What are the most common causes of knee and ankle pain?

Knees and ankles get a lot of wear and tear and are prone to a number of injuries and strains. These can lead to knee and ankle pain. Common causes of knee and ankle pain include genetic conditions, injury, and overuse or overexertion of the knee or ankle.

The most common cause of knee pain is an injury caused by overuse or overload. This includes muscle strain, tendonitis, and bursitis. Such knee injuries are often the result of some change in the use of the knee, such as a new and rigorous exercise routine, a sudden increase in the amount of walking, or a lot of heavy lifting and carrying. High-impact aerobic exercises, such as running or jumping, can also put stress on the knee joint and cause minor tears and sprains in the knee that will worsen over time if the knee is not rested. All of this puts a lot of stress on the knees and can lead to joint injuries.

A genetic cause of knee pain that worsens with age is osteoarthritis. This form of arthritis is the result of damage caused when the cartilage in the knee wears down over time. While this cannot be prevented, pain relief comes in the form of physical therapy and pain medication.

Ankle pain, like knee pain, is usually caused by overuse of the joints or tendons. Most ankle injuries begin as minor sprains, strains, or ligament tears that gradually worsen as the ankle continues to be used and the tear becomes larger and larger. Sprained ankles are the main type of ankle injury that results in pain. Sprains occur when the ligaments in the ankle joint are overstretched, resulting in a small or complete tear of the ligament.

A stress fracture is also a source of ankle pain and is also caused by overuse of the joint. A stress fracture is the term used when a small crack develops in the ankle bone; It occurs when the bone experiences considerable stress, such as running or jumping a lot. This injury tends to occur when the muscles are tired and unable to absorb the additional shock to the body; the stress is redirected to the bone and causes a small crack that can worsen over time.

Knee and ankle pain are usually treated with rest, alternating hot and cold therapy, pain medication and, if all else fails, surgery. Knee and ankle pain can be avoided by starting slowly when beginning a new, strenuous activity. Avoid placing intense or constant stress on the joints, too. Gradually warm up as you exercise, gradually increase the stress level on your joints, and allow adequate and appropriate rest afterward. This will allow small tears to heal before they get worse and will prevent most knee and ankle pain from developing.

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