Physical Therapist Richard Szabala Responds:
Generally, the knee pain that you are describing can come from one of two different things.
First, it could be a mild tendonitis. A tendonitis will usually get sorer with activity such as running and jumping. If this is the case, rest and ice, along with gentle stretching of your quadriceps muscles for 2-3 weeks will allow it to heal.
The other source of pain could be from wear and tear of the cartilage in your knee.
Cartilage soreness feels more like a constant toothache and is affected more by squatting and bending activities.
In your knee, you have two types of cartilage:
- a thick piece of cartilage called the meniscus that lays on the surface of your tibia bone and acts as a shock absorber for your knee;
- and articular cartilage which covers the surface of your bones and acts as the lubrication system for knee.
Cartilage damage can take a long time to heal and is very prone to becoming worse if not handled properly. Cartilage injuries may require a doctor's visit, especially if they do not respond to conservative treatment.
Sometimes surgery may be required if the damage to the cartilage is severe.
– Richard Szabala PT, OCS
Richard Szabala is the senior physical therapist at AthletiCare Orchard Park.
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