4 Things Your Knees Say About Your Health

25 August, 2020
Before taking any sort of medication to alleviate aches in your knees, it's best to see a specialist who can prescribe the most appropriate treatment.

No matter how old you are, if your knees hurt, this should worry you. This might not be related to the bone or the muscle, but rather the joint, which connects the bones to the kneecap.

Whatever your case, your body is sending you a message. Something is happening to your health, and it’s related to this specific area of your body. What can you do about it? First, make an appointment with your doctor for a check-up.

Taking pills for aches and pains, avoiding the gym, and taking the elevator instead of stairs are not the right answer. Although these strategies might hide or reduce the pain, they only work temporarily.

Once you try to go back to normal, you’ll continue to have the same knee pain. If your knees are talking to you, they would say the following things. Pay attention!

1. Don’t go up stairs!

Your knees can let you know about other problems.

When your knees are screaming at you, it’s because it’s extremely painful.  If your knees hurt when going upstairs, they could be worn out. Other causes of pain could include:

  • Congenital defects
  • Trauma
  • Metabolic disorders

Knee pain when going upstairs could be an early sign of a disease called osteoarthritis of the knee, which Mayo Clinic experts define as:

Osteochondritis dissecans is a joint condition in which bone underneath the cartilage of a joint dies due to lack of blood flow.”

Although not as common as osteochondritis, osteoarthritis could also be the cause of your knee pain. The first disease is usually more common in children and adolescents, while the latter is usually more common in adults.

Some characteristics that could lead to developing this condition are:

  • Age: Osteoarthritis frequently affects middle-aged individuals. It can also affect the elderly.
  • Heredity: Along with hereditary characteristics, you’ll also notice arched legs and touching knees.
  • Weight: Obesity forces the joints to have to bear more weight.
  • Injuries: Athletic injuries, for example, could be a possible cause for future osteoarthritis.
  • Overuse: Like kneeling down or bending down, lifting up heavy objects, and walking as part of your job.

Taking into account all of the above, it’s important that you get a medical check-up first to find out the cause of knee pain and other discomforts you might be experiencing that prevents you from leading a normal life.

In the meantime, keep in mind that preventing osteoarthritis from becoming progressive, it’s important to avoid excessive or repetitive movements.

You might be interested in: 6 facts you should know about osteoporosis

2. Did you hear that crack?

When the kneecap makes a small “crack” you may have torn your meniscus.

  • The meniscus is made up of two cartilaginous discs that are shaped like the letter C.
  • They are located between the femur (the thigh bone) and the tibia (the shin) and the kneecap (the central, round bone in the knee).
  • The meniscus helps stabilize the knee.
  • They are what cushion impacts to the bones.
A person holding their knee in pain.

After an acute injury, you need to immobilize the knee during transportation to the hospital.

If a profession indicated limited mobilization of the joint, there are devices specifically designed for this purpose, such as knee braces. Common ones are made of neoprene with other reinforcements made of other materials and specific for different cases.

3. Numb knees

Sciatica causes numbness and tingling behind the knees.

Although this isn’t specifically a knee disease, it is damage to the sciatic nerve, which starts at the lumbar spine and descends down the back side of each leg. When this happens, the pain is so strong that it makes it impossible for the individual to move.

If you see your doctor about this, they could recommend applying heat or ice to the area to reduce inflammation. It’s important that you ice for the first 48 to 72 hours, and then use heat.

But don’t worry! Most of the time sciatica goes away, so long as you follow the advice of your physical therapist. But this health problem can return, so don’t be reckless.

Discover: Natural home remedies to treat sciatica

4. Your knees feel hot

Just like sciatica, blood clots cause pain behind the knee, accompanied by heat. The clots could be caused by:

  • Obesity.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Menopause.
  • A sedentary lifestyle.
  • A bone fracture.
  • Birth control.
  • An accident or a fall.

In these cases, it’s important to go to the emergency room for an evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.

A woman holding her knee in pain.

If you’re thinking of traveling by plane or car for several hours, it’s important to try to keep your legs and calf muscles moving.

Feeling heat and pain directly behind the knee is a warning sign that your knees are forming a clot.

Clots can be potentially lethal sometimes. When a person is in danger, they may need to take blood thinners.

But medication must always be taken under medical supervision. Do not self-medicate or instead of improving, you could make the situation worse.

Do you feel discomfort in your knees?

If your knees could talk to you, would they say any of these things? If so, you already know which health issue you could be experiencing. Therefore, you shouldn’t let a minor issue go and get a check-up as soon as possible.

The sooner you get a diagnosis and treatment, the sooner you’ll get some relief.