Causes

Prevention

Symptoms

Chondral Damage

Chondromalacia Patella

Knee Bursitis

Remedies

Nonsurgical treatments

Anterior Cruciate Ligament

ACL Reconstruction

Arthroscopy

Surgical options

Orthopedics in Montana |  Remedies for knee pain

What are the best home remedies for knee pain?

There are several things you can do for relief of simple knee pain that doesn’t relate to trauma, fracture or a chronic arthritis syndrome.

Anti-Inflammatories

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory medication, or NSAID’s, such as ibuprofen can help reduce swelling and inflammation. The problem with using any drug, including ibuprofen, is that it also masks the pain of a knee injury and can damage internal organs (e.g. liver, ulcers) over extended use.

Drugs can also encourage the person to continue to abuse the knee and worsen the injury to it. For knee pain that lasts longer than a few days, the person really needs to seek out an orthopedic surgeon so they can determine the cause of your knee pain symptoms. There are many new NON-surgical treatment options now that can relieve the pain symptoms without relying on drugs that mask the symptom and may have dangerous side effects on a liver or other internal organs.

If you are a weekend warrior and have caused some knee pain with too much activity, you can try the following as a home remedy for knee pain:

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation = RICE

This is an easy to remember four-step formula for treating a knee injury that is incurred from activity.

  • Rest, means to keep the knee away from any stressful activity, preferably immobile initially.
  • Ice means to apply ice to the knee to control swelling and inflammation. Wrap ice in a towel so that it does not agitate the skin.
  • Compression will help prevent hemorrhaging or internal bleeding.
  • Elevation. Elevate the leg above the heart to reduce internal bleeding.

 

Other home remedies for knee pain:

Other home remedies for knee pain to delay joint replacement surgery can include:

  • knee braces to restrict painful range of motion
  • exercise and stretching
  • weight loss to reduce pressure on the knee joint
  • over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication
  • steroid injections into the joint
  • hot packs and cold packs
  • regenerative medicine procedures such as stem cell replacement
  • alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and yoga

 

Weight loss to reduce knee pain symptoms

According to the US Government, 56% of Americans are overweight. This is bad news for our knees. Scientifically speaking, our knees form and develop in mass and strength in proportion to the amount of weight our body was designed to hold. So, if you are a small woman, your knees are meant to hold a smaller amount of weight than if you are a six-foot tall man. Although the body is very adaptable and can learn to hold different weights, a point can be reached where the body is simply not comfortable supporting the excess weight.

Body Mass Index is the number you come up with when you divide how much you weigh in kilograms by how tall you are in centimeters squared. The number you come up with is your BMI. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered in the normal range. A BMI above 25 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 or more is classified as obese. To find your BMI, there are several calculators on the Internet including the BMI recommendations from the Surgeon General.

Diet

Losing weight can provide instant relief for the knees. Although we are constantly inundated with new diet fads, remember that logically, the way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than we burn and the way to maintain weight is to burn approximately the same number of calories that we burn.

Although in reality, this method can be harder to follow than it is to understand, once we build healthy habits, this lifestyle will become easier and easier to maintain. Some diets help you to do this. Others are shams. Be cautious. Anything that seems to good to be true, probably is.

If you have arthritis, there are pain aggravators that should be avoided. For instance, paprika, pepper, tobacco, cayenne, eggplant, large amounts of potatoes and tomatoes can irritate your arthritis because these foods have alkaloids that prevent the repair of collagen and cartilage. Aspartame (found in diet sodas and artificial sweeteners) can also worsen arthritis since in causes inflammation in the joints when regularly consumed.

In study after study, it seems almost innumerable health benefits can be accumulated from eating a diet rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, whole wheat and fruits. Once again, knees also benefit from this diet.

Exercise

It is also important to incorporate exercise into your routine if you have knee pain. Although it may seem like a Catch-22 (you cannot exercise because your knee hurts, and your knee hurts more because you cannot exercise) strengthening the leg muscles can be crucial in alleviating knee pain.

The more support the muscles can offer, the less stress and therefore less pain. Please refer to our online exercise library, which will show you several knee strengthening exercises. Also, if your knee hurts and you want to start up an exercise routine, why not try a stationary bike or swimming? While running or stair climbing can be taxing to the knees, the stationary bike and swimming are both excellent cardiovascular activities that only minimally put pressure on the knees.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate

Nearly 40 million Americans, or one in seven people, have arthritis. For many, the arthritis causes pain in the knees and joints. Early on, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate were recommended as a non-surgical treatment option for knee pain.

But today, the American Association or Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) strongly advises against taking them in the form of dietary supplements for treating osteoarthritis of the knee

According to the AAOS, people who use these supplements hope they are going to get pain relief from osteoarthritis, and perhaps even some repair of the cartilage. Both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been used in Europe for several years, with few reported side effects. Both supplements also have some anti-inflammatory effect.

But there is no study proving that either glucosamine and chondroitin, taken singly or in combination, will slow the degenerative process or improve the cartilage in arthritic joints. All studies done to date have been short and focused on pain relief. A long-term study is just beginning, sponsored by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Lastly, according to the AAOS, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are not tested or analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration before they are sold to consumers, which means there is little regulation that the consumer is even getting what they pay for. A recent study by ConsumerLab.com revealed that about half of the glucosamine and chondroitin supplements tested did not contain the amount advertised.

Similarly, according to Cochrane Report, a respected medical research journal, a Cochrane meta-analysis in 2007 found that the “symptomatic benefit of chondroitin was minimal or nonexistent. Use of chondroitin in routine clinical practice should therefore be discouraged.” A second Cochrane review in 2016 again found that many of the studies that touted the benefits of the chondroitin were low quality or flawed.

 

Educational content copyright © Medingenuity, LLC.