Rheumatologist Questions Rheumatoid Arthritis

I'm only 23 and experiencing knee pain during exercise. Why?

If I walk for a long distance, run, or swim, I experience pain in both of my knees. There is a history of rheumatoid arthritis in my family. Could this be affecting me, too?

13 Answers

Possible, but may be chondromalacia.
Most likely it is patella femoral syndrome. You need to strengthen the muscles that support your knees.
Rheumatoid arthritis is seen in young people. Please see a rheumatologist for evaluation. This disease is very treatable, but if it is ignored, it can cause permanent damage to the joints affected. Besides, there may be another cause.
While rheumatoid arthritis is possible, it is very unlikely to present with knee pain. Most likely you have muscle imbalance or tendinitis. Physical therapy can be very helpful. A physical exam would be needed to know for sure what is causing the pain.
It is very difficult to diagnosis why you would be having problems, but typically, a lot of athletic young, healthy/active patients with knee pain can be traced to bad biomechanics - working with a physical therapist to correct those is the first step and, if continued issues, then coming in for an evaluation to further see if there is anything we can do to help.
Knee pain is often due to multiple causes. It can be from improper shoe wear, muscle imbalances, infection, or systemic (whole body) inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is one cause of systemic inflammation so it is possible that this can be an issue for you, however, without fully examining you I cannot say for sure. Since you are getting pain with swimming, it is less likely to be shoe wear, however this may still be a contributing factor.
Hello sorry to hear about your knees. While some pain and soreness is expected after exercise. If the pain is limiting your ability to exercise or affecting ypur quality of life ypu should get checked. Rheumatoid Arthritis can run in some families and your primary care physician or a Rheumatologist could order lab work to confirm or rule out if ypu are affected by this.
I do not have any medical history, but I doubt it however it can be patella femoral syndrome very common with your age and your exercise. I would have an X-ray of both knees to rule out any abnormalities then start with a sports physio or sports personal,trainer to strengthen your knees
WHEN QUESTION ASKED, PLEASE TELL AGE, SEX, WEGHT, HEIGHT, WORK TYPE, AND ACCIDENTS, ETC. UNKNOWN Q MEANS MD CAN ANSWER MANY WAYS.
I SAY STOP JOGGING; LONG DIST RUNNING, CONTROL WEIGHT, REST, DO CORRECT EXERCISES, PLUS, SWIMMING IS BEST. ALSO TAKE MOTRIN IF U CAN OR APPLY BALM PAIN CREAMS, USE HEAT.
MAKE QUADS STRONG BY STRAIGHT LEG RAISING EXERCISES - GREDED LOT MORE CAN BE DONE FOR RELIEF OF PAIN -- YOU MUST STOP ABUSE FIRST -- GIVE REST, HEALING HELPS.
There is autoimmune/injury/ligament tear/environmental toxin can causes joint pain in young people. I suggest you seek help to find out what is root of cause.

Rheumatologist is good start.

Dr. Li
This is not the typical presentation or indication that one has rheumatoid arthritis.  This activity induced pain is usually a result of ligament or cartilage involvement.  Without diagnostic imaging, it is difficult to determine without a doubt the cause.  Nevertheless, therapeutic exercise is the first step to address it.  With a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, if one feels diffuse involvement of diffuse joint pain and stiffness, having the appropriate diagnostic studies done early would be key to the opportunity implementing strategies to minimize joint destruction and pain down the line.
You may be straining your knees by poor biomechanics; regardless, you should see a PMR, ortho, or rheum doc for a workup and diagnosis so you can control the pain and potentially stop damaging these joints
Given your age, the fact that it is bilateral (affects both sides), and is
associated with activities, it is much more likely an overuse injury like
patello-femoral syndrome. This would present as pain in the front of the
knee. Iliotibial band could be another cause, as well as injury to the
various ligaments and cartilage structures in the knee. A good history and
physical exam by a physician would help greatly with narrowing down the
diagnosis. Given your family history of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), however,
this should be considered in the workup. RA is typically associated with
morning stiffness and impacts at least 3 joints, frequently joints in the
hands. A physician would be able to determine if this is the cause with a
good history and physical exam, as well as x-rays and lab tests.