What causes knee pain?
The knee joint incurs a tremendous amount of stress from daily activities to vigorous sporting events. Knee pain can develop from this wear and tear or from an injury during a specific event. Pain also develops from arthritic conditions as one ages or gout to do nutritional factors.
To better understand the type of pain or injury, it is important to understand the anatomy of the knee. The knee is a hinged joint connecting the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). The patella (knee cap) is the other bone within the knee joint that connects with the quadriceps (thigh muscles) and assists with leg extension. Within the knee joint, there are:
Tendons: strong fibrous tissue that connect muscle to bones
Ligaments: Elastic tissue that connect bone to bone such as the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament), and MCL (Medial Cruciate Ligament)
Meniscus: Cartilage tissue in the knee that provide padding and stability
The knee joint performs like a hinge with the quadricep muscles creating the extension of the leg and the hamstring muscles performing the flexion of the leg. The repetitive motion of flexion and extension within the knee joint combined with sudden stops and additional weight bearing loads can create pain and injuries.
What are the symptoms of a knee injury?
Knee pain is typically associated with inflammation or arthritic conditions. How can one determine if there is an injury?
- Weakness or instability
- Reduced range of motion
- Swelling or stiffness
- Popping or unusual sounds during movement