Pain of any kind makes you feel helpless and frustrated. Of all, knee pain is quite a severe one to deal with as you find yourself impaired. Your movements get restricted, and there’s restlessness until you return to normal. Various medical conditions or sometimes injuries result in knee pain. However, there are useful remedies that help you overcome them.
While pain in any part of the body makes you feel incapacitated, knee pain is particularly a serious problem. Research indicates that knee pain affects 25% of adults, and its prevalence has increased by almost 65% over the last two decades.
Most cases of knee pains are injuries from overuse, or from poor preparation for exercise. The problems usually go away after some rest, and sporting activities can resume after the pain subsides. Various causes could contribute to knee pain. Some of these include torn cartilage or some sort of injury. Certain medical conditions like arthritis or infections may also result in knee pain. While most knee pains can be treated with home remedies, others get cured through physical therapy and knee braces. Yet others that are relatively severe need surgical repair.
Common symptoms of knee pain:
- A dull ache that starts gradually, and is linked to activities
- Clicking or other sounds from the knee
- Pain worsens when going upstairs, or when getting up after a long time sitting, squatting down, or kneeling
- A weakness in the legs or painful locking
- Occasional swelling
- Swelling in a portion of the knee
- Feeling stiffness on the knee, sometimes accompanied by a clicking sound
- Developing redness or some sort of warmth to the touch
- Unable to completely stretch your leg as the knee doesn’t get straight
- Feeling weak, especially on the knee joint
Recommended treatments for knee pain:
- Stopping all activities that aggravate the knee until it is resolved
- Applying ice when the knee is painful
- Identifying any recent changes in your lifestyle either internal (e.g. if you gained weight) or external (e.g. wearing different shoes) and try to reverse these changes
- Stretching out various muscles in your legs, and hold for 30 seconds. Try not to elicit your pain but simply ‘stretch’ it
- Using strengthening exercises
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Taking natural pain relievers with no side effects such as lavender, rosemary, or peppermint essential oils
Natural Home Remedies for Knee Pain
- Tai Chi – An ancient Chinese method of gaining balance and flexibility, which includes deep breathing and relaxation procedures.
- Herbal Ointment – Ointments made of ginger, mastic, or sesame oil also help reduce knee pain.
- Aromatherapy – Natural oils have a healing power. Massaging with an extract of ginger, orange juice, and cinnamon could help alleviate pain.
- Follow appropriate weight management strategies and make sure you keep your weight under control
- RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) – This technique helps relieve knee pain caused due to soft tissue injury or sprain.
How to prevent knee pains
- Remember that in general knee pain is an overuse injury so try to vary the stresses you apply to your knee. For example, if you are training for a marathon, mix up your routes – don’t always run over hills.
- Keep the muscles in your legs as flexible as possible by regular stretching. Some good stretches include quadricep, hamstring, and calf stretches.
- Keep the muscles in your legs in good condition by regular strengthening. Some good exercises include wall slides, hamstring curls, and straight leg raises.
- Wear well-fitted, comfortable and appropriate footwear when doing sporting activities such as running
- Even if you suffer from structural knee problems, don’t stop exercises
- Stretching your calf muscles and hamstrings is good for knee and kneecaps
- People who are overweight can relieve themselves of knee pain by losing some pounds
- Wear shoes that are comfortable and fit properly
- Don’t suddenly change the intensity or duration of your exercises
- If you go to the gym, opt for low-impact exercises such as a rowing machine or cross-country skiing machine.
- When you are not in the gym, spend some time swimming and walking.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
When to see a doctor
When knee pains are caused by sudden trauma, such as from a road accident or a fall, you may need immediate medical attention.
For other cases of knee pain, a doctor will need to examine the problem if it:
- Causes considerable pain or swelling
- Involves red, tender, warm, and swollen joints
- Persists for a long time
- Gets progressively worse
- Disrupts daily activities
- Unable to completely extend your knee
- Find a deformity in your leg or knee
- Besides the redness and swelling, you have a high fever
- Experiencing severe knee pain due to an injury
- Prolonged swelling in the knee
If knee pains are persistent, involve other joints, and result in other symptoms such as morning stiffness, it could be rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors can prescribe drugs for both the disease itself and the pain it causes.
If a swollen knee feels very hot and painful, and results in other symptoms of feeling unwell, the knee could be infected. This is dangerous and needs urgent hospital treatment.
Most synthetic drugs have adverse side effects. Therefore, if you are currently treating knee pains with doctor prescribed drugs, please monitor your overall health and continue to seek medical attention is problems worsen.
Knee pain could range from mild to severe at times. Whatever the case, it must not be completely ignored. Exercises, wearing proper shoes, and adhering to a balanced diet are simple ways to prevent knee pain. Even in case you contract it, you can follow the remedies outlined here to relieve you of the pain. In extreme situations, do consult a doctor before the situation gets worse.
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