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Knee pain is one of the most common health issues that can affect anyone regardless of their age. Constant stress, injuries, and age-related degeneration are common reasons for knee pain.

 Knee discomfort can also be caused by a variety of injuries, including a ruptured ligament, damaged cartilage, and more. It often stems from various medical conditions such as arthritis, gout, and infections. Long-term pain, swelling, or sensitivity in one or both knees is referred to as chronic knee pain. There is a wide range of things that can exacerbate chronic knee pain. But the good news is that there are several treatments available. Here are the most common causes of knee pain everyone should know:

1. Dislocations and fractures

High-energy injuries, such as a fall, contact sports, or a car accident, are the most common cause of fractures and dislocations. Knee fractures commonly affect the kneecap and often result from an accident or develop over time due to a stress fracture.

 Plus, patients with weakened bones might sometimes get a knee fracture simply by stepping the wrong way. Your knee may become dislocated if one or more ligaments in your knee are injured. When the anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate ligaments are injured, most knee dislocations develop.

2. Anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL) 

A tear in one of the four ligaments that connect your shinbone to your thighbone is referred to as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Particular actions that are made during high-demand sports can injure the ACL. 

 ACL injuries often come from sudden pauses, pivoting, sidestepping, and landing a leap incorrectly. ACL injuries are more common in those who play basketball, soccer, or other sports that require quick changes of direction.

3. Damage to the collateral ligaments

The sideways mobility of your knee is controlled by two collateral ligaments, one on each side. When you get a blow to the outside or inside of your knee, it causes damage. Collateral ligament injuries are common as well.

4. Tears in the meniscus 

The meniscus is a thick, stretchy cartilage that acts as a stress absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. It can tear if you twist your knee rapidly while bearing weight on it. On top of your shinbone there is the meniscus which is made up of two C-shaped cartilage segments. This cartilage not only ensures smooth movement between bones but also helps stabilize and absorb trauma in your knee.

 The meniscus is most commonly torn during twisting and doing sharp movements, however, it is also often torn during the same movements that cause an ACL injury. Degenerative changes in the meniscus may weaken your knee as you get older. Ordinary activities can easily tear a weak meniscus.

5. Tendon ruptures

The patellar tendon goes up your thigh and connects the quadriceps muscle to your kneecap. A strong force, such as a fall or an awkward landing from a jump, can tear this tendon. Chronic inflammation and certain health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, tend to weaken the tendons, making them more prone to rupture from mild stresses.

6. Arthritis (OA) 

Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that happens when the protective cartilage wears down. It can lead to knee pain as well. Other types of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are other possible reasons for knee pain. 

7. Obesity  

Having extra pounds or being obese puts more strain on your knee joints, leading to knee pain. It also increases your chances of developing osteoarthritis by speeding up the degradation of joint cartilage.

8. Certain types of physical activity  

Certain types of sports put more strain on the knees than other activities. Activities that raise your risk of knee damage include alpine skiing, basketball, and running or jogging. Activity that puts a lot of strain on your knees, like construction or farming, can put you at risk of diseases that damages knee joints.

The Bottom Line 

Knee discomfort doesn’t necessarily stem from a serious condition. However, ignoring knee pain can lead to disability. Some knee problems won't go away on their own, meaning they require treatment. If left untreated, most knee injuries and medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis, can lead to increased pain, joint deterioration, and other serious problems. So, if you’re experiencing persistent knee pain, consult your physician to find the root cause and get timely treatment. 

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