What Natural Home Remedies Relieve Knee Pain
Over-the-counter pain medications can frequently alleviate the pain. If someone is taking these medications on a regular basis, he or she should see a health care professional to evaluate the knee pain for proper diagnosis and to avoid the potential side effects of chronic medication use.
The RICE mnemonic is often helpful, especially for minor injuries:
Rest: Rest the joint, and take a break from your usually activities involving the knee joint.
Ice: Applying ice can help with pain and inflammation.
Compress: A compression bandage can help prevent swelling and help knee alignment. It should not be tight and should be removed at night.
Elevate: Elevation can help with swelling and resting of the knee.
What Are Some Common Knee Problems
Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint . Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Common knee problems include the following:
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Osteoarthritis Vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
The two main types of arthritis have a few key differences. Here’s how to tell them apart.
Cause: Wear-and-tear damage to the cartilage that causes its breakdown over time.Symptoms: Pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling in the joint also, loss of flexibility in the joint.Another sign: Osteoarthritis tends to show up in a single joint or in a pair .
Cause: The body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints, causing swelling and inflammation.Symptoms: Tender, warm, swollen joints also, joint stiffness that lasts a long time.Another sign: Rheumatoid arthritis shows up in multiple joints over time.
Rachel Nania writes about health care and health policy for AARP. Previously she was a reporter and editor for WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C. A recipient of a Gracie Award and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, she also participated in a dementia fellowship with the National Press Foundation.
More on Joint Health
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Conventional Treatments For Knee Pain
Ron Torrance II, D.O, a Sports Medicine Trained Physician at the New ReGeneration Orthopedics of Florida, says he commonly sees knee pain-related conditions among his younger patients who are generally fit especially runners, female athletes and anyone who uses their legs in other repetitive ways
Dr. Torrance feels that an often overlooked aspect of treating knee pain is the need for different interventions depending on someones current fitness level. For example, a young woman who experiences knee pain after running for several months will benefit from a much different treatment approach than an older man with osteoarthritis of the knees.
When treating knee pain injuries, Dr. Torrance first looks at his patients symptoms and then discusses their lifestyle and exercise habits. Knee pain treatment should always depend on which specific part of the knee is injured and the underlying cause of the pain. Even if medications and corrective devices like knee braces are needed to treat knee pain, exercises, stretching and other functional medicine practices should also be incorporated to help with recovery and injury prevention.
Aside from resting the knee after an acute injury, conventional treatments for chronic knee pain that lasts more than several weeks include:
The Role Physical Therapy Plays In The Process
Physical therapy is definitely beneficial. Improving range of motion and strength in the knee are helpful, but physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis has a large focus on strengthening the hips, explains Dr. Day.
Weak hips put more pressure on the knees. If your hips are strong, when you get up from a chair or go up and down stairs your knees have less work to do.
Everyone with knee osteoarthritis should consult a physical therapist, according to Dr. Day. Not only will you be taught the right kinds of exercises, a physical therapist also provides valuable instruction about using assistive devices and modifying activities to reduce pain.
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Can Knee Pain Come Back After Treatment
Frequently, knee pain will occur for a short period of time and then resolve. Sometimes it can return a few weeks or months later. For chronic knee pain, it is important to get it evaluated to avoid further damage to cartilage, bones, or ligaments. Prognosis depends on the underlying causes of the pain.
With modern surgical techniques, it’s possible to relieve many of the knee pain syndromes and return to an active lifestyle.
Strengthen The Muscles That Support Your Knees
Developing strong thigh muscles especially the quadriceps, hamstrings and abductors improves range of motion, protects knee cartilage and reduces the stress you place on the knee, says Richard Willy, an assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Montana School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. Get in the habit of doing squats and lunges twice a week, making sure that your knees stay above your feet and don’t extend in front of your toes. After age 50, avoid squatting below a 90-degree angle , because deep squats increase pressure on the knees, Cardone warns. If you prefer to use weight machines, opt for the leg press, hamstring curl, knee extension and outer-thigh machines, Willy advises.
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Use Targeted Exercises To Build Muscle
Moderate exercise is an excellent way to help protect your knee joints. Building up the muscles around your knees helps reduce the stress on your joints. Your outer, middle, and inner thigh muscles and calf muscles help support your knees.
Your local gym may offer senior exercise classes with instructors who have been specially trained to work with men and women over 50. Water aerobics is also a great way to get non-weight bearing exercise. If youd rather work out by yourself, check in with a trainer whos knowledgeable about senior exercise needs.
