Knee Pain Q & A
What is chronic knee pain?
Knee pain can be broadly broken down into two categories: acute pain and chronic pain.
Acute pain is pain felt in the immediate aftermath of an injury or during an infection. Acute pain is temporary and should go away when the underlying cause, such as the injury or infection, is treated.
Chronic pain is continuous, infrequently resolves without treatment, and is typically due to a few different causes or conditions, such as long-term effects of injuries or inflammation.
What causes chronic knee pain?
There is a wide range of conditions that can lead to chronic knee pain, such as:
- Meniscus tear
- Dislocated knee or kneecap
- Torn ligament, such as your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Tendon ruptures
- Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Crystalline arthritis (gout and pseudogout)
- Jumper’s knee, or tendonitis
- Chondromalacia patella
- Patellofemoral syndrome
- Osteosarcoma, or bone tumors
Being overweight puts you at a greater risk for knee problems. Your knee absorbs an additional 4 pounds of pressure during your daily activities for every pound that you’re overweight.
How is knee pain treated?
The primary goal of chronic knee pain treatment is to break the cycle of inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to physical trauma. The substances that are responsible for inflammation are actually components that are designed to assist in the healing of the injured area. But if the injury isn’t properly resolved, the inflammation can stick around, which becomes a chronic issue, as it leads to further pain and inflammation, which in turn leads to further injury.
In order to break the cycle of inflammation, you need to prevent further injury to the tissue and regulate the inflammation-causing substances. This is typically done with a combination of physical therapies and injections into the knee. Some of the more common injections for knee pain are:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)