Sudden pain in the knee usually results from overuse of the joint or an abrupt injury. Whether you are a professional athlete or participate in sports purely for love, a knee injury can be devastating for your health.
The knee is one of our most crucial joints and is easy to injure; all the weight of our body is placed on it when we walk, as well as any added pressure when running or jumping. Unsurprisingly then, knee injuries are extremely common in sports enthusiasts.
Minor knee injuries such as sprains and strains are common in athletes and can usually be resolved with rest and short-term use of mild analgesics such as ibuprofen. Of course, warming up and stretching out before and after exercise is crucial as a way to try to stave off a knee injury.
But if your knee pain is more severe, continuous, or accompanied by unresolved swelling and other signs of abnormality, it is absolutely crucial that you see a doctor determine the cause of the problem.
Types of Sports Injury Knee Pain
- Anterior Knee Pain – This is Knee Pain experienced around the kneecap, in the front of the knee. Many aspects of anterior knee pain are still not fully understood but it is often exacerbated by climbing stairs or sitting for long periods of time.
- Meniscus Cartilage Tear – The menisci are cartilage tissue. They function to absorb shock in the knee joint. This tissue can be torn, usually through a forceful twisting of the knee. Symptoms of a Meniscus Cartilage Tear include swelling, pain and knee locking. Sometimes this injury will heal by itself, and sometimes not.
- Tendonitis – Injury or overuse of the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone can create patellar tendonitis (tendon inflammation). The knee area may be red, swollen and warm. This problem is also sometimes known as “jumper’s knee”, because it can result from jumping activities like volleyball or basketball.
- Bursitis – Repetitive knee movement or kneeling for extended periods can lead to a build-up of fluid around the knee joint called bursitis; also sometimes known as “housemaid’s knee”. This condition can affect people whose occupations tend to involve a lot of kneeling, or sports players (for example footballers).
- Torn ligament or tendon – If you are suffering Knee Pain, it could be due to torn ligaments or tendons. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that join the bones at the knee joint, and tendons connect muscles and bone. It is common to tear these tissues when participating in sports that involve a lot of running; for example football or rugby. A torn tendon or ligament at the side of the knee could be painful even when you are resting; this pain could worsen when you put weight on your knee or bend it. You may also notice swelling and increased heat around the knee.
- Bleeding into the Joint – Sometimes a severe injury to the knee joint may cause bleeding from the ligament blood vessels into the joint space. This is referred to as haemarthrosis. Symptoms include heat, swelling, bruising, and stiffness. If your knee is very swollen you should go to the hospital immediately for treatment.
- Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease – Tenderness and swelling above the bony bump just below the kneecap is referred to as Osgood-Schlatter’s disease. Among other causes, this can happen through spraining and overuse of thigh muscles during sports.
Treatment for Sports Injury Knee Pain
Knee Pain can be one of the biggest problems a sportsperson can face. If you are suffering with it, you may be worrying about the best course of action to take.
Treatments for Sports Injury Knee Pain vary from simple rest and short-term use of mild painkillers like ibuprofen, to surgery in severe cases. Other interventions have included the use of corticosteroid injections, which can help to control inflammation and reduce pain.
The problem with the repeated use of painkillers and corticosteroids is that they are associated with unwelcome side effects, from serious gastrointestinal problems, to cartilage damage. Surgery also comes with risks and substantial recovery time.
But the good news is, things are changing. Groundbreaking treatment for Knee Pain has arrived in the form of Viscosupplementation. This treatment consists of injections of a substance which mirrors healthy joint fluid, and has in many cases been shown to help repair cartilage.
The treatment also has the advantage of having a low incidence of side effects, (which are generally in any case mild, such as temporary swelling around the injection site).
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.