Causes of Knee Pain and Possible Treatments

One of the most common problems that people suffer, regardless of age, is knee pain. While knee pain can sometimes be helped with a simple brace, there are certain conditions and other problems that might require other treatment options. If you suffer from knee pain, then knowing what’s causing the pain is important. It can help inform your doctor of the correct kind of treatment that can best give you satisfactory results. This article will discuss knee pain, its most common causes, and possible treatments.

Causes

You may experience knee pain after an injury. An ACL injury, for example, is caused when a tear occurs in the anterior cruciate ligament. This is one ligament of a set of four that actually connects your shinbone to the bone of your thigh. When that ligament is torn due to a sporting injury or some other form of injury, you can experience the pain in your knee.

Sometimes if you fall or have an accident, you can actually fracture your knee. These fractures can occur either on the knee cap itself or in the bone of the actual knee. For those who suffer from osteoporosis, it’s possible to even fracture your knee because you stepped wrong. That’s because the bones have become so weak that they’re brittle.

The pain may also stem from a torn meniscus. The meniscus is a rough cartilage that acts as a shock absorbent between your shin and thigh bone. Sometimes the meniscus can degrade on its own. Other times, it can be torn by twisting your knee in a sharp direction while applying weight to it.

Patellar tendinitis is another cause of knee pain. Tendinitis itself is inflammation of tendons. When it occurs in the tendons of your knee, it’s known as patellar tendinitis. Those who run a lot, bike, or even ski can slowly wear down their tendons or injure them.

Sometimes the pain can stem from a dislocated knee cap. This happens when the bone on top of your knee moves out of place. It usually slips to the side of the knee. This can cause you a lot of pain since the bone is rubbing against you.

Other problems that may cause knee pain can be stemming from Arthritis. There are various forms of Arthritis that could be to blame for the pain. Gout, for example, occurs when uric acid crystals develop in the joint. It can make moving the knee extremely painful.

Treatments

One of the most popular treatments is pain medications. Especially useful for simple injuries, pain medications can ease the trauma and pain that you’re in. It might also reduce inflammation. This can help speed up the recovery from the injury.

Sometimes physical therapy may also be suggested. The goal of physical therapy is to help strengthen the muscles around the knee. In so doing, the knee becomes stable. Some of these therapies may involve stretches or workouts that go along with a specific sport that you might play. Other times, it may involve wearing arched supports. This can help shift pressure and weight off of the knee and prevent osteoarthritis.

Braces might help knee pain in that it also helps to strengthen the muscles and keeps your knee firmly in place.

Sometimes you may need surgery to remove the damaged bone.

Commonly Misused and Abused Drugs in America

Opioid Pain Relievers

Opioids are a class of drugs which reduce or eliminate pain; prescription painkillers are used to treat pain associated with cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative conditions. They also reduce pain from acute pain related to injuries, surgery, or dental work.

Opioids include prescription medications oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, and codeine as well as the illicit drug heroin. There are varying classes of pain relievers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and opioid analgesic; each type with different advantages and adverse effects. Pain treatment, regardless of acute or chronic, should be individualized for the patient and evaluated at frequent periods, and non-medications alternatives should be seriously considered.

The use of prescription-based opioid painkillers puts patients at risk of overdose, physical dependence, and addiction. A serious evaluation of whether or not someone should use a prescribed opioid painkiller needs to occur. Those who abuse opioids commonly adjust the method of administration and will snort or inject the substance to potentiate its effects. The use of opioids, whether alone or in combination with other substances), may cause drowsiness, confusion, and slow or stopped respiration which could lead to overdose and potentially death.

Opioid misuse and abuse has risen dramatically in the past few decades and is now considered a public health epidemic in the United States. From 1993 to 2013 the chance of death from prescribed opioid overdose almost quadrupled. Deaths from heroin have similarly seen huge increases since 201, with a 40% increase from 2012 to 2013.

 

Over-The-Counter Drugs

Over the counter, drugs do not need a prescription. Several OTC drugs include substances that can be abused. Here are some resources for drug rehab centers in major cities across the U.S.:

 

Psychiatric Drugs

Psychiatric drugs are given to patients by health care practitioners to address mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety disorders. Typically prescribed medications that are abused are sedative medications in the drug class named benzodiazepines, which include alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), and diazepam (Valium), and the antipsychotic medication, quetiapine or Seroquel. These drugs alone or when combined with other substances create sedation and euphoria. Hypnotic medicines that aid those suffering from insomnia can also be abused. The sleep medication Ambien is an example of a commonly abused substance.

A separate class of drug used to treat attention-deficit disorders includes stimulants. Stimulants temporarily raise alertness and energy and have a calming and focused effect on those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Stimulants include amphetamines like Adderall, methylphenidate or Ritalin, and cocaine. In 2010, the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated that around 1.1 million individuals abused stimulants, which are prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Side effects of stimulant abuse may include psychosis, seizures, and cardiovascular problems.