Aching Knees: Causes and Cures

HealthHearty Staff Oct 6, 2018
Aching knees is a common problem with many; more with the elderly. It could be caused by an underlying medical condition like arthritis, or from external factors such as injury. Let us know more about it...
Minor cases of aching knees get resolved by simple self-care measures. However, cases which are too severe, may require surgical treatment. Knee pain is a symptom in itself which serves as a manifestation of something amiss in the body. The pain and its intensity may differ depending on the part of the knee which has been affected.

Knee Pain - What Does it Mean?

☞ Direct blow to the knee due to sports or accident, repeated use of the knees and sudden or violent turning, stopping, awkward landings, pivoting are some of the common factors which might result in aching knees.
☞ Aging, osteoarthritis (chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints; the most common form of arthritis occurring usually after middle age), gout and infection and other medical conditions may also be responsible for causing the condition.
☞ For some people, aching knees after running, jumping on hard surfaces, running up and downstairs is common. This may occur when you haven't exercised for a long period of time and suddenly you start doing too much of activity and that too, in less time. This puts a lot of pressure on the knee muscles and bones and this could leave the knees paining.

Treatment

☞ Some people suffer from painful knees at night which is more intense than what they experience during the day time. Making use of knee support braces can be of great help for such patients. Such supports keep the knees from getting into awkward or unnatural positions, which in turn prevent the condition from getting aggravated.
Wearing knee supports help to keep the knees in proper alignment and minimize movements. These devices come in various shapes and sizes and are soft, flexible and light weight, so that they do not interfere with the sleeping.
☞ Aching knees during pregnancy is also a common scenario with expecting mothers. In some cases, the pain may be so bad that affected mothers are not even able to walk. The extra weight and hormonal changes contribute to this condition.
Low impact exercises like straight-leg raises and moderate walking, cushioned shoes, managing weight, knee braces and propping feet reduce pain.
☞ Protecting the knees by using a compression wrap, crutches or braces is also advised. Rest is something which is required for treating nearly all types of illnesses. Resting helps your body to heal itself and prevent further damage. For minor cases, a day or two is required for resting and for severe cases, a longer period of rest may be advised.
Using a bag of frozen peas over the aching knees help alleviate the pain and reduce inflammation. It is recommended that the ice therapy must be carried on for about 20 minutes. Leaving the ice on the skin for a very long time might damage the nerves and skin.
☞ Using lightweight, breathable and self-adhesive compression bandages also form a part of the treatment of knee pain. They prevent fluid buildup in the affected tissues and reduce the severity of the condition.
While using such bandages, ensure that they are not so tight that they hamper the circulation. While sleeping, keep your legs in a position which is higher than the level of your heart. This method reduces aching knees and legs by preventing swelling.
☞ Most people benefit from physical therapy. Here, the therapist helps the patient to perform exercises dedicated to strengthen the muscles around the knee. Muscles on the front of the thigh, and in the back of the thigh are the ones which are particularly worked upon to improve stability and balance.
☞ People with arthritis may go with injections of corticosteroids which help in suppressing the pain for a few months. Hyaluronic acid is also a new form of treatment that is supposed to ease pain and provide lubrication. It is a fluid that is given in the form of a series of shots which might be effective for six months or may be up to a year.
To conclude, when all other treatments do not respond, surgery is what is taken as the last option for severe cases of aching knees. The procedures may include arthroscopic surgery, partial knee replacement surgery or total knee replacement.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.