Madison Bone and Joint Health: 7 Common Causes of Knee Pain

Knee pain may be caused by a variety of different conditions, and it may be acute or chronic. You may have trouble getting out of a chair, or using stairs, or knee pain may make even the simple act of walking across a room difficult or impossible. Knee pain can affect mobility and daily life in a variety of ways and at varying levels, but it universally tends to cause a lot of frustration. 

Some of the most common causes of knee pain include: 

  • Arthritis – A variety of types of arthritis may cause knee pain, including gout, juvenile arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, among others. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of arthritis associated with knee pain.
  • Osteoarthritis – This chronic condition occurs when cartilage that cushions the bones where they meet in the knee joint breaks down. The result is pain, stiffness and loss of movement, as the bones rub against each other. This is a very common cause of knee pain. 
  • Bursitis – The bursa, a sac of fluid located below the skin just over the knee joint, can become irritated from overuse, repetitive bending or kneeling, or due to injury. Pain may be sudden and severe with bursitis, or build up over time. 
  • Tendonitis – When overused, the tendons surrounding your knee can become inflamed and sore.  
  • Autoimmune disease – Lyme disease and Lupus are two examples of autoimmune diseases that may cause significant chronic knee pain. 
  • Baker’s Cyst – A fluid-filled cyst that develops and bulges behind the knee is called a Baker’s cyst. This condition is associated with pain that occurs while extending or flexing the knee. 
  • Injury – The knee is a joint that is prone to injury. Common symptoms of injuries like sprains and strains include soreness or swelling in addition to pain. 

Depending on the nature of your knee condition, you may have been offered one or more of the standard care options available in traditional medicine. Patients who suffer with knee pain are often advised to take medication for pain relief, and possibly anti-inflammatory medications. Knee pain medications may be taken orally, applied topically, or administered by injection. These may not be the best option for many patients as they may include side effects. 

Patients may be advised on how to care for the knee at home and may be encouraged to protect the joint and to exercise it. Surgery is another option some individuals suffering with chronic knee pain may be encouraged to consider. However, surgery can be complicated and risky.

If you’re dissatisfied with the results you’re getting with standard medical care for knee pain, or you’d like to benefit from alternative options, consider working with a practitioner who is trained infunctional medicine. A functional medicine doctor is a unique type of care that can help you enjoy long lasting relief and increased mobility, often in as little as two visits. 

A functional medicine doctorwill assess the exact nature of your knee condition. The knee does not function in isolation; it is connected via nerves and muscles to the ankle, hip and pelvis, as well as the lower back. If you’re suffering with a knee problem, you may have other conditions affecting your health that you’re unaware relate to knee pain. Comprehensive evaluation will identify the causes of your condition and the full extent to which it is affecting your body and your health. Safe, natural, drug-free and non-invasive therapies can then be utilized in a customized care plan that can bring swift, lasting pain relief and greater mobility.