Knee pain is one of the most common complaints that affect individuals of all ages. Knee pain can occur because of various reasons like injury (torn cartilage or ruptured ligament), medical conditions (arthritis, infections, and gout) can all cause knee pain.
You may be taking the best medicine for knee joint pain, but it is not always possible to prevent knee pain.
If you have chronic knee pain and have been taking medications regularly, does your knee pain still bother you? Sounds familiar?
Well, it’s about time to take matters into your hand and help yourself. This article will discuss some pro tips that may help you reduce your knee pain, improve your range of motion (knee), increase flexibility and quality of life.
You can do many things to reduce knee pain and improve joint movements. Below mentioned are some tips that will help you:
What can you do now to feel better?
Do not rest too much
The first and foremost thing you can do is not rest too much. Resting makes your muscles weak, which can further worsen your knee pain. Try and be active. Do not stay in one position for too long. You can walk or stretch a bit. If you are not sure what thing you can do, speak to the healthcare professional who can help you.
Exercise (moderate weightlifting) of the knees can strengthen the muscles and increase flexibility. You can take help of a physical therapist to find out the best exercise programs according to your needs.
While if you are not able to do weightlifting, you can indulge yourself in physical activities such as walking or swimming, which may also help you improve your mood, quality of life and increase your joint movements.
It is recommended that you work out or exercise for at least 150 minutes per week.
PS- Do not indulge in activities that can worsen knee pain or injure you; always talk to an expert.
RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation, which may help to treat mild to moderate knee pain.
Resting can reduce the number of injuries. Also, it provides time for tissues to heal themselves. (PS – Do not completely stop movements as it can only worsen your knee pain).
Applying ice to the affected knee joint can help to decrease inflammation and swelling. The ice can be wrapped in cloth and applied to the affected area for 20 – 30 minutes. You should never directly apply ice to your skin. It may result in further damage.
Compression with a knee support can help improve the knee’s comfort levels. The compression bandage should be firm, not too tight. The compression is to be applied with a medical bandage. You should ensure that it is not wrapped too tight to interrupt the blood flow. Make sure that the skin below the bandage does not feel numb, cold, or turn blue. In such cases, reduce the tightness of the bandage. If you still observe and feel the same, visit your doctor immediately.
Elevation implies raising the knee above the level of the heart. It helps to decrease pain, swelling and throbbing. It may seem risky, but it is straightforward. The doctors recommend keeping the affected knee raised whenever possible.
RICE technique may be recommended with medications to improve your knee pain.
If you are overweight, you need to shed
People with obesity have a higher risk of knee pain than healthy individuals. Being obese also increases the risk of other illnesses, including arthritis. Smaller details matter a lot in improving the functionality of the knee.
If you are overweight, your joints have to carry and work more. Shedding extra kilos helps to reduce knee pain in the long term.
Experts recommend losing weight in arthritis if you are obese to decrease the pressure on your knees. Your doctor or a health expert will determine your weight.
Shoes matter a lot
It may seem odd, but wearing the right kind of footwear does help to improve your symptoms of knee pain.
Shoes that are well cushioned can help decrease the stress on your knees. If you have arthritis, your doctors may recommend special footwear that will help you provide better support.
You can ask your doctor what kind of footwear can help reduce the stress on the knees.
Mind your posture
Another minor detail we ignore in our daily routine is posture, which matters a lot. Taking the following measures will help in reducing the strain on your knees:
- Sitting on a pillow to raise your level
- Avoid seating on chairs and couches that are low in level
- Avoid seating in one posture and position (without moving) as joints may become stiff
- Check with your healthcare worker if your sitting position is correct
- Wear supporting shoes
- Wearing compression band-aids to support the knee
Many researchers are suggesting that essential oils may help to reduce knee pain. Essential oils have been used in Ayurveda for various medical reasons.
These joint pain oils are derived from plants and are safe to use for knee pain without any side effects.
Research suggests various essential oils such as peppermint oil, rosemary oil, Clove oil, capsaicin oil, turmeric oil, etc., help reduce knee pain.
You can apply these oils on your joint (do use the concentrated form of the oil for direct application on the skin, you need to dilute it and apply on the affected knee. Massage it for 15-20 minutes gently)
Acupuncture is an alternative medical treatment that may help to reduce knee pain in individuals. Research demonstrated that acupuncture participants reported improved knee function and pain relief as adjuvant therapy.
Another study demonstrated that it helps to improve pain in many conditions, including osteoarthritis. Moreover, acupuncture showed anti-inflammatory effects. Lastly, it causes the release of endogenous opioid endorphins (natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body).
Various herbal joint pain medicines are available in various formulations. Many studies have also been conducted on these various herbal supplements to demonstrate their efficacy. These herbs have been used for ages to reduce inflammation and can help improve your joint pain.
These supplements have shown to improve the following symptoms:
- Fish oil – reduce tenderness, improve stiffness in people with arthritis
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin – helps in reducing moderate to severe knee pain
- Turmeric – anti-inflammatory effect, reduce pain in knees
- Ginger – anti-inflammatory effect, reduce pain in knees
Last but not least, what we eat matters a lot. Eating the right kind of food helps reduce the body’s inflammation. While eating unhealthy food may exhibit harmful effects on health and cause inflammation.
Research suggests that consuming whole grains, fruits, vegetables may help to reduce joint pain in arthritis.
Another research suggests that eating foods rich in high antioxidants can help reduce the body’s inflammation, which helps to reduce joint pain.
Foods rich in Omega-3-fatty acids (freshwater fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds) also help to help to reduce inflammation.
Healthy eating may help reduce weight and could help you improve other health conditions.
The Bottom Line
Apart from taking medications on a timely basis, the above-mentioned alternative options are available that may help you manage joint pain effectively. Small things, which may not seem important, such as eating habits, posture, and footwear, also reduce joint pain.
These habits may not improve your pain immediately, but they will help you, in the long run, to reduce your pain, and improve the flexibility of your knee joint and range of motion. Moreover, you will have a better quality of life if you incorporate these things into your daily schedule. Herbal formulations such as joint pain capsules may also help. You can ask your doctor to help you with the right treatment.