in-depth knowledge about the causes of knee pain, check out this video:
As with any type of pain in your body, the most important starting point is proper diagnosis. Trying to treat knee pain without first understanding it won’t often lead to much success.
For more information on treating knee pain, check out our next blog post titled “Top 3 Exercises for Knee Pain (beginner)”.
And if you’re currently experiencing knee pain and would like to understand the underlying cause, please leave a comment or email me directly at.
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