Severe Pain in the Knee, Calf & Ankle in Adults

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Severe Pain in the Knee, Calf & Ankle in Adults
Adults with severe pain in the knee, calf and ankle might need X-rays or MRI scans to determine the cause of the pain. (knee xray image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com)

Severe pain in the knee, calf and ankle is common among adults, especially those who undergo intense physical exercise, or those with certain medical conditions. This type of pain is often a warning sign that the body needs a rest or can no longer handle old routines. Fortunately, adults can prevent these types of pains from occurring, and many treatment options exist to lessen the effects of the pain.

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Features

Pain in the knee, calf and ankle becomes more common with age due to wear and tear on bones, joints and muscles. In addition, age-related conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and gout can increase the chance of adults developing this type of pain, according to the National Library of Medicine. Due to slower healing times in adults, severe pain in the knee, calf and ankle might last longer or become chronic, increasing the length of disability.

Causes

Overuse from prolonged standing or sitting or lengthy workouts is a common cause of severe pain in the knee, calf and ankle in adults. Not properly stretching before or after a workout or suddenly starting a new form of intense exercise also can result in this type of pain. In addition, injuries such as falls or trips, and medical conditions such as gout, arthritis or peripheral vascular disease also can cause knee, calf and ankle pain in adults, states the National Library of Medicine.

Treatments

Conservative treatments for severe pain in the knee, calf and ankle include the PRICE method (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate), per sportsinjuryclinic.net. Doctors often recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers, including oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, as well as topical muscle relaxers. Some patients might need physiotherapy or even surgery to gain complete relief from severe pain, according to backandbodycare.com.

Effects

Severe pain in the knee, calf and ankle can interfere with normal daily activities, such as housecleaning and caring for children, states backandbodycare.com. Workers who must stand or perform physical labour at their jobs might have decreased job performance as a result of severe knee, ankle or calf pain. Medical care for this type of pain can have significant monetary effects as a result of missed work to attend medical appointments and the costs of treatments and medications.

Prevention/Solution

Use stretching techniques before and after a workout and during extended periods of standing or sitting. Upon the first feelings of pain, stop the activity causing the pain and utilise first aid treatments, recommends backandbodycare.com. Consider using orthotic devices to support your knee and ankle during exercise.

Warning

Severe pain in the knee, calf or ankle that results from a sudden injury requires prompt medical evaluation and treatment to avoid worsening damage to joints, bones and muscles, according to the National Library of Medicine. Sudden onset of severe pain in the knee, calf or ankle could indicate a serious health problem, such as deep vein thrombosis, which can cause death if not immediately treated, warns sportsinjuryclinic.net.

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