Have you felt pain around the knees while taking the stairs? Did you hear a strange sound from the knees or experience muscle looseness while exercising or walking? If so, they could be early signs of knee problems that are worth investigating.
Degeneration of the knees is not the only reason for their pain. As a matter of fact, more and more young people are troubled by knee injuries. Here are some common causes:
1. Degenerative knee joints
The production of synovial fluid in joints reduces after age 50. Our cartilages also get thinner and weaker as time goes by.
2. Inflammation of muscle tissues
Muscles around knee joints function as stabilizers. Repetitive improper use, such as intensive hiking or walking on stairs may lead to inflammation.
3. Dislocation of knee joints
Knee joints may be dislocated by improper use or sports injuries. Patients often feel discomfort, sharp pain or hear a crackling sound as they bend their knees.
4. Overworking the knees
People who frequently stand, hike, dance or run for a long period of time are likely to experience knee pain.
5. Accidental injuries
Sports injuries, falling or straining can cause knee pain. If the injured area is not properly treated, the knee problem can worsen and become harder to recover.
Knee pain can be handled either by medical or non-medical treatments, of which manual therapy is the most common non-drug treatment where special instruments and techniques are used to correct slightly misaligned knee joints.
Ultrasound therapy is another option that does not involve medications. The vibration of a high-frequency sound wave can accelerate blood circulation, improving the absorption of inflammatory substances in the body, hence reducing inflammation and pain. It can also improve the elasticity of fibrous tissues and prevent tissue adhesions.
Another option for effective treatment is shockwave therapy. It utilizes acoustic wave which carries focused, high energy to the soft tissues around inflamed area. The shockwave can accelerate blood circulation and promote self-regeneration of the cells.
Last but not least is physical therapy, which would help strengthen the muscles around the knees, improve their flexibility and lower the risk of recurrence.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 23
Translation by John Chui
[Chinese version 中文版]
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