Years of stooping, kneeling and running around truly takes a toll on your knees, and women have it specifically bad: Studies show women are up to 6 times more likely than men to suffer from knee pain injuries like ACL tears. Got an achy, creaky, or weak knee? Discover the real cause of knee pain and check out great ways to fix bad arthritis of the knees for good.
Creaky Knees. Your knees pop, grind and ache while climbing stairs or after a prolonged sitting.
The Cause. Though it is commonly called "runner's knee", patellofemoral syndrome afflicts even those who are couch potatoes. The creaking you feel is due to misaligned kneecap grating over the lower end of your thighbone. Women are especially susceptible to this syndrome due to their naturally wide pelvises that causes their knees to slant inward, creating a wider quadriceps or Q than men have. Experts also state that this Q angle places extra force on a woman's knees.
The Knee Pain Remedy. If you regularly do high-impact workouts such as running or playing tennis, cut back (but do not stop in general or the muscles that support your knees will weaken) and add gentler activities such as swimming and yoga to your routine. You can also purchase new workout shoes when your shoes' soles are worn so that your aches and joints are passably cushioned.
Achy Knees - During physical activity, you feel a sharp pain between your kneecap and shinbone. The pain persists as a constant, dull ache.
The Cause - Tendonitis. which happens when the tendons connecting your kneecap to the shinbone become inflamed because of repeated stress and overuse. Symptoms trigger when you increase the intensity of your workouts.
The Knee Pain Relief. To alleviate knee pain and reduce swelling, take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, and ice, rest and elevate your throbbing knee, particularly following a workout. Also, consult your physician about patellar tendon straps, Velcro bands placed just under your kneecap, which alleviates knee pain by taking pressure off the tendon. If knee pain persists or worsens, immediately consult your doctor.
Stiff Knees - Your knee is swollen and puffy, and you have trouble straightening or bending it.
The Cause - Osteoarthritis. The cartilage that cushions your joints breaks down due to use, age or excess weight, and makes your body produce more joint fluid in the knee so when the cartilage wears down completely, you are left with bone rubbing on bone and painfully swollen joints.
The Remedy. Losing just 11 pounds can take pressure off your knees and reduce knee pain by 50 percent, according to one study. Additionally, taking NSAIDs, resting and using ice can remedy arthritis of the knee. If your knee becomes red or feels warm to the touch, consult your doctor, who may drain the excess joint fluid with a needle. About 25 percent of people with osteoarthritis need knee-replacement surgery.
Twisted Knee. You feel and sometimes hear a "pop,", and then your knee buckles, causing terrific pain. Typically this knee injury happens while playing sports.
The Cause. The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and elastic band of tissue that stabilizes the knee, tears. Once again, women's Q angle comes into play. According to expert, a woman's kneecap pulls slightly to the side when she lands after a jump due to her wider pelvis. As a result, the quadriceps pull harder on the knee. Experts also speculate that high levels of estrogen (in the latter part of the menstrual cycle) loosen ligaments and weaken their ability to protect joints.
The Knee Pain Remedy. Consult your physician immediately. About a third of those whose injure their ACL regain strength and motion after 6-8 weeks of rest and physical therapy. So if the kneecap remains unstable, arthroscopic surgery may be needed. And if you play sports, doing exercises that strengthen your hip and butt muscles and practicing proper jumping and landing can decrease your risk of ACL injuries.