At your next physical, ask your doctor to check your leg strength. If youre weak, physical therapy can help strengthen your muscles, and the therapist can show you beneficial exercises for your knees.
What You Can Do To Prevent Knee Pain:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight increases your risk for knee pain. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. He or she can help you create a safe weight loss plan if you need to lose weight.
- Exercise or train properly. Use the correct equipment for sports. Wear shoes that provide good support. Check your posture often as you exercise, play sports, or train for an event. This can help prevent stress and strain on your knees. Rest between sessions so you do not overwork your knees.
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Things You Can Do To Extend The Life Of These Essential Joints
by Stacey Colino, AARP, Updated December 3, 2019| 0
En español | If you’ve walked, jogged and hiked this far without any major knee trouble, there’s more you can do than thank your lucky stars. A few basic steps can help you protect your knees as you age.
Besides being the largest joint in the human body, the knees are unique in that the motion involved is very complex, says Sanjeev Bhatia, an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon and codirector of the Northwestern Medicine Hip and Knee Joint Preservation Center at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois. The knee has three compartments, any of which can cause pain with wear and tear.
With the passage of time, a certain amount of wear and tear on your joints is inevitable. But it doesn’t have to affect the way your knees feel, function or move. If you experience a clicking or popping sensation in the joint when you walk, bend or lunge, but there’s no pain or swelling, you don’t need to worry about it, says Dennis Cardone, D.O., an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City. On the other hand, if you have pain or swelling with that clicking or popping, it’s best to schedule a visit to your doctor.
Otherwise, to minimize your risk of experiencing pain, stiffness and inflammation in your knees, take these steps to protect these essential joints.
When To Call Your Doctor
If your pain and swelling are gettingworse and you can no longer put weight on your knee, see your doctor. A simpleX-ray can show if there is osteoarthritis and, if needed, an MRI scan can checkfor meniscal tears or loose chips of cartilage.
Arthroscopic surgery can sometimes remove loose cartilage. Partial or total knee replacements are other surgical options, especially for those who can no longer stay as active as theyd like. Sometimes computer assistance is used for some complicated knee replacements.
Surgery is a last resort, though,says Dr. Nickodem. Its something to consider when nonoperative treatmentsarent helping.
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Tips To Protect Your Knees As You Age
Your knees bear a lot of weight as well as a large responsibility for your ability to effectively get around. They also contain a lot of moving parts, from ligaments and cartilage to muscles and bones, that can become damaged either from injury or the natural wear and tear of age, making it difficult to stay active and enjoy everything life has to offer.
Fortunately, Dr. Struan Coleman is an expert in preventive joint care and offers the following tips to help you protect your knee joints as you age:
Waiting For A Hip Or Knee Replacement Here Are Some Tips To Control Pain And Stay Active
In some countries with universal or nationalized health care, a joint replacement is considered an elective procedure. That means the person chooses to have the operation but it’s not an emergency procedure. So despite pain and loss of motion or function, that individual must wait in a queue until the resources are available to them. This could take weeks to months. In the meantime, they are advised to stay active. What’s the best way to do that? Should patients exercise on land or in a pool? Is one better than the other? That’s what the researchers involved in this study wanted to find out.
Physiotherapists from down under compared patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis exercising either on land or in a pool-based program while waiting for surgery. The patients were randomized into one group or the other. They were all found to be medically fit and able to exercise.
Both groups engaged in their respective exercise twice a week for six weeks. The sessions lasted one hour and were supervised by a physiotherapist. Each exercise session cost $6.00 per patient. They were also asked to continue exercising at home at least three times a week for 30 minutes. Exercise could take any form: riding a bike, walking, or doing land-based exercises similar to what they did in class.
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How To Prevent Knee Injury And Avoid Knee Surgery
The knees are subject to injuries that include fractures of the bones around the knee, dislocation, tears of soft tissue and sprains. Knees are also injured when people do things like kneeling on hard surfaces and damaging the bursae that cushion the tendons and ligaments. Bursitis can be very painful.
Taking precautions to prevent knee injury and protecting knees during activities that have the potential to damage a knee joint, like running or jogging, can prevent some of the knee injuries people commonly experience. Precautions can also help people avoid knee surgery.
Following the suggestions for keeping joints healthy also contributes to preventing knee injury. Additional recommendations for knee injury prevention include:
- Avoid pounding and twisting the knee joints
Some activities are hard on the knees because they pound the knee joints. They include jogging or running and aerobics. It is better to use an elliptical machine, walk or swim.
