Burning Knee Pain
The knee is one of the most actively used joints in the body. Whether you realize it or not, nearly everything we do physically involves our knees. That's why knee pain is one of the most common conditions in patients, from athletes to non-athletes, from the young to the elderly. There are many types of knee pain. In this article we will discuss burning knee pain.
If you are experience burning knee pain, it is important to see your doctor as this may indicate an issue that may need to be seen right away.
Symptoms and Types of Burning Knee
A burning sensation can occur anywhere on the knee. Sometimes burning in knee is felt all around, but in other instances a patient may feel burning pain in a specific area. The most common areas are burning pain behind the knee or burning pain in front of knee (burning knee cap pain). For some patients, the knee burning sensation will be felt along the sides of the knee. If you are experiencing burning knee pain in a specific area of the knee, be sure to let your physician know.
What Causes Burning Knee Pain?
There are a variety of conditions that may cause burning knee pain. If the burning sensation is in a specific area, it is important to mention it to your doctor.
If the burning sensation is behind the knee, and the patient is elderly, it is likely to be caused by osteoarthritis or a cartilage tear. If the patient has recently been involved in sports it may be a ligament tear or an overuse injury.
If the burning sensation is in front of knee, it may be a patellar tracking issue where the kneecap does not move properly with the joint. Burning kneecap pain is usually caused by runner's knee (also known as chondromalacia or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) which is common in athletes but may also be a result of any type of overuse (such as from a job). Burning knee pain may also be caused by tendonitis, which occurs when the patellar tendon (located in the front of the knee) becomes inflamed.
If the burning sensation is on the sides of the knee, it is likely Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The IT band runs down the outside of the leg. When it becomes inflamed it may cause a burning knee sensation. ITBS is often found in athletes and runners.
There are many other factors that are involved with determining the cause of burning knee pain. If you recently fell or participated in sports, it will increase the likelihood of the injury being a ligament or cartilage tear. If tasks at work require you to repeatedly bend down, it may be an overuse injury.
How is Burning Knee Pain Diagnosed?
As mentioned before, it is important to see your physician for an appropriate diagnosis. Your physician will evaluate your knee in order to determine the cause. The first thing he or she will do is to ask about your medical history and recent activity. Additional imaging tests such as an MRI or an X-ray may also be used for an accurate assessment of your knee. For some cases where the patient is experiencing burning knee pain, a blood test may be requested.
How to Help Ease Burning Knee Pain
Relief of burning knee will vary depending on the cause of the knee injury. After your doctor determines the cause of the burning sensation in your knee, then he will suggest a form of treatment. Here are some common ways to help manage burning knee pain:
For burning knee pain caused by recent trauma to the knee, such as an injury during sports, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) should be applied as first aid. Knee strain and sprains may recover on their own over time, but a more severe injury such as a ligament tear or cartilage tear (meniscus tear) may require surgery.
For burning knee pain caused by recent trauma to the knee, such as an injury during sports or from falling, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) should be applied as first aid. Knee strain, sprains, and bone bruises may recover on their own over time, but a more severe injury such as a ligament tear or cartilage tear (meniscus tear) may require surgery. Consider wearing a mild support knee brace as you wait to see a doctor.
For overuse injuries causing a burning sensation in the knee, rest is usually suggested. You may have tracking issues with your patellar and a patellar stabilizing knee brace might help. If the area is inflamed then over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin will help reduce the inflammation.
For burning knee pain due to arthritis, mild exercise or physical therapy may be the ideal solution. Your physician may also suggest wearing a knee brace for arthritis since they help transition stress from the unhealthy areas of the knee to the healthier, stronger areas - minimizing the burning sensation.
If you feel burning in your knees at night, at rest, or while sitting, you may have a more serious knee injury. Follow the RICE method to help alleviate the pain. Consider wearing a knee sleeve throughout your daily activities to compress the area and help give added support to your knee and the muscles surrounding the area.
There may be other forms of treatments that may be used to treat burning sensations in the knee. It can vary greatly depending on if you have a burning sensation behind the knee, a kneecap burning sensation, burning on the sides of knee, or burning knee pain all over. Again, be sure to check with your physician before pursuing any form of treatment for your burning knee pain.
Many people wonder if they can keep running, participating in their sporting activities, or job when they are feeling burning pain in their knees. This is up to the discretion of your physician. However, if you do choose to continue your activity prior to consulting a doctor, consider wearing a knee brace with moderate support for added stability.