Keeping fit is something we all aspire for, which explains all the time we spend running around to keep the fat at bay. Too much of that running or whatever cardiovascular exercise you do, however, can also cause your body harm. This is especially true for your knees. This is one part of the body that most commonly suffers from some kind of pain, particularly as one gets older. To understand why that is, a small understanding of the parts and function of this joint is in order. For starters, the knee is one of if not the most important joint in the whole body. It’s a major weight bearing joint without which the basic act of walking around wouldn’t be possible. Even this fundamental act, however, isn’t so simple.
The knee is composed of a complex network of cartilage, ligaments and joint fluid. Along with the muscles that surround it, they all work together in making the knees bend, flex, and rotate. This joint is so well made that it allows us to lift weights as heavy as several times that of a regular human body. But this doesn’t mean regular wear and tear won’t affect it. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Due to the number of moving sections and the amount of stress we put our knees in, they are the most pain inflicted joints in the whole body. Also, due to the number of breakable parts involved, there are quite the number of ailments and injuries associated with them.
When we are young, and all the joints are well oiled with fluid from the bursae surrounding the knees, normal wear and tear won’t really do much. It takes some serious banging around with sports and exercise to do some real pain. Even young athletes suffer from sprained, strained, or even torn ligaments. Other athletic injuries include broken joints, tendinitis, and inflammation. Outside of injuring one’s self, certain afflictions also cause knee pain while running. When kids grow up, they can feel pain during rapid growth spurts. This is a condition called Osteochondritis dissecans. With old age, knee pain becomes even more common. There is less fluid in the joints to lessen friction, and at this point, the parts of the knee aren’t as strong as they used to be. The most common result is arthritis. Whether inflammatory or not, the different kinds of arthritis can leave a person in a debilitating state. The pain caused can be just as serious as a ligament tear and if will be felt regularly if it becomes chronic.
It’s a good thing, then, that there are many treatments and medications available to treat knee pain and its causes. Even at home, simple hot or cold pack therapy can be a huge relief. For serious pain, pain killers like ibuprofen can be prescribed. Cortisone shots can also be used to lessen swelling. Sometimes, just resting the knee for a few weeks or months will bring it back to normal. In remote cases, a knee joint replacement surgery may be required. It all depends on the severity of the affliction.