Jan 10, 2022
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Why knees hurt: 6 questions to an orthopedic surgeon

Is it true that sports like running kill joints?

On the contrary, physical activity is essential for normal joint function. But we are talking about a moderate load, plus it is important to follow some rules when playing sports. Knees and other joints are most commonly affected by axial shock loads. It occurs if you run in the wrong shoes, on too hard surfaces and ignore the correct running technique. But if your athletic shoes and equipment are in order, running and other activities will not harm your joints: according to scientific research, people who run regularly have osteoarthritis no more often than those who do not exercise. If you still doubt that running will harm you, choose Nordic walking. Its energy consumption is like running, and the axial load is much less.

Are age-related changes in the joints inevitable?

In fact, human joints have no expiration date and can be healthy at any age – both at 60 and at 120 years old. This is facilitated by a full-fledged varied diet, regular physical activity, the absence of bad habits, maintaining a normal body weight, and timely treatment of injuries. The main risk factors for age-related changes in the joints (arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc.) are excess weight and excessive physical activity, in particular, professional sports (weightlifting, snowboarding, football). Therefore, proper nutrition, in which there are enough micro and macro elements, fats and proteins, is one of the main ways to prevent joint diseases.

What to do if your knees hurt?

First of all – to figure out what caused the unpleasant sensations. If you see a clear connection “there was a nonspecific load – your knees hurt” (for example, you suddenly decided to run a half marathon or went hiking in the mountains), to alleviate the condition, it is enough to give the body rest, put on a special bandage on your knees and use anti-inflammatory ointment. But if pain appears regularly during exercise or acute pain occurs unexpectedly, this requires a specialist consultation and an MRI scan to make a diagnosis. It is necessary to go to the doctor immediately if:

  • there is pain on pressure;
  • one knee is larger or hotter than the opposite;
  • there was a feeling of joint jamming.

Painful sensations may be the first symptoms of developing arthrosis. If you “catch” the disease at the initial stage, you can prevent its development with just injections of hyaluronic acid.

Are your knees crunching – is it dangerous?

If the crunch is accompanied by pain, you definitely need to go to the doctor and look for the cause. But in principle, crunching in the joints is a variant of the norm and is not a reason to suspect some pathology.

Is a knee replacement a difficult operation?

Many patients are afraid of joint replacement for fear of long rehabilitation and possible complications, but in reality it is a routine operation that in the overwhelming majority of cases improves the quality of life of patients. On average, knee replacement is performed in an hour. The very next day, the patient gets up with a walker, and for the next 6 weeks walks with crutches, limiting the load on the operated leg. After the end of the recovery period, a person can return to their usual life: normally the knee bends, does not hurt, does not bother. In rare cases, complications are possible: development of infection, lengthening of the rehabilitation period due to old age, low pain threshold of the patient. But the percentage of unsuccessful operations is minimal.

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