Knee pain is a common health condition that affects people of all ages. It can be caused by a number of factors. However, when young adults suffer from knee pain (other than an autoimmune disorder) it’s usually caused by the imbalances in the muscles around the knee (mainly the kneecap and the cartilage). It causes a grinding and scratching sensation in the area surrounding the knee. Here are a few facts about knee pain in young adults:
What Causes Knee Pain?
There could be several reasons for knee pain. These include:
1. Overusing the knee
In most of the cases vigorous physical activities that put continuous stress on knee cause knee pain. A sudden change in your physical activities can also cause knee pain. Changes such as adding more exercises to your schedule, walking or jogging for an extended period or jogging longer distances (or if you try participating in a marathon!) can cause knee pain
Also, there are other factors that may cause knee pain, which include –
- Using improper sports training equipment and techniques
- Changing your footwear.
- Patellar malalignment
This is another cause of knee pain. Patellar Malalignment occurs when the kneecap ( patella) and cartilage in the joint is affected by the imbalances in the muscles around the knee.
The most common symptom of this painful condition is a dull, aching pain in your knee (in the front part). The dull ache usually starts gradually and is mostly activity-related.
Other common symptoms include:
- Dull ache in the knee during exercise and while performing activities that require you to bend your knees repeatedly (this includes activities such as running, climbing stairs, squatting or jumping).
- Pain in your knees after sitting for a long time with your knees bent (like when you travel in an aeroplane).
- Feeling of pain when there is a change in activity level or its intensity or when you change the exercise equipment.
- Popping sounds in your knees when you stand up after sitting (with your knees bend) for long hours or during climbing stairs.
Diagnosing Knee Pain
- Doctors usually examine your medical history and conduct a physical exam for determining the reason behind the knee pain. In some cases, the doctors may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). With these tests, the doctors will get a better view of the tissues surrounding the knees.
Preventing Knee Pain
You may take simple measures for relieving knee pain or resort to physical therapy. However, whatever you do, consult with your doctor and act accordingly.
Knee pain may resurface if you do not adjust your training routine (if you hit the gym or exercise regularly) or activity level.
There are several measures that you can take for preventing recurrence of knee pain. They include:
- Wear shoes that are appropriate for your feet or as per your activities (such as use right size running shoes for jogging).
- Warm up thoroughly before starting any physical activity.
- Stretch a lot. This helps in making the muscles flexible for any physical activity. Also, try to incorporate stretching exercises for boosting the flexibility of quadriceps and hamstrings. Warm up and stretch before and after any physical activity.
- Avoid increasing your physical activities all of a sudden. Try increasing it gradually. Let the muscles adjust to the new routine.
- Reduce the frequency of any activity that has and that can hurt your knees.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. This helps in reducing the stress on your knees.
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