Knee Pain

Knee pain

Pain in the knee joint that occurs when walking or climbing stairs can signal:

All anatomical components (muscles, ligaments, bones, cartilage, vessels) are involved in the movement of the knee (flexion-extension, rotation), so it can become painful for many reasons. We conditionally divide them into 2 large groups:

  1. Post-traumatic - sprains and tendons, torn menisci, subluxations, bone cracks resulting from injuries.
  2. Pathological chronic diseases of the knee joint - arthrosis, arthritis, tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons), ligamentitis (inflammation of the ligaments), bursitis (inflammation of the joint bag).

In 90% of cases, knee pain is a dangerous symptom. It indicates changes that sooner or later can cause:

Knee pain can be eliminated if the cause of its appearance is eliminated. However, this is not always possible. Part of the pathologies against which the symptom occurs are incurable and will progress throughout the patient's life - arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis.

If there is pain of any localization (above the patella, in the region of the patella, behind):

Usefull Information About Knee Pain

Any movement is a load on the knee joint. At this point, all the anatomical elements actively interact with each other, and the pressure on the tissue increases. The longer and more actively we move, the more the knee works.

Under the influence of an ongoing load (if after minor injuries a person quickly begins to load the leg in the usual mode), barely healed tissues are injured again, and the process goes in a circle, becoming chronic.

During this period, a large number of enzymes, decay products of dead cells, as well as other special hormone-like substances (prostaglandins) are secreted into the surrounding tissues - all of them irritate and destroy nerve cells.

In response to irritation of the nerve endings, a pain syndrome occurs that:

  • alone reminds oneself of aching, pulling, almost imperceptible pain;
  • with knee loads (long distance walking, running, flexion-extension), the pain intensifies sharply.

What injuries can cause pain in the knee when walking, climbing and descending stairs:

  • Injury of soft tissues.
  • A meniscus rupture is a violation of the integrity of the cartilaginous plate, which prevents the articular surfaces of the femur from extending beyond the joint.
  • Sprains, tendons - rupture of collagen fibers that make up the ligaments, tendons surrounding the joint.
  • Subluxation - a slight displacement of the articular surfaces relative to each other.
  • Bone cracks - violation of the integrity of the bone tissue of the femur or tibia.

For a healthy organ, everyday stress is strong, but if the tissues of the joint are injured or weakened by the disease, a group of “signal” symptoms appears. One of the main ones is pain in the knee when walking, climbing stairs, when moving over rough terrain (up and down).

A bruise, an awkward turn, a rotation of the leg leads to damage to part of the cells that make up the meniscus, ligament, and tendon. Local acute aseptic inflammation (i.e. non-infectious) occurs at the site of the injury.

The causes of fairly acute knee pain can be:

  • damage to the patellar ligament, which it attaches to the tibia;
  • damage to the tendon of the quadriceps femoris muscle (above the patella).

Any pathological process weakens the tissue, makes it less resistant to any damage, accelerates the aging process and destruction.

Under the influence of various factors - infection penetration, activation of one's own immunity against connective tissue cells, malnutrition, stresses - an inflammatory process develops in the joint.

Healthy cells die, are replaced by scars, fibrosis. Their functions are violated, the elasticity, strength of the tissues of the joint decreases. Because of this, any, even everyday, load can cause damage and pain.

  • Arthrosis - premature aging of articular cartilage with subsequent deformation and destruction of articular surfaces. When climbing or descending stairs. After a long walk (the faster the knee starts to hurt, the stronger the pathological changes).
  • Chronic arthritis - sluggish inflammation of the tissues of the joint. When moving, at rest - passes. For rheumatoid arthritis, unpleasant symptoms are characteristic immediately in 2 knee joints.
  • Aseptic synovitis and bursitis - inflammation of the inner synovial membranes of the joint cavity (synovitis) or bags (bursitis) surrounding its periphery, with an increase in the amount of synovial fluid in them. When the legs are bent, when the fluid compresses the nerve endings, large vessels.
  • Ligamentitis - inflammation of the ligaments, Tendonitis - tendon inflammation, Tendovaginitis - inflammation of the tendon and its membrane. With knee movements. The reason: a gradual thickening of the inflamed tendons, ligaments and their membranes - because of this, they do not slip, but rub against the surrounding tissues.
  • Osteochondritis - exfoliation of cartilage in the joint cavity. While walking, climbing stairs. Reason: exfoliated pieces fall between the articular surfaces.
  • Chondromatosis - the appearance of cartilage nodules in the synovial membrane of the joint. When moving. Cause of pain: hit of an elasticized, enlarged synovial membrane in the gap between the articular membranes, pinching.
  • Vascular pain (circulatory disorders), often symmetrical (in 2 joints) - arise due to oxygen starvation of tissues (ischemia).

Also, pain in the knee joint can appear against the background of progressive osteoporosis (decrease in bone density) and cellulite.

What to do if knees start to hurt when walking? It is necessary to identify and eliminate the cause until the violations become irreversible. For example, after curing an allergy, you can forever forget about knee pain when walking due to allergic arthritis.

It is far from always possible to eliminate the cause of the disease. Arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout (one of the manifestations is gouty arthritis) and many other pathologies are not treatable.

In this case, the therapy is symptomatic. The patient is prescribed drugs to eliminate pronounced signs of pathology - pain, inflammation, swelling.

At home after a bruise, shock, fall:

  • ice is applied to the knee (for 20 minutes, 5-7 times during the first day);
  • immobilize the leg; a bandage or fixing splint is applied to the joint;
  • call the ambulance crew;
  • if the knee hurts badly, you can take a tablet of analgesic.

The accumulated liquid is removed from the cavity or joint bags, washed with an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory agent is injected into it, a tight bandage is applied.

If necessary, surgically restore the integrity of the tissues (meniscus, tendons), clean the intraarticular cavity from fragments of cartilage.

Immobilize the limb for the entire healing period (apply gypsum, longet, dressing).

The patient is prescribed painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs; drugs that improve blood circulation to tissues, the composition of synovial fluid; vitamins, minerals.

Inflammation in chronic diseases of the knee is treated by prescribing medications that can relieve severe manifestations:

  • Anti-inflammatory, analgesic (non-steroidal and hormonal agents).
  • Vasodilator medicines that improve the blood supply to the joint.
  • Chondroprotectors that stop the destruction of cartilage.
  • Drugs that affect the activity of the immune system (with rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Antiallergic drugs.
  • Vitamins, minerals.
  • A course of antibiotics (with purulent, infectious pathologies).
  • Means for the treatment of infectious diseases (for example, tuberculosis) that have caused purulent inflammation.

In the recovery period (after injuries and pathologies), it is recommended that:

  • physiotherapeutic procedures;
  • massage course;
  • exercises of medical gymnastics.
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