Pain in the knee joint: causes, treatment, why the knees hurt, what to do about it, how to treat

The knee joint is one of the largest and most complex. Every day it is subjected to a huge load, so it is not surprising that periodically it ceases to function normally. If your knees hurt, their swelling is noticeable, and the pain is almost constant, then you must definitely consult a doctor. Such a pathological condition may be a signal of the development of one of the diseases that deforms the joint. Naturally, it is necessary to learn to distinguish situations when a visit to the doctor is very necessary. But the lack of treatment or self-treatment can lead to complications.

The structure of the knee joint

To better understand why your knees hurt, you need to understand their anatomy. So, the articulation consists of the femur, tibia and patella. The two largest bones have two protrusions each: the inner and outer condyles.

All surfaces that come into contact with each other are covered with hyaline cartilage. Thanks to him, the mobility of the knee joint, its depreciation properties are provided. Around this connection of bones is a kind of capsule, lined from the inside with a synovial layer. It is filled with synovial fluid, thanks to which the joint is nourished and its mobility is ensured.

The knee joint is made up of more than just bones. All its elements are united by cruciate and collateral ligaments, femoral muscles, tendons. The kneecap is attached to other elements through its own ligament. In order for the knee to move, 6 synovial bags are needed. The nutrition and innervation of the presented joint is carried out through nerves and blood vessels, which are located in the soft tissues surrounding the joint.

Pain in the knee joint: causes

If the knee begins to hurt, swelling appears, mobility is limited, and the discomfort is severe enough, you should immediately consult a doctor. If the destructive process has already begun, then it will be impossible to completely cure the knee. However, it will be possible to stop or slow down its progression.

So, we can distinguish such causes of pain in the knee joint:

  • gonarthrosis.It occurs in almost 50% of all cases of joint damage. Pathology develops for a very long time. Among the symptoms of this disease, the following can be distinguished: the knee does not hurt at rest, however, it becomes difficult for a person to climb stairs, walk for a long time, squat and get up from his haunches. During movement, the patient hears a crunch in the knee, his mobility decreases. Over time, due to wear of the cartilage, the distance between the bone surfaces decreases. In this case, osteophytes appear, nerves and blood vessels are compressed, and the knee itself is deformed;
  • Gonarthrosis of the knee on x-ray
  • meniscopathy, as well as the formation of meniscus cysts. Most often only one knee hurts. The cause of the pathology may be a single injury or periodic damage to the joint. During an exacerbation, the pain is sharp, throbbing, sharp, severe. With this disease, the deformation of the joint does not threaten, but the inflammation can affect the synovial bags;
  • circulatory problems (necrosis).This disrupts the nutrition of the knee. Most often, this condition occurs in adolescents. It is they who have too rapid bone growth, in which their nutrition is somewhat difficult. If at first the pain in the knee joint is strong enough, then after a while its intensity decreases. Pain is usually localized at one point, and does not spread to the entire knee. Discomfort may be aggravated by hypothermia;
  • arthritis.This is an inflammatory pathology of the knee, which can be diagnosed in young people, especially women. At the same time, the knee hurts very much, the affected area is characterized by swelling, the skin turns red. Pain at night becomes more pronounced. The knee hurts even at rest, when the weather changes. The reason for the development of pathology is excessive body weight, old age, weakness of the immune system;
  • bursitis.This is an inflammatory lesion of the synovial bags of the knee. The characteristic symptoms of the pathology are reddening of the skin in the affected area, swelling, and a decrease in the range of motion. The cavities of the synovial bags are filled with exudate, which contains harmful microorganisms. The cause of the development of pathology is trauma, excessive physical activity. The knee not only hurts very badly, a person develops general weakness and malaise;
  • synovitisHere the inflammation affects the synovial membrane of the knee joint. At the same time, swelling and burning pain appear in the articulation area;
  • periarthritis.This disease is more often diagnosed in women who have a large body weight and who are already 40 years old. At the same time, discomfort is felt when climbing stairs, when straightening the leg. The pathological process affects the tendons, ligaments and muscles, the joint capsule. The pain is aching, swelling appears on the limb;
  • chondromatosis.This disease is characterized by the formation of small nodules of cartilage, which are located in the shell of the articular bag. In this case, dehydration of the joint is manifested, its mobility is limited, a crunch is heard when moving. Since the soft tissues are pinched, the patient feels severe pain;
  • chondromalacia patella.Here the cartilage undergoes degenerative changes: it simply dies off. The reasons for this pathological condition are banal: knee injury, features of some professions. At the same time, the knee hurts very much, the discomfort becomes more pronounced with any movement. In the left or right knee, a crunch, crackle is very well heard. A person practically cannot stand on the affected limb;
  • bone tumor.Pain in the knee appears due to the growth of a neoplasm that compresses soft tissues with nerves and blood vessels;
  • Baker's cyst.This is a small hernia that can occur in young people and children from 3 to 7 years old. It is so small that it cannot always be diagnosed on examination. It does not pose a threat to human health and does not present discomfort. However, if it grows, then the joint may hurt, especially when bending and straightening the leg. If the hernia is large, then an operation is performed to remove it;
  • knee tendinitis.This is an inflammation of the tendons in the knee area, which cannot perform their functions normally. Almost everyone is affected by the disease. The pain is usually aching, and the affected area reacts to changes in the weather;
  • Tendinitis - inflammation of the tendons in the knee joint
  • osteochondritis of the knee.This is where the cartilage peels off from the articular surface. At first, the knee does not hurt very much, but over time, its intensity increases, and inflammation joins the pathological process;
  • Koenig's disease.Here, some of the cartilage can separate from the bone and move inside the joint. At the same time, the movement becomes difficult, there is a mild pain. With progression, swelling of the knee joint is also observed. Treatment of pathology in adults is more difficult than in children;
  • Osgood-Schlatter pathology.It provides for the formation of bumps in the knee area. Most often, the disease is diagnosed in boys, as well as people involved in sports. The pain is sharp, aggravated by bending and straightening the leg.

