Literally Weak in the Knees: Why Your Knees Hurt

Knee PainKnee pain is a common problem both the young and the old experience. It’s not surprising that many come to doctors with this condition. Being the largest joint in the body, the knees support your body to make sure you’re able to stand, walk, and bend with ease. So a little discomfort in the knees is a big inconvenience. For some, it keeps them from going to work or doing ordinary chores they normally do.

So, what exactly causes knee pain? Doctor Mitchell Larsen has the following explanation.

Why Your Knees are in Pain

Like other health problems, knee pain may be caused by a lot of factors. But the most common is injury from an accident; say, you tripped on the stairs, or you made a sudden turn while running. This is a mild case of knee pain, but it’s important to have it checked by doctors to make sure of the cause. The University of Utah Health outlines here some treatment options for kneecap injuries.

Severe cases of knee pain result from underlying health conditions. Osteoarthritis, more commonly known as “wear and tear of the joints,” is one reason patients complain about knee pain. As the cartilage in the joints wears down, bones rub against bones, which makes the knee hurt.

In some of these cases, doctors recommend partial knee replacement surgery, which only involves a small incision, so there’s a faster return to normal activities than the total knee replacement surgery.

Another condition that causes knee pain is tendinitis. This is a condition where tendons, that flexible cord attaching a muscle to the bone, become swelled. For patients suffering from this, you’ll notice that your knees hurt most when you’re taking the stairs or walking up an elevated platform.

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Who’s at Risk

While almost all people can be at risk for mild cases of knee pain resulting from injuries, chronic pain is most common among old people. As you age, the cartilage in your bones gets thinner and thinner, which makes you vulnerable to knee pain.

Obesity is also a risk factor. If you’re overweight, there’s much pressure on your knees to support the whole body, especially when you walk, stand, or run.

Understand what causes your knee pain so you could take proactive steps to address it. Consult your doctor for relief and treatment options.