5 Common Causes of Knee Pain

Your knee joints contain many complex parts that work together to support the weight of your body and give you a full range of motion. Your knees are made up of multiple bones, muscles, and ligaments. When something goes wrong in your knee joint, you might lose mobility or feel pain or discomfort.

At Performance Pain & Sports Medicine, with six facilities to support patients in three states, our care team of interventional pain management and regenerative medicine specialists can help diagnose and treat your knee pain, no matter the cause. Here are some of the most common reasons our new and existing patients complain of knee pain.

1. ACL tears

Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) allows your knee to bend and flex. Sudden changes in movement, twisting, and hyperextension can damage your ACL, or even cause it to tear. An injury to your ACL can cause an audible snapping sound, initial swelling, and intense, severe pain. You might also feel like your knee’s stability has been compromised.

2. MCL and LCL tears

The medial collateral ligaments (MCLs) and lateral collateral ligaments (LCLs) in your knees give these joints important stability. If you twist your knee too much, or move your knee joint too much from side to side, you could suffer injuries or tears in these ligaments. MCL tears cause pain felt in the inner areas of your knee, while LCL-related pain is felt in your outer knee.

3. Medial and lateral meniscus tears

Both the interior and exterior of your knee contain cartilage tissue. This tissue works to cushion your joint and allow smooth movement. You can tear the cartilage in your inner knee, called a medial meniscus tear. You can also damage the outer cartilage of your knee, called a lateral meniscus tear. Both of these conditions will cause pain in the damaged location.

Meniscal tears typically occur when your foot is fixed on the ground and twisting force is applied to your knee. Weight bearing and twisting motion will both increase your pain if you have a meniscal tear in a knee.

4. Iliotibial band syndrome

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITB) occurs when repetitive bending and weight bearing cause rubbing and inflammation in the outer parts of your knee. If you have ITB, you may feel sensations of pain on the outside of your knee, often a worsening ache. Your ITB pain might also sharpen when you’re physically active.

5. Knee arthritis

Many types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, can impact your knee joints with chronic pain, inflammation, and swelling. Knee arthritis is degenerative, as your cartilage and bone surfaces wear down over time. Advancing knee arthritis reduces your knee joint’s ability to absorb shocks, and you can suffer from increasingly limited motion and grinding pain over time.

The Performance Pain & Sports Medicine team uses multiple types of therapies to address knee pain. Depending on your symptoms and the underlying cause of your knee pain, we may recommend:

To learn more about the underlying causes of your knee pain, and to explore your treatment options, get in touch with the experts at Performance Pain & Sports Medicine. Call our office most convenient to you or request an appointment online today.

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