What is Knee Pain?
Knee pain or pain in the knee is one of the most common inflictions faced by many individuals today. Majority of the people have experienced knee pain at some point in their life. The intensity of the pain depends on the cause of the pain, patient's age and the general health of the patient.
What Causes Knee Pain?
There are many causes for knee pain, such as injuries, other medical conditions, structural abnormalities, age, obesity, poor health and reduced muscle flexibility etc. Knee pain is of two types; acute and chronic. Acute knee pain is commonly caused by a fall or trauma. It is abrupt in onset and resolves in short period of time. Whereas, chronic knee pain is commonly caused by medical problems or obesity and it takes some time for it to become obvious and is persistent for longer duration. Recurrent knee pain is also chronic knee pain, which is episodic in nature, i.e. it comes and goes.
Common Home Remedies for Knee Pain
Given below are some remedies which can be done at home to find relief from knee pain, but they are not a substitute for medical treatment and if the pain persists, then patient should seek medical consultation.
- First and foremost thing to do is rest your knee. Rest is very important in resolving any kind of pain. Avoid putting undue stress, pressure or strain to the affected knee and give it some time to heal from injury or inflammation.
- Ice is a common remedy used to alleviate, not only knee pain and swelling, but pain in other areas of the body too. Ice application or cold therapy is very effective in resolving inflammation, pain and swelling in the knee. Wrap some ice cubes in a towel and apply it on the knee such that it covers the entire knee. Alternatively you can use frozen food items, such as a bag of frozen peas, from your refrigerator as a substitute for the ice. Ice applications should be done around 15 minutes for 2 to 3 times a day. Never apply ice directly to the skin or for prolonged duration, as it could damage skin and nerves.
- The affected knee can be wrapped in an ace wrap or a bandage for sometime however, you should be careful not to wrap it too tightly.
- Elevation can be done to decrease the swelling in the knee. The knees can be kept elevated by propping it on a couple of pillows, or sitting on a recliner chair where your legs are elevated.
- Crutches or a cane can be used for some days to avoid weight bearing on the affected knee.
- Heat therapy or steam is also very beneficial for resolving pain. You can soak in at hot tub, sit in a steamy bathtub or apply a hot water bag to your affected knee. However, heat therapy should be avoided in case of injury for the initial acute period (48 hours).
- Massage therapy is another effective technique in alleviating aches and pains, not only in the knee region, but all over the body. Warm olive oil can be massaged gently to the knee around two or three times a day. Massage helps in increasing the blood flow to the affected area and helps in pain relief. Massage should be done for 5 to 10 minutes.
- If you are weight, then losing the excess weight by following a balanced diet helps in relieving the knee pain, as obesity is one of the causes of knee pain. Diet should include oranges which have plenty of Vitamin C.
- Onions, red grapes and apples are rich in flavonoid, Quercetin, which is beneficial in relieving knee pain.
- Leafy vegetables such as spinach, soy products etc. should also be eaten for relief from knee pain.
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon of fenugreek powder with water and drink this concoction followed by some tea. This can help with knee pain.
- Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey in some warm water and drink this two times a day for relief from knee pain.
- Steep some papaya seeds in water and drink this 5 to 6 times a day for a couple weeks.
- Garlic cloves fried in clarified butter can be eaten to prevent knee pain.
- A mixture of peppermint oil and extra virgin oil in equal quantities can be massaged into the affected area for pain relief.
- Soak 2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds in equal quantities in 1 glass of water overnight and filter this in the morning before drinking it on an empty stomach. It is effective in relieving knee pain.
- Soak 2 teaspoons of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of Asafetida in water and make a paste. Massage this paste on the affected knee for pain relief.
- Gentle stretches can be done under the supervision of a doctor or a therapist for pain relief.
- High impact activities, such as running, jumping should be avoided.
- Smokers should quit smoking, as smoking delays the healing process.
- Always adopt the correct posture while walking, as poor posture or overpronation of the foot is a common cause of knee pain, as overpronation misaligns the knee resulting in pain.
- Overpronation can be corrected by wearing custom made supportive shoes or special shoe inserts.
- Always wear right fitting shoes and avoid wearing high heels, as they put lot of stress on the knees.
- Exercises which do not put stress on the knees, such as swimming, can be done.
- While lifting weights, avoid complete flexing of the knee.
- Don't keep your knees in a locked manner when standing.
- When doing activities which require kneeling such as gardening, scrubbing the floor, always place a foam cushion under your knees or use knee pads.
- Always walk, jog or run on even surfaces. Avoid uneven or hard surfaces.
- Avoid running or walking downhill.
- You can also do stretching and strengthening exercises for the knee under medical supervision.
- NSAIDs such as, ibuprofen, can be taken to alleviate pain, inflammation, and swelling; however, they come with side effects and should be used with caution.
Caution: The above mentioned remedies or measures can be done for relief from knee pain, but they are not a substitute for actual treatment and persistent knee pain should not be ignored and medical consultation should not be delayed in such cases.