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If you're avoiding stairs at all costs, swallowing daily painkillers, or skipping workouts because of knee pain, you may not yet be aware of what's already happening to your health. Let's talk about 4 diseases that our knees are trying to tell us about.
 



Pain when climbing stairs

What it could be: Early osteoarthritis

Pain in the knees when climbing stairs can signal the onset of osteoarthritis of the knee joints. This is a common chronic knee disease that usually affects the cartilage itself. Studies have shown that even in people who do not experience discomfort in other situations, climbing stairs caused the first painful symptom of osteoarthritis. As a rule, osteoarthritis develops in people over 40 years old.
In general, knee pain can be caused by many factors. These can include degenerative-dystrophic changes in the knee joint, injuries, arthrosis, arthritis. Pain can also be associated with systemic rheumatic diseases, as well as instability of the lumbosacral spine, the so-called referred pain. Often a person thinks that his knee joint hurts, but in fact it is a tension of the adductor muscle group of the thigh and the muscles of the place of attachment to the inner surface of the upper third of the lower leg. The so-called tendinitis of pes anserinus.
 

In what cases a specialist consultation is required
If the pain resolves within a few hours without treatment, it may be due to any neurological symptoms or exercise. That is, muscle pain or pain in the area of attachment of muscles, tendons and ligamentous apparatus. They usually resolve on their own within two to three days.
If the knees hurt and swell, then there is swelling in the area of the knee joint, so, some kind of pathology should be considered. Edema can be both major and insignificant. In this case, you need to contact a specialist to schedule an examination. 

Which doctor to contact
Register for a consultation by an orthopedic traumatologist. If there is no such specialist, you need to contact the surgeon. If there is no surgeon, visit the therapist or general practitioner.



Clicking and restraining in the knee while walking

What it could be: A meniscus rupture

When walking, healthy joints should move fairly smoothly. If you find yourself shaking your leg, thus trying to get the joint out of a “jammed” state, or you feel that your knees give way, this may be a signal of a meniscus rupture. The meniscus is a C-shaped disc that cushions the knee. There are two of them: external and internal. The menisci are the so-called gaskets between the femur and tibia. 
Meniscus ruptures are often caused by twisting or pulling the knee too far back. In addition, every fall or accident that results in a dislocation or other injury to the knee can lead to a meniscus rupture. One of the common causes of this pathology is traumatic overload during sports, primarily due to dislocation or age-related changes.
The extent of the injury and rupture itself depends on two factors: how much weight is affecting on the knee and the degree of human activity. The more the knee is displaced inward, and the more intense the metatarsophalangeal joint of the first toe is bent, the higher the risk of a meniscus rupture.
Typically, most people cannot remember the episode when the injury occurred. 
 

In what cases a specialist consultation is required
Be sure to make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms, as severe meniscal injury may require surgery.

Which doctor to contact
You need a consultation by an orthopedic surgeon.



Numbness or tingling in the back of the knee

What it could be: Inflammation of the sciatic nerve (sciatica)

Discomfort in the back of the knee can be a symptom of an injury to the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from the lower spine to the back of the thigh. The sciatic nerve has a complex structure and plays a major role in the health of the spine, joints and movement system. 
Any tingling or numbness in the back of the knee is caused by nerves in the back. In this case, pain from the inflamed sciatic nerve can spread from the lower back to the toes.
The most common causes of sciatica are pathologies of the musculoskeletal system: spinal injuries, osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernia, gout, etc. All of them provoke pinching of the nerve endings of the sciatic nerve. Infectious diseases and abscesses, urological and gynecological diseases, vein thrombosis can also provoke inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Also, among the common causes are hypothermia, prolonged exposure to the wind, lifting weights.
The nature of pain is different for everyone. Some have nagging pain, others have sharp or aching pain. Pain subsiding at rest is the only common thing in such cases. But when the body is under stress, it reappears.
Fortunately, in most cases, this condition resolves with physical therapy or minimal home care, but it can often reappear. 
 

In what cases a specialist consultation is required
If the pain does not resolve on its own, and causes severe discomfort, a consultation by a doctor should be considered. It is important to immediately respond to symptoms and avoid self-medicating so that the disease does not become chronic. In complicated cases, anti-inflammatory and drug therapy may be required. During treatment, you need to keep calm and, if necessary, wear a special fixing belt. To restore the normal functioning of the sciatic nerve, it may be necessary to undergo a course of physiotherapy, exercise therapy, and massage.

Which doctor to contact
Only a qualified neurologist can determine that you have sciatica and identify the exact cause of the disease. As a rule, MRI, X-ray, CT and other diagnostic methods are used for this purpose.



Feeling warmth or pain in the back of the knee during a flight

What could it be: A thrombus

A thrombus is blood clot that interferes with circulation and is often life-threatening.
It is extremely important to periodically move your legs during flights. So, small blood clots in the knee are very common among air travelers. They can occur if one sits with his legs bent for a long time and due to lack of movement. If a blood clot has already formed, it is a significant and even critical danger. The only way to get rid of it is anticoagulants. 
 

In what cases a specialist consultation is required
If you notice the above symptoms, do visit your doctor immediately. Prevention is also very important. If you are at risk (after a major operation, when taking birth control pills) - a doctor's consultation is required. Compression stockings or blood thinners may be recommended.

Which doctor to contact
To check your veins, you need to contact a phlebologist. Visit this doctor regularly, even without symptoms of leg thrombosis. So you not only save yourself from possible discomfort, but also prevent complications that often lead to death.

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