Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injuries, medical conditions, and age-related degeneration. Traumatic injuries can lead to a dislocation of the patella, a fracture, or tear in the ligaments or meniscus. Chronic knee pain is characterized by continuous discomfort, swelling, and tenderness. It can affect one or both knees and may require injections or surgery to treat.
Physical therapy exercises can help strengthen the muscles that support the knee and reduce discomfort. Laboratory or imaging tests such as x-rays, blood tests, MRIs, or CT scans may be used to diagnose chronic knee pain. The source of chronic knee pain depends on the individual's circumstances. Even if the initial cause of the pain heals or disappears, the pain signals may remain active for a long time.
If chronic knee pain worsens due to overuse or is more painful after physical activity, lifestyle changes can help treat it. Older people are more likely to develop chronic knee pain due to joint degeneration. Seeking treatment for chronic knee pain is important as it can make the situation worse if left untreated. If you experience severe knee pain after a fall or accident, or if your knee is too sore or unstable to support your weight, see your doctor right away.
The long-term prognosis for chronic knee pain involves managing pain, preventing flare-ups, and reducing knee irritation. Knee arthroplasty may be an option that can offer relief.