These reasons are the main ones, but not the only ones. Therefore, it is necessary to consider other factors, due to the influence of which there is pain in the knee.

Diseases of other organs, as the cause of pain in the knee

Some pathologies that are not related to the knee joint can cause pain in it:

  1. Fibromyalgia.Discomfort is localized in the muscles and soft tissues, but can be given to joints located nearby. The inflammatory process does not develop. In addition to aching pain in the knee joint, a person feels stiffness in movements, fatigue, he may experience convulsions.
  2. Dysplasia or coxarthrosis of the hip joint.The pain syndrome in this case extends to the entire leg.
  3. Neuropathy of the sciatic nerve.It is pinched by the vertebrae of the lumbosacral spine. Severe throbbing pain can radiate to the hip and knee.

What systemic pathologies can cause knee pain? In addition to the reasons that have already been described above, there are other factors that contribute to the development of pain syndrome:

  • gout.The presented disease occurs due to a violation of the metabolism of uric acid in the body. It is poorly removed from it, turns into salt deposits that accumulate in the joints. In this case, the knee can also hurt. And the pain is very sharp, sharp. More often, pathology occurs in men who abuse alcohol, eat improperly. In the affected area, the skin becomes red, and at night the knee joint hurts more. The duration of the attack ranges from a couple of days to several weeks;
  • osteoporosis.Pathology is associated with low bone density due to its improper formation. The pain in the knee joint is dull and aching, it is not so easy to remove it. Bones in this pathology are highly susceptible to fractures;
  • rheumatoid arthritis.This is a systemic pathology, which is characterized by inflammation of the connective tissue. It begins its active development with a decrease in the protective functions of the body. Manifested by a feeling of stiffness, which a person can feel after a long stay in a state of rest;
  • osteomyelitis.The presented bacterial pathology causes quite severe pains of a boring nature. In the area of the affected joint, the skin turns red, and the discomfort increases with any movement. The danger of this disease is that its consequence is the beginning of the death of the bone marrow;
  • infectious diseases.They are characterized by pain in the knee joint, which disappear after a course of antibiotic treatment;
  • Paget's disease.In this case, the bone tissue is formed incorrectly, so the spine begins to deform. With this pathology, it is the tubular bones that are affected, which subsequently become very fragile. Recognizing this disease is quite difficult, since symptoms may not appear. The only thing that can indicate the presence of pathology is that the sore knee hurts at night, and heat is felt at the site of the lesion.
Athlete's knee pain

If knee pain was caused by a systemic disease or skeletal pathology, then it is not always possible to completely get rid of it. However, treatment must be done without fail so that the disease does not develop further or at least slows down its course.

