Snap, crackle, pop. Is Roger having Rice Krispies for breakfast again? Nope, those are just your aching knees, making their hourly PSA as you get up from your desk.
Chronic knee pain afflicts nearly 100 million Americans at a national cost of around $600 billion in medical bills and productivity loss each year. It is physically limiting, financially burdensome, and potentially debilitating.
Here are five common causes of this chronic pain and what you can do to combat it.
This joint condition is among the most long-lasting and frequently-occuring of them all. It happens when the cartilage between two bones breaks down and causes them to rub painfully against each other.
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are symptom management options. Low impact exercise (such as swimming, bicycling, or yoga) for 15 to 20 minutes every day can improve joint flexibility, and therefore reduce pain.
Applying a cold compress to sore joints daily can also improve adverse symptoms.
When too much uric acid builds up in your feet, your joints swell and cause a painful condition called “gout.” Acute gout is a result of uric acid crystals that develop in one of your joints, while chronic gout is a result of hard nodules that develop in your joints when you leave your condition untreated for 10 years or longer.
Although your treatment plan will vary depending on the intensity of your condition, most doctors will recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen, and probenecid, a drug that reduces that eliminates uric acid.
Reducing your alcohol intake and adjusting your diet can also assuage symptoms.
Tendonitis is a condition in which the tissue that connects muscle to bone becomes inflamed. It can cause dull aches, mild swelling, and tenderness. Most cases of this condition are caused by repetitive motion as performed in sports such as tennis, baseball, and golf.
Most patients with this condition are prescribed generic pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, or given topical anti-inflammatory creams.
Alternatively, patients can try physical therapy programs that involve specific exercises to strengthen and stretch the affected unit.
When the piece of cartilage that cushions your thigh bone and shin bone, also known as the meniscus, gets damaged or torn, it can cause severe pain in that area of your leg.
The most common and effective treatments for this condition include resting, taking over-the-counter medication, and icing the affected area. If the pain continues, surgery might be the only viable option for recovery in the long-run.