Inside Knee Pain: The Common Causes and Home Remedies
Inside knee pain will paralyze you. It sets your mind racing and stops you from moving fluidly. Without your knee, after all, you simply can't walk.
What exactly causes knee pain, and how can you relieve it if a doctor's visit doesn't help? Knee pain stems from traumatic injuries, overuse, and unavoidable medical conditions. You can alleviate the pain by taking supplements, seeking therapy, treating the condition directly, and changing your lifestyle.
Inside Knee Pain Causes
Regardless of what causes your knee pain, you know one thing for certain. Your knee hurts. Whether you're dealing with a general constant ache or a sharp pain taking your breath away, you know one thing for certain about your knee. It hurts.
Understanding the cause of the pain will help you know how best to treat it. Here are a few of the most common causes of inside knee pain.
Traumatic and Overuse Injuries
Your knee will hurt when it sustains a sudden trauma such as when you stumble and fall or when your knee slams into the dashboard of your vehicle during a car accident.
The medial collateral ligament, commonly known as the MCL, is the ligament that stabilizes your knee joint by running along the outside of your knee. When trauma causes your knee to twist, the ligament will overstretch. You will feel pain from the MCL sprain.
If the ligament tears, you will have even more pain as well as compromised mobility. Your knee will give out because it no longer has the stabilizing ligament to hold it in place.
Suspect an MCL tear if you have the following symptoms after a traumatic injury:
- unstable knee when walking or standing
- swollen knee
- a popping sound when you sustained impact
- locked knees
The MCL can tear fully or just partially. Only an MRI scan can reveal an MCL tear definitively. The previous symptoms should tell you that your injury is serious and you need to see a doctor.
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage between your lower and upper leg bone that cushions the impact on the joint. It protects your bones and allows you to jump and step freely without pain. Each knee has two menisci.
If you rotate your knee or put it under strain, the meniscus can tear. This happens most often during athletic activities.
Four different types of meniscus tears exist:
- Bucket handle
When you injure your meniscus, you will feel a sense of imbalance, a sharp pain when you twist your knees or general stiffness. You may even feel your knee locking because it no longer has a functioning cushion between the bones.
A knee contusion is a bruised knee bone. This happens when your knee sustains a direct blow such as having something hit it or when you fall hard. You will feel deep inside knee pain when you suffer from a knee contusion.
You may also see a visible bruise where you sustained the blow. Your knee will swell, and you will have trouble bending the knee because of the stiffness and the swelling.
Arthritis is a disease where the cartilage between bones breaks down. As a result, you no longer have the cushion you need between your bones and in your joints, and your bones grind together.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It usually affects joints in the hips, hands, knees, and spine.
You should suspect osteoarthritis when you experience inside knee pain as you put pressure on the joint. So when you stand up or walk downstairs and feel pain, OA could be causing your pain. Your symptoms will worsen as your day continues.
Rheumatoid arthritis, commonly known as RA, is different. It is an autoimmune disease, and thus it affects individuals of all ages. If you wake up with inner knee pain that slowly subsides throughout the day, you may have RA. Unlike OA,
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can also cause inner knee pain.
RA causes inflammation in your joints, so people with RA may experience severe inner knee pain in the morning, with symptoms decreasing throughout the day.
Your joints have small, fluid-filled sacs in them called bursa sacks. A bursa reduces the friction that occurs every time you bend your joint.
The bursa in your knee sits between tendons and the MCL. When you overuse your knee, you can irritate your bursa. It will fill with fluid and cause your knee to swell and ache.
Medical experts refer to this inflammation as bursitis. Bursitis occurs because of several reasons including the following conditions:
- A torn meniscus
- Twisting your knee
Even tight hamstring muscles can cause bursitis. Thankfully, doctors can relieve this condition by draining the bursa and prescribing anti-inflammatory medications.
Medial Plica Irritation
Medial plica irritation is an overuse injury. When you repeatedly flex your knee, you can irritate the medial plicae or the small folds in the joint lining of your inner knee. Your knee can also lock and crack because of this condition.
Solutions for Knee Pain
Your best solutions for knee pain can be as close as the freezer in your kitchen and as far away as the operating table at a hospital. Once you know the reason for your pain, you can seek the best solution.
Start With RICE
RICE is the age-old acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. When you combine these four elements, you will see relief from just about any knee injury.
Begin with rest. Stop all activity that is causing pain. Take time to not run, play basketball, or do whatever irritates your knee.
Then, apply ice to the injury. Ice is one of the simplest ways to find anti-inflammatory relief. It will reduce swelling and discomfort.
