Acute Knee Pain - This type of pain is sudden and severe. Acute knee pain will be associated with the following injuries; ligament tears, meniscus tear, dislocated kneecap, hyperextension, and any other type of injury associated with contact trauma. Acute knee pain often correlates directly with the failure of knee tissue.
Chronic Knee Pain - This type of pain is ongoing and can be mild to severe. Chronic knee pain is common for people who have arthritis or persistently overuse the knee. There usually is no failure of knee tissue rather inflammation and perhaps mild swelling.
One should consult with a medical professional before applying any of the common rehabilitation techniques offered below. Unless you are diagnosed with a specific injury and instructed by a medical professional to undergo a rehabilitation program, applying any of these methods could be detrimental to the health of your knee.
Resting the knee can help alleviate chronic knee pain and give the knee tissue time to heal itself.
Cold & Heat treatments can be used to alleviate pain and also aid in the healing process. The general rule of thumb is; use ice or cold treatments on acute injuries as this will help reduce swelling by constricting tissue. Use heat treatments on chronic injuries as this will stretch tissue and allow blood to flow better through those injured areas.
Stretching & Strengthening the knee will encourage good blood flow and is a great way to prevent further injuries from occurring to the knee. Specific exercises can be obtained from a physical therapist.
Physical Therapy is a great way to have a specialist focus on improving the strength of the knee and is also a motivator to work through a knee injury. It is often difficult to push oneself and a physical therapist can aide in the process of recovering from a knee injury.
Medication can be used to overcome injuries to the knee. However, medication will not substitute for a strong rehabilitation program and can often mask real progress.
Surgery may be the best answer for those with acute or chronic knee injuries. Always consult with an orthopedic doctor before making a decision on surgery. Although arthroscopic surgery is less invasive than past techniques, a physical therapy regimen may be a better option for your knee injury.
Knee Injury Preventative Measures:
Strengthening the knee is the best way to avoid serious injuries. However, one should also try and avoid persistent bending or flexing activities without giving the knee a break. Exercising is encouraged, but take extra precautions when playing contact sports or engaging in activities with fast acceleration or deceleration and quick changes of direction (pivoting).
If you are overweight, shedding some extra pounds can do wonders for the knee. For chronic knee pain sufferers, weight is the number one issue they can address to relieve the pain.
Be sure to stretch and warm-up before using your knees. Walk before you run, stretch before you ride a bike, and be smart about protecting your knee when playing contact sports - wear a brace for extra support and/or kneepads for sports like skateboarding or hockey.