Knee pain is a common condition that affects individuals of all ages. It may occur as a result of injury, or due to medical conditions such as gout, arthritis, and/or infections. The good news is that many cases of mild to moderate knee pain respond well to natural home remedies. In this article, we’ll discuss 7 natural home remedies to help you manage mild to moderate knee pain caused by arthritis, minor injury, or inflammation.
Participating in exercise regularly allows the joints of the knee to move freely and minimizes knee pain. For people with arthritis, maintaining the leg in a stationary position or minimizing the extent of movement to avoid pain can make the joint rigid, resulting in increased pain.
Additionally, consider shedding a few pounds if you are overweight, as excess weight puts extra pressure on your knees, especially with weight-bearing activities such as walking or running. The amount of weight you should lose shouldn’t overwhelm or stress you. Research reveals that even slight weight loss contributes to a significant reduction in knee pain. Stick to low-impact workouts such as spinning, swimming, Pilates, and yoga that can assist you to lose weight in a manner that minimizes the impact on your knees.
Icing the knee in 10 to 15-minute intervals is ideal to control pain and inflammation for the first 48 to 72 hours after an injury, and is also advised after exercising.
Heat therapy can be used after the first 72 hours following an injury to lessen knee pain by increasing blood flow to the area, relaxing tensed muscles, and ridding the body of waste products, such as lactic acid, that is often responsible for causing soreness and stiffness.
Below are a few ways to alleviate pain at home using ice and heat therapy:
Wearing high heels or ill-fitting shoes can cause an uneven distribution of your body weight, and can place excess pressure on your knee joints, resulting in pain. Researchers at Harvard discovered that pressure on the kneecap was 23% higher in women wearing high heels than women that were barefoot. Find shoes with sufficient cushioning in the soles that can prevent shock from getting to the knees when you are walking.
If knee pain usually keeps you up at night, a knee pillow can come in handy. If you enjoy sleeping on your side, add some comfort by placing a small pillow between your knees. If you’re a back sleeper, placing a small pillow under your knees can help you get a restful night’s sleep.
Ginger exists in a wide array of forms - you can buy it at vitamin or health food shops in pre-packaged supplement form, or you can get ginger root or tea at the grocery store. It has numerous health benefits, including relief of stomach upset, nausea, and pain. One study revealed that ginger combined with prescription medication for arthritis is effective for reducing pain.
RICE is a key acronym to keep in mind when you have an acute knee injury that is causing symptoms. It stands for rest, ice, compression, elevation. Lying down or sitting allows your body to rest and takes the weight off your knee, putting a cold compress on the painful area alleviates the pain, supporting your knee can be instrumental in reducing inflammation that helps lessen pain and foster healing, and elevating the knee can also help to decrease inflammation and speed up healing.
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that consists of mind-body exercises. These workouts are helpful in improving balance and flexibility. According to a study available in Arthritis and Rheumatism, people with osteoarthritis can benefit from practicing Tai chi, as it helps to relieve pain and increase the range of motion of the knee. Tai chi also imparts mental discipline that may help you learn how to cope with knee pain.
While many cases of knee pain can be managed with the natural remedies discussed in this article, if you continue to experience on-going knee pain symptoms, consider a consultation with one of the trained physical therapists at Blue Hills Sports & Spine Rehabilitation. They can evaluate your condition and determine if there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed with physical therapy.