Sudden pain in one of the knees is usually the result of overusing the knee or injuring it.
The knee joint is particularly vulnerable to damage and pain because it takes the full weight of your body and any extra force when you run or jump. You’re more likely to experience knee pain as you get older, and people who are overweight or do lots of sports have a higher risk of damaging their knees. Some sports that involve a lot of turning, such as football, netball and skiing, carry a particularly high risk of knee injuries.
This page summarises some of the most common causes of pain in one or both knees.
Common causes of knee pain include:
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes the joints to become painful and stiff.
The severity of osteoarthritis symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, and between different affected joints. For some people, the symptoms may be mild and may come and go, whereas others can experience more continuous and severe problems.
Almost any joint can be affected by osteoarthritis, but the condition most often causes problems in the knees, hips, and small joints of the hands.The pain and stiffness in the joints can make carrying out everyday activities difficult for some people with the condition.
Osteoarthritis occurs when there is damage in and around the joints that the body cannot fully repair. It’s not clear exactly why this happens in some people, although your chances of developing the condition can be influenced by a number of factors, such as your age and weight.
Osteoarthritis usually develops in people over 45 years of age, although younger people can also be affected.
It is commonly thought that osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of getting older, but this is not quite true. You may in fact be able to reduce your chances of developing the condition by doing regular, gentle exercises and maintaining a healthy weight.
Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition and can’t be cured, but it doesn’t necessarily get any worse over time and it can sometimes gradually improve. A number of treatments are also available to reduce the symptoms.
Shoulder pain is a common problem with a number of different causes. It’s often a symptom of another problem.
There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing shoulder pain, which include:
In some cases, pain in the shoulder isn’t caused by a problem in the shoulder joint, but by a problem in another area, such as the neck, that is felt in the shoulder and upper back.
There are things you can do yourself to treat shoulder pain, including using painkillers such as ibuprofen, or ice packs to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Avoiding activities that may aggravate your symptoms will also help.
Depending on the cause of your shoulder pain, you may need further treatment, such as:
In most cases, shoulder disorders improve over time if treatment advice is followed.