Frequent knee pain affects over 25 percent of the adult population with studies showing a significant increase in knee-related pain & surgeries in recent history.
Knee pain can result in a laundry list of problems in daily life. Because our knees are imperative to our movement and mobility, knee problems can make it difficult to sleep, drive, work, walk, or even get out of bed in the morning (physically and emotionally!).
Can you relate to some of these problems? Have you found that your work and/or personal life has been affected by your knee pain? Are you or a loved one looking for a way out of the situation you’re in?
And here’s the most important question: are you ready to put in the work and dedication to help you recover and live your life to the fullest? Are you ready to evaluate what brings you the MOSS Rehabilitation blog and get started on your healing journey?
If any of those sounds like you or a loved one, keep reading. We’re going to go over some common causes of knee pain.
Let’s get started!
Wear and Tear
Oftentimes, what we see here at MOSS is knee pain and issues that result from general wear and tear on your joints & connective tissues in the knee.
This might not be what you wanted to hear: you want a simple problem and solution! But the reality with knee pain is that it’s common and that it’s often a result of simply living your life and getting older.
Wear and tear on your knee can be exacerbated by consistent & repetitive motions. Some common wear and tear issues we’ve seen at MOSS include:
- Sports (repeated squatting, kicking, falls, dives, etc)
- Work (sitting at an uncomfortable chair for 8+ hours, standing for long periods of time with no rest, kneeling, lifting heavy objects, etc)
- Improper footwear
- Getting older
Age & Lifestyle
Speaking of getting older, age & lifestyle are two of the most common causes of knee pain.
There are a few reasons for why knee pain worsens and is more common in older populations (~50+).
First of all, as we age, our muscles and bones age with us. Once you hit 30 years old, you’ll lose between 3 to 8 percent of your muscle mass per decade until you reach age 60. After age 60, you’ll lose muscle mass at an even higher rate.
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The loss of muscle mass means an overall reduction in strength. Loss of strength in the muscles leave you more vulnerable to falls, injuries, and general knee pain.
This increased risk of falls and injuries is one of the main contributing factors as to why older populations often experience knee pain and issues.
Along similar lines, we also lose bone density as we age, which also makes us more prone to injury from falls or even from general wear and tear that didn’t bother us when we were younger.
Rates of arthritis, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis also all skyrocket as we age, all of which can lead to knee pain, increased risk of injury, and more pain from wear and tear.
Think about it: when you’re a kid, you could fall on concrete and bounce right back up no problem. In your 60s, you’ll be sore for a few days or weeks before recovering in the best case scenario. Worst case would be a tear in a ligament, a dislocation, a fracture, or some other injury.
Even long walks that wouldn’t have resulted in knee pain at all in our 20s can cause wear and tear on your knees when you’re older.
We’ve mentioned this a few times, so let’s dive a bit deeper here.
Knee injuries can result from a wide number of problems. Slips and falls are common causes of knee injuries, especially for older populations. Sports injuries and work injuries are also common causes of knee pain, especially when wear and tear compounds the effects of the injury.
Football tackles, diving for a baseball, wrestling, chasing a goat (yes, this really was a cause of knee pain for one of our clients!), water skiing, hiking, walking the dog, snowboarding, and farming are just a few ways that MOSS clients have injured their knees. We could go on all day… but not much tops chasing a goat).
Unlike some other types of pain issues, knee pain and injury isn’t always caused by contact sports or even particularly risky activities. Stepping on uneven ground while you’re going for a run, turning too quickly, or just picking up your grandchild could all result in ligament tears, pain, wear & tear, and more.
Even with all of this general information, we get that you probably have a ton of questions about your knee pain.
That’s why we made a free FAQ & knee pain report to help you understand your knee pain a bit better.
Conditions, Diseases, and Disorders
Certain conditions, diseases, and disorders can make one more prone to knee pain and injury. Let’s look at our main offenders:
Arthritis & Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is the general inflammation of the joints that can lead to swelling, pain, and decrease in mobility of the joint.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. This form of arthritis occurs when the cartilage in the joints wears away, resulting in pain, inflammation, stiffness, and the feeling of bones “grating” as you move.
Like many of the things we’ve discussed today, the risk of developing arthritis and osteoarthritis increases greatly as you age.
This is a result of a number of factors. Weight gain, lower bone density, decrease in strength, and more time to wear away at the cartilage in the knee all contribute to the development of osteoarthritis over time.
Numerous studies have found a link between obesity and an increased risk of knee pain and issues.
This makes sense from a practical standpoint. When you’re overweight or obese, your knee are responsible for bearing much more weight. This extra weight adds more wear and tear on the knees as well as greatly increasing your risk of developing arthritis and osteoarthritis. In fact, one study found that obesity increases one’s risk of developing osteoarthritis by 4.7 fold.
We’ve mentioned how age is linked to knee pain, so we can keep this short.
However, note that because age is also linked to increased risks of arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and obesity, age has a huge impact on knee pain causes & injuries.
Surgical procedures on the knee are quite common. Procedures include:
- Knee scope procedures
- Knee replacements
- Meniscus repair
- ACL reconstruction
- Tendon repairs
Post-operative therapy is crucial for a successful outcome. Just as with many surgeries, the surgery itself isn’t a cure: it’s just one step in the healing process.
Many MOSS patients come to us hoping to avoid surgery altogether through physical therapy and rehabilitation. Others come after surgery to continue their healing post-op.
Knee Pain Causes Distress & Discomfort: Get Started on Your Journey to Recovery Today
Knee pain causes can vary from sustaining an injury sliding into third base to standing too long at work to osteoarthritis. Whatever the case is for you, accepting your pain is not the answer.
Knee pain can (and usually does) worsen over time as a result of age, weight, age-related issues, injuries, and general wear and tear. This can lead to worsening pain, decreased mobility, and the need to get invasive and intensive surgeries.
At MOSS Rehabilitation, we can target your issues head on to prevent a worsening condition. We take the time to speak with each patient to get to know you, understand your symptoms, and work with you to create a healing plan tailored to your condition and your healing goals.
And if you’re experiencing knee pain currently, consider one of two options — or both. First off, give us a call for a FREE discovery visit with us. And second, sign up for our FREE August 8th workshop specifically on knee pain. We’ll answer the most popular questions related to knee pain, knee pain treatment, and take any questions you might have.