Cracking Or Popping Sounds
When you bend or straighten your knee, you may feel a grinding sensation or hear cracking or popping sounds. Doctors call this crepitus.
These symptoms can occur when youve lost some of the cartilage that helps with smooth range of motion. Both OA and RA can result in cartilage damage.
When cartilage is damaged, rough surfaces and bone spurs develop. As you move your joints, these rub against each other.
Other Causes Of Calf Pain
So we’ve looked at the most common causes of calf muscle pain, but there are a few other less common causes of pain in the calf region.
1. Deep Vein Thrombosis
A deep vein thrombosis can be a very serious cause oflower leg pain. A DVT is the formation of ablood clot in a deep vein, usually in the calf or thigh.
A DVT requires IMMEDIATE medical attention as it reduces the blood flowto the foot, and there is the risk that the blood clot could break off andtravel through the bloodstream to the heart or lungs which can cause a heartattack or pulmonary embolus.
The commonsigns of a DVT are pain, redness, warmth and swelling in the calf region. The pain often gets worse if your dorsiflex your foot .
DVTs often develop after surgery or periods of inactivity e.g. plane journeys, and there can be a genetic link.
2. Trapped Nerve
Compression of the nerves of the lower leg can cause pain, pins and needles and numbness in the calf region.
The nerve compression may be coming from the lowerback where the nerve originates from, or at any point along the nerve itself.
Trapped nerves are usually accompanied by changes in sensation such as pins and needles, tingling or numbness and lower leg pain often spreads.
Any symptoms of nerve compression should bechecked out by your doctor. You can find out more in the nerve pain section on our sister site.
3. Muscle Imbalance
4. Peripheral Vascular Disease
Tendon And Muscle Injuries
Tendon injuries often occur in runners due to overload. The tendons most likely to be affected include the hamstring on the inside or outside . Rarely, a small tendon called the popliteus wrapping around the outside of the knee joint can become swollen and painful.
In addition, hamstring muscle tears can occur close to the outside of the knee. Usually, these tears occur about 5cm above the knee joint. It is important to define the exact location of the tear, as location determines the time to return to sport.
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How Will It Affect Me
If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you will probably feel your knee is painful and stiff at times. It may only affect one knee, especially if youve injured it in the past, or you could have it in both. The pain may feel worse at the end of the day, or when you move your knee, and it may improve when you rest. You might have some stiffness in the morning, but this wont usually last more than half an hour.
The pain can be felt all around your knee, or just in a certain place such as the front and sides. It might feel worse after moving your knee in a particular way, such as going up or down stairs.
Sometimes, people have pain that wakes them up in the night. Youll probably find that the pain varies and that you have good and bad days.
You might find you cant move your knee as easily or as far as normal, or it might creak or crunch as you move it.
Sometimes your knee might look swollen. This can be caused by two things:
- Hard swelling: when the bone at the edge of the joint grows outwards, forming bony spurs, called osteophytes .
- Soft swelling: when your joint becomes inflamed and produces extra fluid, sometimes called an effusion or water on the knee.
Sometimes osteoarthritis of the knee can cause the muscles in the thighs to weaken, so your leg may look thinner. This weakness can make the joint feel unstable and could cause the knee to give way when you put weight on it.
How Can I Find Relief From My Knee Pain In Atlanta Ga
If you are interested in getting to the root of your knee pain, finding relief, and enjoying your life to the fullest again, the first step is to be evaluated by a qualified, experienced, and skilled professional. Call Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Christopher Williams today, and discover how the solution for living a more comfortable life may be closer than your think!
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What Type Of Doctor Treats Knee Arthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee may be treated by a sports medicine physician or an orthopedic surgeon, depending on your particular condition. A physical therapist may be able to treat less severe cases to help reduce pain and increase your mobility. If you knee pain is a result of rheumatoid arthritis, gout or other form of inflammatory arthritis, you should consult a rheumatologist.
What Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like
With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:
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Quadriceps Impairment In Subjects With Knee Oa
Quadriceps muscle impairment in patients with knee OA is well documented in the literature . The quadriceps muscle is commonly tested by torque generation capability using isokinetic dynamometry. Isometrically, peak quadriceps torque occurs between 45° to 70°., Isometric quadriceps strength deficits in subjects with knee OA range from 10% to 56% . Concentric isokinetic tests show that patients with OA demonstrate strength deficits ranging between 11% and 56% compared with healthy controls., The disparity between patients with and without knee OA is even more dramatic during eccentric strength tests, with subjects with knee OA demonstrating 76% eccentric quadriceps strength deficits at 90° per second and 180° per second. Differences in the reported magnitude of strength deficits between these studies can be partly attributed to differences in the subjects characteristics, OA severity, and the definition of the control group.