Trauma as a cause of pain syndrome

Pathological processes in this case can develop both immediately after the injury, and some time after it. We can distinguish such injuries of the knee joint:

  1. Torn, torn, or torn ligaments in the knee.These injuries lead to the appearance of the articulation "advance" syndrome. In addition, a person feels severe pain, hemarthrosis of the joint develops, which becomes unstable.
  2. Injury.Here the intensity of the pain syndrome is low. There are no serious consequences after the injury. Swelling, as well as hematoma, usually disappear on their own in one to two weeks.
  3. Meniscus tear.It results in a strong blow to the anterior region of the knee joint. After the acute period of pathology has passed, the pain syndrome usually worries the patient while climbing stairs, which is quite difficult to implement. There is slight swelling in the area of the knee joint.
  4. Fracture.It appears when falling from a great height or a strong shock effect. The pain is strong, sharp, swelling appears in the affected area, and the skin turns pale. The victim cannot stand on his injured leg. During the fracture, a crunch and crackle is heard, and the bone can break through the skin.
  5. Tendon rupture.This injury is not common, but it leads first to acute, and then to aching pain. When walking, the pain in the left or right knee increases.
  6. Dislocation of the knee joint.In this case, some of the constituent parts of the joint may come out of it.

Trauma can cause chronic illness.

Most pathologies of the knee joint have similar symptoms, so it can be quite difficult to recognize them. That is why self-medication is not worth it, as you can aggravate the situation even more.

Who is at risk

Knee pain, crunching, and swelling in the affected area are more common in some people than others. The risk group includes those people who:

  1. The presence of primary pathologies.
  2. genetic predisposition.
  3. Constant sports overload of the knee.
  4. Excessive body weight.
  5. Injury.
  6. I had surgery on my knee joint.
  7. Insufficiently good development of the muscular apparatus of the knee joint.

In addition, women are more susceptible to knee diseases, as well as people of advanced and older age.

In what cases it is necessary to consult a doctor

Doctor examining a patient's knee

If a person feels that his knees hurt, then he urgently needs to contact a specialist in this case:

  1. The patient has been experiencing aching pain for more than two months, which does not allow him to sleep peacefully at night.
  2. If the pain syndrome is characterized by high intensity, it appears suddenly.
  3. A crunch is heard in the knee joint when walking.
  4. Knees hurt daily, and at a certain time, under certain conditions.
  5. In the knee joint, instability is felt from time to time.
  6. If additional pathological signs are present: skin rash, fever, fever.
  7. Aching pain appeared, which is accompanied by deformation of the joints, limitation of their mobility.
  8. Pain syndrome becomes a constant companion of a person.
  9. Signs of an inflammatory process appeared: redness of the skin, swelling, increased local temperature in the affected area.

Already these signs are enough to make a decision to see a doctor. By delaying the visit, the patient increases the duration and complexity of therapy, and also allows the pathology to develop further.

Varieties of pain

Why the knees hurt, most of the reasons for the development of the pathological condition are already clear. But the nature of pain can be different. For example, depending on the disease that caused it, the pain is of the following nature:

  • sharp, sharp.It causes rupture of the meniscus or ligaments, reactive arthritis, acute phase of bursitis;
  • dull, pulling.Bursitis or synovitis can provoke it;
  • aching.This type of pain is characteristic of arthrosis, gonarthrosis;
  • pulsating.A person feels it with an injury to the menisci or as a result of a lesion with deforming arthrosis;
  • Throbbing knee pain caused by a meniscal injury
  • burning.It is characteristic of pinching the sciatic nerve, as well as tuberculosis of the bones;
  • stabbing.It is caused by a cyst in the synovial bursa. And stabbing pain is characteristic of osteoporosis, an old injury to the menisci;
  • drilling.It is caused by osteomyelitis;
  • periodic.It appears when the patient develops inflammation of the tendons or muscles;
  • shooting through.It causes pinching of nerve endings.

Diagnosis of pathology and first aid

Many people complain that their knees hurt and they don't know what to do. But when you feel pain and crunch in the knee joint, you must definitely undergo an examination and start treatment.

Diagnosis of pain in the knee joint using MRI

Diagnostics involves the use of such procedures:

  1. Laboratory tests of blood and urine.
  2. Blood chemistry.
  3. Puncture of bone marrow and synovial fluid.
  4. Smears for the presence of bacterial microflora.
  5. Arthroscopy. This procedure is used both as a diagnosis and as a treatment for joint pain. It is easy to do, and a long period of rehabilitation is not required.
  6. Radiography.
  7. MRI or CT.
  8. ultrasound.
  9. Densitometry.

Knee Pain: First Aid

If a person feels aching or pulling pain in the leg in the knee area, first of all, he must ensure the rest of the limb. Treatment at home involves taking painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs.

Applying a cold compress for a knee injury

Pain can be relieved with a cold compress. Cold is used as a method of pain relief when the cause of pain is trauma. The limb is immobilized and placed on a hill. When there are wounds in the articulation area, they should be treated with an antiseptic. These measures are not a complete treatment. They should be taken only before a visit to the doctor.

