Sport is a great way to stay active and healthy, but it can also cause joint pain in athletes. Injuries, especially to the knees, can set up a long-term problem that may lead to arthritis later on.
The first step in dealing with sport joint pain is to determine what caused it. Your doctor can do this by taking a medical history and conducting a physical examination. If the pain is severe, he or she might recommend X-rays or MRIs to get an accurate picture of what is happening with the joint.
Common knee injuries and conditions include sprains, fractures and instability. Occasionally, there are also problems caused by wear and tear or degeneration of the joint, such as bone spurs, osteoarthritis (OA) or a loose body in the knee.
If you are a runner, for example, you are at risk for developing a condition called patellar tendinitis, or “kneecap pain.” This is the inflammation of the kneecap’s tendons, which connect it to the knee joint. This condition is more common in runners who jump or squat, but it can also occur during other activities that involve the kneecap.
Symptoms of patellar tendinitis can include pain and swelling in the kneecap when it is raised, bending or moving the leg. This pain can be worse after exercise and after putting the leg in a squat position.
Iliotibial band syndrome is another type of knee sport joint pain injury that can develop from overuse of the thighbone. This is especially the case with distance runners and cyclists. This condition is caused by a band of tissue that runs from the outside of the hip to the outer edge of the knee, called the iliotibial band. It can become too tight, and rub against the thighbone.
A twisted ankle, or sprain, is a fairly common injury in sports. Fortunately, most of these injuries can be treated with rest and ice, and in some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
The knee is a complicated joint that includes a hinge, or kneecap, that allows it to bend forward and backward. In addition, the joint is surrounded by ligaments and tendons that support the knee joint and protect it from injuries.
Although it can be challenging for a knee to heal, you should be able to play your favorite sports and activities once you recover from the injury. Just make sure that you take your time and don’t strain the knee.
Your doctor can help you manage your pain by teaching you how to avoid re-injury and teach you exercises that are specific to the injury. He or she can prescribe medications and recommend physical therapy.
In some cases, you may be referred to a doctor specializing in arthritis or joint medicine. These doctors can determine what the cause of your pain is and help you decide on a treatment plan.
The most effective treatments for joint pain are regenerative therapies that use natural substances to reduce the inflammation and restore function. These medicines work by boosting the bodies immune system to combat inflammation in the joints and other parts of the body.