Once you've stopped your activity and iced your knee, apply compression for knee pain. You should use a compression sleeve when you're icing the knee and keep the sleeve on as you go about your daily activities.
Finally, raise your knee as you rest. Basic elevation for knee pain will help reduce swelling as fluid follows gravity. Whenever you sit down and rest, raise your knee above your waist to give it proper elevation.
Do not neglect movement as you continue to rehab your knee. Look for simple but effective exercises that will help improve your flexibility and balance.
Tai Chi, for example, is an effective treatment for arthritis knee pain. It helps individuals with arthritis as it reduces pain, increases your range of motion, and helps reduce stress.
If your inside knee pain stems from osteoarthritis, you must exercise. The limited movement will stiffen the joint and slow down your recovery. You may even increase the rate of damage to your joint.
Find a friend who will exercise regularly with you. The accountability will lessen the likelihood of you skipping your daily exercise. Look for the exercises you enjoy.
Cycling, swimming, water exercise, walking, and tai chi or yoga are excellent examples of low-impact exercises to try if you have knee pain caused by arthritis.
If you have suffered from an injury caused by trauma or have severe knee pain, take a break and rest your joint. Apply the RICE principle for a start. If you do not see improvement, contact your physician.
Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy. The exercises you learn in therapy can work at home as well, so pay close attention and apply the same principles when you have knee pain in the future.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Heat can help your knee as much as ice if you apply it properly. You want to alternate hot and cold methods to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. The heat will reduce the pain, and the cold will reduce inflammation.
Begin by placing heat on the joint for up to 20 minutes. Then place cold pads for 20 minutes. Do this routine at least four but no more than eight times a day.
When you're using cold therapy, use a gel pack or cold pack. Do not put ice directly on your skin. Also, ensure that your heat pad isn't too hot.
Avoiding Knee Pain
Once you're on the road to recovery, you should take some time to examine what led to your knee pain in the first place. Can you avoid the same scenario in the future? Here are a few things you can do to avoid some of the avoidable causes of knee pain.
Drop Some Pounds
Recent studies consistently link knee pain with obesity and extra weight. Ten pounds of weight add between 15 and 15 pounds of pressure on your knee. So imagine how much better your joints will feel when you aren't carrying around this extra weight.
Furthermore, individuals with a high body mass index are more likely to develop osteoarthritis over time. You're just putting stress on joints when they do not have the long-term capacity to carry extra weight.
Talk to a nutritionist and make a plan. Begin by losing weight with a modified diet. If you're overweight, do not put extra strain on your joints by jumping in with a high-impact exercise, but instead drop your weight first.
Scientific, published studies have revealed that weight loss not only prevents osteoarthritis but it will relieve symptoms and increase the quality of life if you already have arthritis. Thus, regardless of if you have arthritis or not, weight loss will help alleviate your pain.
Supplement Your Diet
Begin pounding some fish oil pills. These pills high in omega-3 antioxidants will adequately lubricate your creaky joints. Experts note that fish oil pills reduced the pain of patients with osteoarthritis.
Furthermore, if you adopt a healthier lifestyle, you will also reduce your cholesterol levels. These high cholesterol levels often accompany osteoarthritis.
Beef up your diet with some greens such as kale, parsley, and spinach. These leafy greens, high in vitamin K, will deliver a myriad of benefits to patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
The best natural treatment for knee pain consists of simply taking care of yourself. Drop drinking and smoking excessively as doing so will affect your body's energy metabolism. It will increase the inflammatory markers in your liver, and this then promotes disease in your body.
Taking care of your body by switching over from milkshakes to smoothies can help you avoid knee procedures and knee pain in the future.
Watch Your Step
As you age, your balance changes. Your body ages in several ways at the same time. As it does so, these changes compromise your balance.
- Sight changes and skews depth perception
- Blood pressure dips as you move to stand up
- Reflexes and coordination slow down naturally
- Muscle mass and strength begin to diminish
- Reaction time slows down
- Medicine causes dizziness
You cannot stop the effects of aging, but you can slow them down to a degree by taking care of yourself. Swap the cookie for kale. Your body will thank you.
Knee Pain, Causes, and Solutions
Even if you have a genetic condition that causes inside knee pain, you do not have to live with it. Many people have found relief through natural means with basic braces, healthy food, and movement
In short, your inside knee pain can come from something as unavoidable as rheumatoid arthritis and as unpredictable as an accident. When you understand why your knee hurts, you can decide how you want to treat it, from the home RICE remedy to a visit to the doctor or orthopedist.
Do you have knee pain? Check out our vast supply of knee braces, knee pads, and therapy products just for knees. We are your knee experts and can help you find relief from your pain.
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