The knee problem is a common orthopedic problem for all ages. It can happen at any age for different lifestyle conditions. It can happen in runners, can happen in the elderly, and can even happen for football players.
Sometimes, in winter it can increase for some people, and research till now cannot find out the exact reason. There might be some possible reasons for weather conditions, thickening of knee fluid, or deficiency of Vitamin D.
In this blog, we will discuss the most common knee problems, their causes, why knee problems get severe in wintertime and their remedies.
Common Causes of Knee Problems
Knee pain can have various causes, ranging from acute injuries to chronic conditions. Here are some of the most common causes of knee pain:
- Ligament Injuries: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) are frequently injured, often due to sports-related activities or sudden twisting motions.
- Meniscus Tears: The meniscus is a rubbery cartilage that cushions the knee joint. Tears in the meniscus can occur due to sudden twisting, squatting, or lifting of heavy objects. People sometimes mention that their knees hurt after work. It can happen when in work they lift heavy objects or do the continuous twisting.
- Tendon Injuries:Tendinitis or tendinopathy can cause knee pain. Patellar tendinitis (also known as jumper's knee) and quadriceps tendinitis are common among athletes.
- Osteoarthritis: This is a degenerative joint disease that causes the breakdown of cartilage in the knee joint. It commonly affects older individuals and can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling.
- Bursitis: Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that reduce friction between tissues in the knee. Inflammation of the bursae can lead to knee pain, often caused by repetitive kneeling or overuse.
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: This condition involves pain in the front of the knee, around the patella (kneecap). It can be caused by muscle imbalances, overuse, or improper tracking of the patella.
- IT Band Syndrome: The iliotibial (IT) band is a thick band of tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh. Overuse or tightness in the IT band can result in knee pain, especially during activities like running or cycling.
- Dislocation or Subluxation: A sudden injury or trauma can cause the kneecap to dislocate or partially dislocate, leading to pain, swelling, and instability.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease: This condition primarily affects adolescents and causes inflammation of the growth plate located below the kneecap. It often occurs due to repetitive stress on the knee, such as during sports activities.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune condition, rheumatoid arthritis can affect multiple joints, including the knee. It causes chronic inflammation, pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Knee pain is a prevalent issue that can affect people of all ages and lifestyles. There are several common knee problems that individuals may encounter. These problems can range from acute injuries to chronic conditions. Understanding these common knee pain problems can help individuals identify their symptoms and seek appropriate medical attention when needed.
Most Common Knee Problems
The most common knee problems include:
- ligament injuries
- meniscus tears
- tendon injuries
- patellofemoral pain syndrome
- IT band syndrome
- dislocation or subluxation
- Osgood-Schlatter disease, and
- rheumatoid arthritis.
These conditions can cause various degrees of pain, swelling, stiffness, and instability in the knee joint. It's important to note that proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional is necessary to determine the specific cause of knee pain.
Common Knee Problems For Runners:
Runners often face specific knee problems due to the repetitive nature of their sport. Some common knee problems for runners include:
- patellar tendinitis (jumper's knee)
- iliotibial (IT) band syndrome, and
- patellofemoral pain syndrome.
These conditions can be caused by factors such as:
- improper running form
- muscle imbalances, and
- inadequate footwear.
Runners should pay attention to their training techniques, incorporate proper warm-ups and cool-downs, and listen to their bodies to prevent and address knee pain.
Common Knee Problems In The Elderly:
As individuals age, they may be more susceptible to certain knee problems.
- Osteoarthritis is a common knee problem in the elderly, where the cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
- Aging can also increase the risk of ligament injuries, meniscus tears, and bursitis.
It's important for older adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle, engage in low-impact exercises, and seek appropriate medical care to manage and alleviate knee pain.
Why Knee Problems Are Common When Winter Comes?
Researchers did not find any specific reasons for increasing knee pain in the winter season. But, healthcare professionals and other researchers indicate to some reason that might be the reason behind this.
Lower surrounding air pressure. In winter the barometric pressure (outside air pressure) usually drops and this sometimes causes the expansion of the fluids and gases in your joints. These expanded fluids create pressure on your knee joints. Also, due to the low temperature, knee joint tissue shrinks and this creates pressure on the knee joint nerve.
Thickened joint fluid. When the temperature drops, the fluid that creates frictionless movement of your knee joints, gets thickened. As a result, you can feel stiffness and pressure in your knee joints.
- Change in lifestyle. Due to the lazy and drowsy wintery season, most of us reduce regular movement like exercise, outside walking, and other physical activities. This also affects knee pain in wintertime.
Knee Pain in Winter Home Remedy
As the cold weather build-up and lifestyle changes can provoke knee pain to increase in the winter season, there are some tips you can follow to keep your knee healthy.
- Keep yourself in continuous motion and movement. So that, the fluids and gases in the joint can move easily.
- Drink enough water. Keeping your body dry can increase the chances of stiffness and pain. Have at least eight glasses of water each day. When you do exercise, have more water as you will lose fluid from your body.
- Do exercises. Regular exercise can help you to make your knee muscles strong and free. Doing a good amount of squat can help to build strong quad muscles (front thigh muscles) which are the main support and protector muscle for knees.
- Keep your knees warm. Cold weather helps to increase the pain, so keeping your knees warm can reduce this chance. Use a good neoprene sleeve or knee wrap.
Knee pain can happen in any season and at any time. There is no specific connection between wintertime and knee pain. But, it is true that in winter knee pain can induce by some weather and lifestyle conditions. Keeping the knee warmer and maintaining the above tips can help you to be safe from knee pain in wintertime.
Frequently Asked Question
Yes, knee pain can be caused by hip pain. The hip and knee joints are closely interconnected, and issues in one joint can affect the other.
For knee problems, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional. Orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, sports medicine specialists, and physical therapists are some of the specialists who can help diagnose and treat knee problems based on their expertise.
Knee problems can become more common during the winter season due to various factors. If you experience knee pain during winter, it's advisable to stay active, maintain a healthy weight, wear appropriate footwear on slippery surfaces, and consult a healthcare professional for personalized care and management strategies.