The Most Common Causes of Knee Pain in Middle Aged Men
Worn or injured Cartilage
Cartilage becomes brittle due to a lower water content as you get older so it’s more likely to tear.
Ligaments and tendons
Also become less flexible and stretchy, and liable to tear. Particularly the tendon that holds your kneecap in place.
Weaker thigh muscles
Can cause your kneecap to be pulled unequally as your knee flexes.
A fold in the membrane that surrounds the knee gets caught under your kneecap, and eventually forms painful scar tissue.
Is a cyst at the back of the knee.
Is a swelling of the fluid filled sack around the joint.
Can also be a cause of severe knee pain.
All of these can lead to our old friend:
Knee Arthritis is the number one most common cause of knee pain in middle aged men. Old injuries can return to haunt you.
Post traumatic Arthritis often develops after an injury.
Similar to Osteoarthritis It can occur years after injuries are thought to have healed. All this in a joint that flexes and bears weight every moment we are on our feet.
Common symptoms of Knee problems in middle aged men:
Grinding and crunching as you move your knees is quite common and usually nothing to worry about. But if it’s accompanied by pain in the joint then it could be worn meniscus cartilage. If the pain feels like it’s under your kneecap then its probably Kneecap problems.
Are quite common again if you’ve got no pain then don’t worry. But when these sounds are associated with pain. It’s more serious. A pop or snap is often felt when a ligament is damaged.
Giving way or Instability of the knee
Is another sign of ligament damage.
Locking or catching
Is often felt in your knee when you’ve got a tear in the meniscus cartilage. A small flap can lift up and get caught in the joint. You will often feel like you need to straighten and ‘click’ your leg
Treatments for Knee Problems
Soft tissue problems especially knee injuries are usually treated at first by a procedure known by the an acronym R.I.C.E. Which stands for:
For two or three days then slowly re-introduce movement to prevent loss of strength and mobility.
Applying a cold compress or ice-bag (or even a bag of frozen peas) will reduce swelling.
By bandaging the knee also helps to reduce swelling.
Keeping your knee elevated above the level of your heart reduces the pressure of the blood in the knee, which helps soft tissues to repair.
Non-Steroidal anti inflammatory drugs are also used to keep swelling down.
Physical Therapy (Physiotherapy) Is very important, once the healing process is underway, to ensure any strength loss in the muscles is properly regained. This is very important to us in our middle ages because we are already suffering from muscle loss, and it takes longer to rebuild.
For more serious knee problems, there is of course the surgical solution.