Flat Shoes Causing Feet & Knee Pain And Steps To Follow For Avoiding The Pain
Now diving down to the flats! Wondering how can flats cause pain in the knee? It is true we all think flats are better alternatives to high heels. But under a proper study, there are many types of flats which usually lack the internal support. This lack of internal support leads to overstretching of the tendons & ligaments present along the foot bottom. This in turn can collapse the arch of the foot. This would result a severe pain in the feet, may slow you down, make you grow fat and lead to various kinds of injuries in knee and leg.
It Is A Smart Act To Go For Some Necessary Steps For Avoiding The Pain. Look Below For The Same:
- Shop for the flats which provide enough of internal support and comfort you.
- Avoid wearing worn out flats.
- Go for some exercises for your foot. You can do toe lifts.
- Do go for stretches that would help you work on the toe abductor and adductors so as to provide enhanced support to the foot muscles.
Simple perfectly fitting pair of shoes brings comfort and pain free life style, so why not spend extra time to look for a shoe which is not too tight or loose.
Final Note To End: Life Turns Happier When You Keep It Simple!
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Pain That Originates From The Side Of The Hip
Certain conditions may cause hip pain to originate from the side of the hip and travel down to the thigh. A few examples are discussed below.
External snapping hip
When a muscle or tendon slides over the bony protrusion at the top of the thigh bone , it creates a snap, pop, or clicking sound. This condition causes pain that increases with direct pressure over the side of the hip. The pain may also travel down the side of the thigh.1
Read more about 3 Types of Snapping Hip Syndrome on Sports-health.com
Inflammation of the large trochanteric bursa located on the side of the hip joint may cause hip pain. The pain typically increases upon direct pressure on the side of the hip and may travel down the side of the thigh.1,7
See Hip Bursitis
Both these conditions belong to a spectrum of hip disorders called the greater trochanteric pain syndrome. This syndrome also includes tears of the gluteus minimus and/or medius muscles located on the side and back of the hip that may cause pain in these areas.1
Arthritis With Involvement Of The Soft Tissues
It can happen that the inflammatory process present in the joints of the leg extends to the soft tissues, aggravating the present symptomatology .
When this happens, the whole dynamics of the leg is affected and the patient is prevented from engaging in daily living activities.
This type of arthritis is common in those who have overused their joints for example, professional athletes, runners, joggers. Physical injuries can trigger the appearance of this form of arthritis as well.
The inflammatory process can stem from the soft tissues as well, affecting the joints as consequence. In making the diagnosis of arthritis, it is important to diagnose the root of the problem and treat it accordingly.
If the leg pain is severe, involving a large surface and being resistant to medication, the condition one is suffering from might be fibromyalgia.
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Other Lower Extremity Strength Deficits
The loss of quadriceps strength has been one of the most commonly cited impairments associated with knee arthritis. Much emphasis has been placed on the quad, however impairment of other muscles have also been identified. Several papers have been published that demonstrate that patients with knee arthritis also have a:
- 4-38% reduction in hamstring strength
- 16% reduction in hip extension strength
- 26-40% reduction in hip flexion strength
- 27-40% reduction in external rotation strength
- 20-43% reduction in internal rotation strength
- 22-24% reduction in abduction strength
- 26% reduction in adduction strength
This are pretty big strength deficits that seem to occur in every plane of motion. I would imagine this again represents a general level of deconditioning associated with the development of knee arthritis. Muscular weakness and imbalances can have a significant impact on the ability to develop and withstand forces without compensatory movement patterns that increase force applied to the static joint structures.
A Weightlifter With Tight Calves
An important position to be able to get in for most weightlifting athletes is a squat. This is a complex position requiring mobility from head to toe. Having a lack of mobility in your calf or ankle musculature is a surefire way to end up with a squat that either favors one side of the body, or puts another joint at jeopardy and can easily lead to back pain and sciatica. Your calf musculature plays a big role in how well your ankles bend to allow you to put your weight appropriately in your feet. If the ankles do not bend far enough forward, one of two things usually happens.
Compensation #1: Your weight stays too far back in your heels. Now a lot of your weight should be in your heels with a good squat, but more is not better in this case. When you are unable to get a good amount of weight to your forefoot due to tight calves, this can expose you to compensating to get weight forward elsewhere. It can lead to you rounding your back or pushing your shoulders too far out in front of you to provide the counterbalance. This can expose you to low back pain, shoulder pain, or neck pain. If youre curious about solutions for those issues, just click the links. Rounding your back can be dangerous because it may expose you to herniated or bulging discs.
