If your joints have ever hurt, you know just how miserable this is. Maybe you slammed your elbow into the TV stand, tripped and fell, or your body is not what it once was. Whatever the reason, if the injury does not go away within a few days, especially knee pain, you need to visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Why Is Knee Pain So Dangerous?
Ignoring injury for too long can cause permanent damage to your body. Stressing the ligaments, tendons, cartridge, and muscle in your joints can cause rips and tears that, if not repaired, can cause even more damage, such as an ACL rupture. If you're fortunately enough not to tear something, you might wind up damaging your back instead. While walking with hurt knee, you adjust yourself for elevation. These adjustments usually cause stress on the vertebrae in your spine, leading to slipped disks and pinched nerves.
When Should I Go to the Doctor?
In a nutshell, you should go to the doctor if you have any of these symptoms: horrible or relentless pain, wounds, swelling, or drainage. If your pain has been around for three to seven days, it's definitely time to see what's causing it. Of course, if you're unable to walk or have some other serious problem relating to the pain, you should go to the doctor, urgent care, or emergency room as soon as possible. When you go, be sure to have all of your information together to help speed up the process, such as any family history with joint pains, the medication you're on, etc.
What Are the Treatments?
Treatments for knee pain depend on the cause. If you've fractured your knee, treatment is one of two options: immobilization or surgery. Overly stretched ligaments can usually heal on their own (with ice, compression, and possibly some anti-inflammatory medication) as long as you avoid any activity that would cause them more damage. A torn ligament, however, requires surgery. Any damage to any tendons, characterized by an out of place kneecap, the inability to stretch your knee, or a physical difference in both your knees will require immediate surgery to repair. A clicking, grinding, or locked knee requires arthroscopic repair, which is a minimally invasive minor surgery. A dislocation must be quickly popped back into place and tested to make sure no aircrafts were severed or pinched during the process. If no injury has occurred, you may have a form of arthritis, which is usually only relieved, not cured, by medication.
A broken knee is not the end of the world, but the older we get, the more we have to watch our body and understand the signs it's tolling us. Of course, as with anything related to your health, if you're worried about it, it's best to consult a doctor.