Causes of achy knees, including how to assess the severity of your achy knees and what can be done to treat/prevent knee aches in the future.
by Brad Chase
According to research at University of Nottingham, at minimum 1 in 3 people over the age of 40 will experience some type of significant knee pain for at least one month or more, 1 in 4 will find that the knee pain worsens, and nearly 10% of all knee pain subjects will require some type of surgery.
Achy knees are a common problem among men and women of all ages, and the older you are, the greater the risk.
Common Causes of Achy Knees
The term "ache" has a fairly broad definition. Some people may experience mild knee aches simply from sleeping in a way that puts pressure in the knee. Other people may experience an achy knee because of injury. Still others may experience knee aches because of some type of disorder or more permanent problem.
The ligaments in the knee are prone to damage. They receive a great deal of pressure on a regular basis every time you run or walk. This pressure can create temporary achy knees on its own, or it can cause injury – such as when the knee is twisted when running.
If you suspect your knee might be injured, keep your weight off of the achy knees. If the injury feels or seems more severe, contact a doctor.
For many people in the United States, achy knees are caused by disorders and aging. Common causes of achy knees include:
Achy knees are incredibly common, and rarely is it a type of dangerous disorder. However, osteoarthritis – one of the most common conditions affecting knee health – can degenerate your joints further over time, and will require some type of treatment or management to keep your joints healthy and mobile.
Additional Symptoms of Achy Knees
Achy knees are a symptom, not a disorder. Those that have achy knees can experience a wide range of symptoms based on the type of disorder that created the knee problem. However, achy knees do often come with additional symptoms that you may find problematic. These include:
Knees may ache on their own, or with a combination of the above symptoms.
Treatment of Achy Knees
Treatment of achy knees depends primarily on the type of disorder.
For all knee aches that can be explained with mild injury or minor knee discomfort, some basic care may be all that's necessary. Consider ice packs, over the counter pain killers, and keeping off of your achy knees until they heal.
For knee aches that are due to a more serious injury, contact a doctor. Seriously injured knees may require surgery, or could be an infection risk.
Additional treatments depend on the type of disorder. Consider the following:
Because knee pain and achy knees affect millions of people across the United States, many achy knee treatments are available. But each type of treatment requires a correct diagnosis, so make sure you know what is affecting your knees and what is required for treatment to work.
Prevention of Achy Knees
Achy knees can also be prevented, especially in the case of osteoarthritis.
In general, it's important to avoid over-exerting your knees. If they appear to be in pain, give them a rest. Allowing your knees to suffer from inflammation and injury only furthers your risk for achy knees and osteoarthritis.
Building muscles around your legs can also be beneficial. Strong legs reduce many of the pressures on your joints.
For osteoarthritis, it's also important to supply your body with nutrients and supplements known to nourish the joints. Osteoarthritis will get worse if left untreated, but with the right nutrients the joints can stave off further degeneration and ultimately reduce further pain and immobility.
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