If youre ready to work with an expert so that you can get rid of this pesky issue, give us a call at 480-482-0651 or stop by our contact us page to fill out a contact form and let us know how we can help!
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Myth: Hamstring Tightness At The Back Of The Knee Is Not Hamstring Tightness
When stretching your hamstrings, where do you usually feel it? Is it mid-thigh or behind the knee?
Interestingly, if you ever feel tightness or pulling at the back of the knee, its not actually the hamstring thats tight. Its your Sciatic Nerve.
This is important information as many stretch their hamstrings in the hope of improving muscular flexibility to aid better leg function and performance. However, passively holding a hamstring stretch will not improve your mobility if the Sciatic nerve is causing a restriction at the back of the knee. In fact, it may contribute to an increased risk of hamstring injury if not addressed.
So it pays to understand what structure is restricting your ability to move, and what you can do to rectify it.
Can Your Achilles Tendon Affect Your Knee
The plantaris muscle bridges directly behind the knee and terminates at its tendon, which stretches all the way down to the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel. If there is a problem with either of these, you will feel back of knee pain and tightness deeper into the knee when you massage or put pressure there.
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What Is Arthritis In The Legs
The term arthritis refers to redness and swelling of the joints characterized by joint pain and stiffness. A joint is the area where two bones meet. The two bones at the site of the joint are separated by a cushioning tissue called the cartilage that protects the joint and facilitates proper movement. The joint space is lined by the synovial membrane that secretes a fluid called synovial fluid. Synovial fluid lubricates and protects the joints to allow for adequate movement. Arthritis may result when any of the joint structures are damaged. Leg arthritis affects the joints of the hips, knees, ankles or feet. There are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common types of arthritis affecting the legs are
- Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs due to wear and tear of the joint cartilage that happens with increasing age.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: In this type of arthritis, the bodys immune system attacks and damages the joints.
- Gout: This occurs due to excessive deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints, which causes joint inflammation.
- : This refers to arthritis that occurs as a result of joint infection.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: This type of arthritis results because of injury or after a surgery or other invasive procedure on the joint.
- Psoriatic arthritis: People who suffer from a long-term skin condition, psoriasis, may develop psoriatic arthritis along with the skin manifestations such as plaques.
Peripheral Arterial Disease And Claudication
Peripheral artery disease can reduce blood flow in the arteries of the lower legs, leading to claudication . This is due to narrowed or blocked arteries in the mid-thigh or the knee.
With claudication, you may feel pain in your buttock, hip, thigh, calf, and/or foot upon walking short distances. Some people experience pain in their leg while lying in bed at nightthis is a sign that the condition is getting worse.
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Muscle Impairments And Knee Oa Initiation And Progression
Lower extremity muscles provide functional stability to the knee joint and act as a shock absorber., Quadriceps strength is related to the rate of lower extremity loading in healthy women subjects with weaker quadriceps have higher loading rates. Higher loading rates may initiate knee OA or cause progression of existing disease. On the contrary, quadriceps strength shows a bivariate relationship with rate of loading, but this relationship was lost after controlling for potential confounders including gait speed.
The question is, does knee OA cause quadriceps weakness, or does quadriceps weakness precede the disease onset and contribute to the initiation and progression of the disease?,, The development of incident radiographic knee OA was monitored over a mean period of 31 months in 280 subjects with no radiographic evidence of OA in 1 knee. Women who develop incident knee OA had weaker quadriceps relative to body weight.
When To See Your Doctor
Don’t wait if your knee pain is sudden and intense. Pick up the phone if it won’t go away or gets worse.
To make a diagnosis, your doctor might take X-rays or other images of your knee. Blood or knee fluid samples can help confirm or rule out certain conditions. Treatment may include medication, special exercises, braces, or in some cases surgery. Losing weight could help lessen pressure and strain on your knees.
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How To Tell If You Have Arthritis In Your Knee
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic or acute knee pain each year, and it can be difficult to get appropriate treatment and much-needed relief without knowing the actual cause of the pain. Since many conditions can have symptoms that mimic one another, it is important to seek the advice of a professional when seeking a diagnosis, treatment, or therapy for your knee pain. Dr. Christopher Williams and the knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta are highly experienced in assessing a vast array of bone, joint, and muscle symptoms and are dedicated to helping patients determine the cause of their pain and realize quick, effective, and long-lasting relief.