Knee Pain: Medical Treatment

So, what to do if a crunch is heard in the joint and severe discomfort is felt? First you need to find out why these symptoms appear. One of the stages of therapy is drug treatment. So, with pain in the knee joint, you can quickly relieve severe symptoms with the help of such drugs:

  • antibiotics (when discomfort is caused by a viral infection);
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Some pathologies need to be treated with surgery. If there is fluid in the cavity of the knee joint, it must be removed. The cyst can also be treated through surgery or a glucocorticosteroid blockade.

Taking medication to relieve knee pain

If the joints hurt due to injury, then in some cases it is necessary to reposition the bones. A tight bandage, orthosis and even plaster are applied to the affected joint. It is necessary to treat a limb not only with the help of pills. Often, the patient is assigned to wear or use special orthopedic devices so that the load can be removed from the knee.

It is necessary to treat systemic pathologies in a complex manner. Pain in the knees in these cases has to be treated with immunosuppressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticosteroids. To eliminate the symptoms of gonarthrosis, injections of drugs into the joint, chondroprotectors are used.

Therapeutic gymnastics and massage

If the knee joint hurts when standing up, a crunch is heard, and discomfort bothers even at night, physical exercises, as well as massage sessions, will help get rid of stiffness and relieve pain.

Therapeutic massage session for an injured knee

At the same time, gymnastics should be done if the person is not very painful and with the permission of the doctor. All exercises are performed slowly. You can't make sudden movements. If the knees are very sore, then you need to switch to the most simple exercises. Weekly load can be increased.

In a lying or sitting position, you can do flexion and extension of the limbs, alternate half-turns, pulling the knees to the stomach, moving the legs to the sides. After completing a set of exercises, you need to relax, and then proceed to the massage. This procedure is also very effective for pain relief.

Sore knees can be kneaded, rubbed on their own, but it would be better if a specialist does this. In order to get rid of most of the symptoms, you need to perform a course of massage procedures, one session of which lasts no more than 20 minutes. Rubbing of the inner and outer, as well as side surfaces, pressure on the patella is performed. During the procedure, you need to ensure that the person does not hurt.

How to treat knee joints at home?

A crunch in the knees, as well as pain that appears at night, is an unpleasant phenomenon. Why these symptoms appear is already known. However, it is possible to relieve pain and restore the normal functionality of the joint not only with medicines. You can do this at home with the help of folk remedies.

Quickly get rid of the pathology will not work. In this way, you need to treat the knee for at least two months. In addition, you need to find really effective products that have good reviews.

Home treatment of the knee with a compress

The following recipes may be helpful:

  1. In half a liter of boiling water, pour 2 large spoons of cinquefoil grass, after which you need to let it brew. Drink the drug should be twice a day for 100 ml. You can apply a decoction of cinquefoil on a sore knee as a compress for the night.
  2. A decoction of oats will help get rid of pain. To prepare it, you need to take a liter of water and a glass of grain. The mixture is boiled, after which it is left overnight to infuse. During the day you need to use 2 glasses of liquid, dividing it into several parts. It takes 2 weeks to treat joints in this way.
  3. To relieve discomfort and improve blood circulation in the affected area, you can apply a compress of grated potatoes and horseradish, taken in equal proportions. It will help to quickly get rid of pain. Apply a compress to the affected knee and cover with a clean cloth. Wash it off after 15 minutes. To relieve unpleasant symptoms, only 10 procedures are enough.
  4. A mustard compress, which is applied to the sore leg at night, also received good reviews. To prepare it, a tablespoon of mustard is taken, mixed with the same amount of honey and soda. By morning, the compress will help relieve severe discomfort.
  5. If the knee joints hurt, tincture of bitter pepper can be used for rubbing. Half a liter jar should be filled with chopped pepper, and then pour alcohol to the very top of the container. You need to insist the remedy for a week.

You can do self-massage of the knee at home.

If you already know why the discomfort appeared, then you can choose the appropriate folk therapies that will help remove them. But before that, you should consult a doctor.

Prevention of pathology

In order for the knee joints to remain healthy and function well for a long time, you must follow the simple recommendations of doctors:

  1. Reduce joint stress.
  2. It is rational to combine rest and work.
  3. Timely treat any infectious diseases in the body.
  4. Avoid hypothermia of the extremities.
  5. After 35 years, it is advisable to start taking chondroprotectors.
  6. During sports, it is necessary to protect the joints with knee pads - special orthopedic devices for fixing the joint.
  7. It is important to normalize your weight.
  8. Nutrition plays an important role in skeletal health. It is better to reduce the consumption of animal saturated fats, white bread, sweets. More fiber, vegetable oils, vegetables and fruits should be introduced into the diet. Proper nutrition will not only help relieve discomfort, but also improve the functionality of the joints.