However, people who enjoy these activities are not likely to stop. If participating in them, be sure to learn how to protect knees while running by maintaining a good posture or how to do aerobics by avoiding rotation of the knees and hips. When doing sports requiring jumping, learn to keep joints aligned when landing after a jump, meaning the hips remain over the knees and the knees are over the ankles. Also, wear cushioned shoes during any knee-pounding exercise routines.
- Keep muscles strong
- Warm up and stretch
- Wear knee supports
What You Need To Know:
Knee pain may start suddenly, or it may be a long-term problem. You may have pain on the side, front, or back of your knee. You may have knee stiffness and swelling. You may hear popping sounds or feel like your knee is giving way or locking up as you walk. You may feel pain when you sit, stand, walk, or climb up and down stairs. Knee pain can be caused by conditions such as obesity, inflammation, or strains or tears in ligaments or tendons.
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Improving Range Of Motion Muscle Strength And Weight Control Can Help Reduce Pain And Make Your Knees Feel Younger
Knee pain is common in older age, often caused by osteoarthritis . Fortunately, there are ways to fool Father Time and postpone knee problems or even prevent them entirely. “In many cases, you can delay or avoid the need for surgical intervention, such as a knee replacement,” says Dr. Lars Richardson, an orthopedic surgeon with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
How To Keep Your Knees Healthy
Your knees carry you through many journeys in life, but as we age or overuse these joints, they begin to show signs of wear and tear. Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 80% of those 55 and older. This disease is caused by damage or breakdown of joint cartilage between bones over time. Some cases can result in reduced function and disability, limiting affected individuals’ ability to perform daily tasks. However, there are things you can do to keep your knees healthy and preserve your mobility throughout your life.
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Eliminate Junk Food From Your Diet As Soon As Possible
as they contribute to the development of diseases such as excess weight and obesity, which can produce knee pain.
Industrial products and junk food dont provide nutrients. Instead, they provide excess fat, sugar, and salt to your diet, among others. These promote inflammatory processes and can even affect the knee joints.
Fast foods become harmful when they become a habit, since they contain an excess of energy, favoring or promoting an increase in body weight.
Some examples of healthy eating plans are the Mediterranean diet and the Harvard plate.
Role Of The Knee Joint
Beginning early in life, taking care of your knees is important. The knee joint is one of the most important joints in the body because it enables walking, standing and running while supporting the weight of the body. Since it plays a big role in so many movements and carries so much body weight, many people experience knee problems at some point in their life that are often preventable.
The knee joint is a hinged synovial joint. A synovial joint is a joint cavity located at a site where the moving surfaces of bones contact each other. A thin layer of cartilage curves around the inside and the outside of the knee so the joint is cushioned and bones can move smoothly.
The bones are connected with ligaments outside the joint and tendons connect muscles to bones, giving the joint stability. A healthy synovial joint is filled with synovial fluid that is secreted by a thin synovial membrane in the joint. This is also a key element of the ability of the joint to function properly because it acts as a lubricant and provides nourishment to the joints cartilage.
Keeping the knee joints healthy requires taking care of the various components of the knee structure by keeping:
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Damage To The Cartilage At The Back Of The Kneecap
Knee pain that feels worse when you go up or down stairs could be a sign of a damaged kneecap, called chondromalacia patellae.
This should not cause any redness or heat around the knee.
The cause is not understood, but it can be linked to overuse of the knee.
You can treat this problem yourself with anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen, an icepack and rest.
Stand Up Straight To Feel Better
“When you slouch you are leaning forward and walking bent over at the waist and that posture will lead to knee pain,” says Bush-Joseph. “You want your head centered over your shoulders and your shoulders centered over your abdomen and pelvis. The more your body is off-center, the more you have to compensate for that with muscle activity. Those muscles eventually fatigue, causing strain on your joints.”
Having strong core muscles in your abdomen and lower back helps promote good posture and, ultimately, lessens the pressure on your knees. Exercises such as planks, back extensions, yoga and Pilates can help strengthen the core.
Heres how to do these exercises:
- Planks: Lie face down with your toes pointed to the floor. Put your forearms on the floor with your elbows at 90-degree angles. Tighten your abdominal and gluteal muscles and lift your body off the floor. Keep your back straight and hold for 15 to 45 seconds.
- Back extensions: Lie face down with elbows bent and hands on the floor. Keeping your hips on the floor, lift your head and shoulders up with your arms. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat five to 10 times.
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