Like knee pain, stiffness is another common symptom your most pressed part of the leg (and in most cases of the body at all) you can experience. Together, knee pain and stiffness, though, indicates serious problems – generally with chronic nature – or alarm for a trauma that is not as light as you have thought after standing up from the fall it was accompanied by. Speaking of which, trauma or an injury can be the main reason for a risky knee operation, which in 80% of the cases brings knee pain and stiffness as post-traumatic and post-surgery syndromes. These and many other curious facts, as well as the causes and the top effective treatments for knee pain and stiffness syndrome will be the topics of our main discussions today. Knee pain and stiffness as a combo is a classical case for orthopaedic specialist, which is why we have decided to discuss it today.
At first, it is important to mention to that stiff knee is a syndrome that almost always come together with pain. So when we are speaking about knee stiffness, it is 90% for sure that pain is included in the concrete case or syndrome. Feeling pain from the zone of the knee – including while sitting, standing up or even at night – is a thing we all understand. But what about the knee stiffness? How does it feel and what it is like?
A stiff knee can develop for a number of reasons. It is often accompanied by pain and swelling. Sometimes there may also be redness, warmth, pins and needles and numbness. There are a number of different causes of knee stiffness but they generally fall into two categories, those caused by an injury and those caused by a medical condition. Here we will look at the common causes of a stiff knee, those related to an injury and those to a medical condition, and then we will go on to look at how you can treat them.
Stiff knee is an inability to move the knee joint within normal range of motion; may be associated with feeling of heaviness. This is generally noted following injury, overuse or inflammation in the joint or surrounding tissues. Stiffness of knee can be for a short period or may last for long, depending on the underlying condition. Trauma, joint related conditions or any disorder that causes restriction of knee movement and does not allow free movement of the joint, can contribute to knee stiffness. Also, a stiff knee limits the joint movements adding to the problem. It is necessary to understand the possible causes of stiff knee Trauma, joint related conditions or any disorder that causes restriction of knee movement and does not allow free movement of the joint, can contribute to knee stiffness. Also, a stiff knee limits the joint movements adding to the problem. It is necessary to understand the possible causes of stiff knee and take a rational approach towards diagnosis and management of the condition.
Now let us name you the top reasons for a person (whether an ordinary person, or an athlete, as well as fitness fan, who is regularly active in the gym) to get knee pain and stiffness at once:
- An injury
Almost all types of traumas on the knee will cause you pain and stiffness. Sometimes, pain comes at first and stiffness is the next symptom, especially if no treatment is prescribed. An injury can sprain or even tear the ligaments, lead to fractures or result in muscle and tendon strain. These injuries may arise with falls, car accidents, contact sports or assaults. Overexertion can also be considered as an injury as the joint structures are strained with physical activity like walking or running long distances or weight training.
Like most inflammation process caused by bacteria, infections are also guilty for serious complications like knee pain and stiffness. These infectious agents may enter the joint with an injury where there is a break in the skin, spread from other sites or be inoculated into the joint during invasive medical procedures. Bacteria tend to cause a more severe joint infection (septic arthritis). However, viral infections can also cause joint symptoms like pain and stiffness although the joint itself is not infected. This is known as reactive arthritis. Abscess formation may also occur with an infection and lead to knee stiffness. A bone infection may also cause stiffness often with intense pain.
- An Autoimmune Disease
Different types of it can be very tough on the nerve system, which eventually lead to infections, inflammation process – including joint damages. In a combo all of these symptoms behind the autoimmune disease can get you knee pain and stiffness. SLE or systemic lupus erythematosus is where the immune system attacks the body. The joint may be one of the many sites affected in SLE. Psoriatic arthritis appears to also be due to autoimmune factors where the skin (psoriasis) and joints (arthritis) are affected simultaneously.
- Gout as a rare, but possible arthritis form. It represents an inflammatory arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid which deposits crystals, most commonly in the knees or feet. Symptoms come on rapidly over a few hours and as well as knee stiffness, the joint tends to also feel hot, very painful and looks red. Repeat episodes are common.
- Osteoarthritis – another arthritis with knee pain and stiffness symptoms. The so-called wear-and-tear arthritis and causes the breakdown of cartilage and bone. The joint loses its smooth surfaces and the space between the bones decreases causing knee stiffness. The stiffness tends to be worse first thing in the morning or after prolonged rest, easing fairly quickly with movement. It often only affects one or two joints.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – top common reason for constant knee pain and stiffness that worsen at nights and especially when sitting. The so called wear-and-tear arthritis and causes the breakdown of cartilage and bone. The joint loses its smooth surfaces and the space between the bones decreases causing knee stiffness. The stiffness tends to be worse first thing in the morning or after prolonged rest, easing fairly quickly with movement. It often only affects one or two joints.
- Other rare, but possible causes of the knee pain and stiffness discomfort and symptom. Scientists add some other diseases and medical conditions to the likeable reasons for you to have pain and stiffness in knee. For instance, tuberculosis, Lyme disease, etc. and benign or malignant tumors too can damage the knee in varying degrees and affect the normal movement. All of these health risks are so dangerous that they affect the entire body – including our legs, knees and single joints. This is why it is possible for an HIV or cancer patient to feel knee pain and stiffness, too. Though, the painful and the stiff knee are not mandatory symptoms of these illness. However, having them in case you are diagnosed with these diseases is not a thing to be curious or wondering about. In theses cases, medical treatments are not possible, but taking pain killers and practising pain-relieving exercises are great way to restore the comfort in your knees.
Alongside with medications, physical therapies, homeopathy and alternative medicine methods like massages and hypnosis, knee pain and stiffness might be removed with surgery. But such intervention is always the last alternative for any doctor.