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4 Potential Culprits Behind Your Knee Pain

If your ability to move through life has been greatly affected by nagging knee pain that’s making every step an exercise in discomfort,  you just want to be able to move again without wincing every time there’s any pressure on those key joints.

While the team here at Neuropathy & Pain Centers of Texas can’t definitively diagnose your knee pain through this blog, this is a good place to start to find out what’s causing it. In this blog, we explore a few of the more common and painful knee complaints that come through our doors.

1. Knee osteoarthritis

One of the most common sources of nagging knee pain is knee osteoarthritis (OA). When you have OA, the slippery substance that covers the end of the bones inside your joint — cartilage — breaks down, which allows your bones to rub together painfully. OA is also known as a wear-and-tear disease that affects more than 32.5 million Americans, and that number is growing as our population ages. 

Given how much you use your knees, it’s little wonder that these large joints are often the first to succumb to OA. When this occurs, you’re left with knee pain and inflammation, which can start out small — after activity only — but soon become a constant companion.

2. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury

An ACL injury accounts for nearly half of all knee injuries, which means it’s a well traveled road toward knee pain. 

Your ACL is located toward the front of your knee. It crosses the joint diagonally, providing rotational stability and keeping the bones in the joint in position. If you tear this connective tissue, usually due to an acute injury, you can be left with knee pain, as well as swelling in your knee, the sensation that your knee is giving out, and loss of range of motion.

3. Meniscus tear

Each of your knees features two wedge-shaped pieces of cartilage called menisci. These soft tissues act as shock absorbers inside your knees and transfer loads between the bones inside the joint.

With a meniscus tear, which can occur in an acute injury or over the course of time, you can develop knee pain, stiffness in your knee, a catching sensation in your knee, and instability within the joint.

4. Knee dislocation

Under normal circumstances, your kneecap slides back and forth across the front of your knee, using grooves to guide the bone and keep it in position. If your kneecap pops out of those grooves, you’re left with a patellar dislocation, which can be quite painful. 

When you dislocate your knee, the pain is such that you often can’t bear weight on the joint. You’ll likely encounter bruising, swelling, and tenderness in the area. (For a more detailed look at knee dislocations, check out this blog.)

Relieving your knee pain

After you come in and we identify the source of your knee pain, our goal is to get you back to pain-free mobility as quickly as possible. In most cases, we use a combination of therapies, including:

To figure out which combination of treatments will be best suited for your knee pain, please contact one of our locations in Waco, Arlington, Wichita Falls, and Fort Worth, Texas, today to schedule a consultation. Call us or send a message online.

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