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Is Your Knee Pain Serious?

By Paul Rothbart

Knee pain is pretty common, especially among athletes or people who work out regularly. Soreness from heavy work and exercise happens, not just in the knees, but everywhere. But knee injuries occur frequently. In 2017, there were 966,000 people received knee replacements in the U.S. There are also several types of arthritis that can happen in the knees. It can be difficult for the layperson to know if a sore knee is overwork or something more serious. Here are the symptoms of some of the serious knee injuries and issues. 

Ligament and Meniscus Tears

Every sports fan is familiar with the ACL injury. This is the anterior cruciate ligament. There are also the posterior and medial cruciate ligaments. These tissues hold the knee joint together and connect the thigh to the shin. Ligament tear symptoms are dramatic and hard to miss. At the time of the injury, a loud "pop" can be heard. The knee will suddenly give out, making standing impossible. The pain is sudden and severe and the knee will swell. A ligament tear requires surgery. Any of these symptoms demand immediate medical attention. 

A popping sound can also be a meniscus tear. The meniscus is a cartilage in the knee. It can happen due to a sudden twist or turn. Meniscus tears don't prevent standing or walking, but do make them painful. The pain is the knee generally gets worse over time and is often accompanied by stiffness. The knee may give out or lock. Meniscus tears don't always require surgery, but these symptoms do need medical attention.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

An autoimmune condition, rheumatoid arthritis inflames the knee joint. If it becomes chronic, the inflammation can damage cartilage. Its symptoms include stiffness, pain in the knee, and the inability to bend it. Swelling of the knee is also common. This is another condition that requires a doctor's attention and treatment. 

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type. It causes the cartilage in the knee joint to progressively wear down. It is more common in those over the age of 50. Osteoarthritis often leads to bone rubbing or rubbing which is extremely painful. In addition to pain, swelling and stiffness are typical symptoms. The range of motion of the knee may be limited and it may feel tender. The pain tends to worsen over time. As with the other knee problems, medical attention should be sought.

Aches and pains are going to happen, especially to those who are very active physically. When it comes to the knees, careful attention should be paid to any pain, swelling, or stiffness. Don't try to tough it out. If any symptoms of a serious problem are present, have them checked by a medical professional. Life without fully functional knees is pretty tough.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fairview Park, Ohio.

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