Sunday, October 2, 2011

Common Knee Problems

> The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities such as lifting and kneeling, and other high impact activities such as jogging and aerobics.

The following parts form the knee:
* Tibia - shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.
* Femur - thigh bone or bone of the upper leg.
* Patella - flat bone located in front of the knee joint.

The ends of bones are covered by a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is the confluence of two long leg bones connected by muscles, ligaments and tendons.

There are two groups of muscles in the knee: the quadriceps muscles (located on the front of the thigh), which straighten the leg and back muscle of the thigh, which bend the leg at the knee.

Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bones to each other. Some ligaments of the knee provide stability and protect joints, while others limit the movement of the tibia (shin bone) forwards and backwards.

What are common knee problems?
Many knee problems are the result of the aging process and continual wear and tear of the knee joint (i.e. arthritis). Others are the result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Among the most common problems of the knee include:

* Sprain or strain of the ligaments and muscles of the knee or usually, this occurs when the knee suffers a blow or a sudden twist. Often, the symptoms include pain, swelling and difficulty walking.

* Torn cartilage- A knee injury can tear the menisci (pads of connective tissue that act as shock absorbers and also enhance stability). Cartilage tears can often occur with sprains. Treatment may involve wearing a brace during an activity to prevent further damage to the knee. May be called for surgery to repair the tear.

* Tendinitis- Inflammation of the tendons may occur as a result of overuse of a tendon during certain activities like running, jumping, or bicycling. Tendinitis of the patellar tendon is called jumper's knee. This condition is frequently seen in sports such as basketball, in which the force with which it hits the ground after a jump strains the tendon.

* Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis affecting the knee. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process in which the joint cartilage gradually wears away, and usually affects middle-aged or older. You can be the result of excessive force on the joint such as repeated injury or being overweight.
- Rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the knees by causing the joint to become inflamed and destroying the knee cartilage. Compared with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect younger people.

Read more on Arthritis Remedies and Joint Pains Relief and Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments.