The widespread prevalence of calcium and vitamin D deficiencies and diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis have made it very important for us to focus on bone and joint health, particularly as we grow older. The joints that need a great deal of attention are our knees. Unfortunately, we tend to ignore any knee injury or pain till it disrupts our daily activities and mobility .
Knee pain or niggling is usually caused by prolonged stress on the joint, which in turn is the result of repetitive motions over the years. It could also be the result of an ignored or untreated injury. To successfully treat knee niggling, it is important to determine the cause of the pain.
Identifying the pain
Knee niggling could be a result of a traumatic incident such as a sports injury. This may result in damage to the ligament or the cartilage (meniscus), the knee joint or even the muscle. Knee niggling may develop over a period of time as a result of stress to the joint due to regular activities such as running. These chronic pains often start as a twinge and may become more uncomfortable as time goes by.
If the cartilage is affected, you may experience a twinge on and off and the pain may become chronic while a hamstring injury usually resolves itself with stretching. Tendonitis usually makes activity difficult after a period of rest but resolves itself when we get into regular motions. These are treated with anti-inflammatory medication and rest. Whatever is the cause, it is important to consult a best medical specialist when your knee niggling starts to disrupt your daily activities.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent or manage knee niggling –
Do not overdo your activities
Exercising regularly keeps us in great shape and helps us stay healthy. If you have not been regular with your exercise schedule, however, it is best to start slowly and allow your body to adapt to the added strain rather than take on too much all of a sudden. Always increase your activity levels gradually.
A corollary to the previous point is that we must understand our physical limitations. Never exercise or indulge in sports to an extent that it causes an irreversible injury. Make adjustments as per the weather, age, and physical condition. Never overdo your activity regimen.
Respect your history
If you have suffered from a previous knee injury, it is important not to stress the joint to a point where the old symptoms relapse. Talk to a trainer and look for activities (such as cross training or swimming) that will be easier on the knee.
The one cause of knee pain that is very often ignored is incorrect posture. Walking in the "knock-kneed position" or incorrect posture while playing a sport can seriously damage your knees. It is best to review your posture with an expert and take corrective action.
Weak muscles can lead to knee pain. Strengthening the gluteal muscles and quadriceps muscles goes a long way in preventing knee injury.
Knee pain could also be due to hip arthritis. Being a predominant pain symptom of hip arthritis, knee pain is often treated exclusively even though the actual problem lies in the hip. It is important to get a correct diagnosis to get proper relief from knee pain.