Why Do My Knees Hurt?

Did you know? Our knees love us, but we don’t always love them. Every year, we injure our knees badly enough to visit the emergency department at about the rate of 2.29 per 1,000 people. And as we age, years of wear and tear can lead to osteoarthritis in the knee.

While injuries cause most knee pain in teens and young adults, knee pain from degenerative conditions becomes more frequent as we age.

If your knees hurt, our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson can help you get to the bottom of what’s bothering you.

What Causes Knee Injuries?

If your knee pain came on all at once, you likely injured your knee. Sprains and strains are the most common knee injuries, followed by cuts, scrapes and bruises. When you sprain your knee, you can also tear cartilage or ligaments.

Overuse injuries appear more slowly, but can also cause a lot of pain. In tendonitis, the tendons stabilizing your knee swell due to repeated activities, especially jumping or high-impact sports.

Avoiding Knee Injuries

  • Warm up before you exercise.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes, plus knee pads for exercises where scrapes are a danger.
  • Ask a physical therapist about strengthening exercises to protect the knee.
  • Know your terrain—use nightlights in your house or carry a flashlight for night runs.

Do I Have Knee Arthritis?

If your knee pain arrived slowly and is gradually getting worse, there’s a possibility you have osteoarthritis in your knee. In osteo (“bone”) arthritis, cartilage in the joint wears away, leaving bone rubbing on bone.

Over-the-counter medications and injections can give short-term relief for knee arthritis. Losing weight will also help take a “load” off these joints. For long-term pain relief, many people select knee replacement surgery.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Grinding or popping
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Symptoms that are worse in the morning

In need of medical advice? Make an AFC TeleCare appointment with our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team to get the conversation started.