There's no need to deal with the side-effects of harmful medication when you can try some of these simple home remedies.
Sometimes, they may come and go for a short while, and sometimes, they might stay on for a painfully long time. Knee pain is something that can be experienced no matter how old you are. It can be caused due to arthritis, obesity, dislocated knee cap, fractures or other issues, according to Mayo Clinic. There are a number of things you can do in the comforts of your very own home to handle knee pain effectively. Here are some of the home remedies you can try.
Even losing a bit of weight can have huge effects on your body. Losing 5 percent of body weight can reduce pain and losing 10 percent can slow the process that the disease takes.
"Losing excess weight and building more muscle are also the only two things that the research shows can positively affect the course of knee osteoarthritis," said Neil Segal, MD, associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation and director of the Clinical Osteoarthritis Research Program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, according to Arthritis Foundation.
Strengthening exercises, suggested by Versus Arthritis, can be particularly helpful.
- Raising your leg while lying down. While your left leg is bent, keep your right leg straight and lift it off the floor slightly. Hold it for a few seconds before switching.
- Sitting on a chair and then standing up slowly without using your hands.
- Sitting on the edge of your bed and crossing your ankles, one on top of the other and alternating between two legs.
P.R.I.C.E. or Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation can help when you've had mild injuries or a sprain.
- By protecting your knee, what you're doing is avoiding the vulnerable knee from getting injured any further.
- By resting, you are giving your knee enough time to heal. But this does not mean that you should completely stop moving your knee; move enough to avoid stiffness and weakness of muscles.
- By using ice to the area a few times on the day of the injury, you can reduce the swelling or inflammation. It's best to use a cloth to wrap it because directly applying it to your skin can cause damage.
- By using a bandage or some kind of support to compress your knee, you can get more relief.
- By keeping your leg elevated (preferably above the level of your heart), you can increase the blood circulation and reduce the swelling, as explained by Medical News Today.
An alternative to your regular aspirin is willow bark. It has been observed to have pain-relieving properties and can possibly reduce the pain you're experiencing from muscle pain, menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, and gout, according to WebMD. It's best to get yourself some willow bark extract, however, do not take it if you're allergic to aspirin or if you are taking blood thinners. It's not advisable to give it to children either.
Another effective way to deal with knee pain caused by arthritis is by applying heat or cold to the area.
While the heat can relax your muscles and ease your joints from stiffness, the cold can help reduce the swelling, inflammation, and the pain, according to Arthritis-health. You can try either one of them, either using a hot water bag or an ice pack. You can even alternate between the two methods, where you use heat to warm your joints up in the morning or before physical activity and then use cold to reduce the swelling later.
Ginger is known to have a number of great benefits and you might experience one of them if you tend to have knee pain. A study published on ScienceDirect found that oral ginger can help in reducing pain and disability that comes with osteoarthritis. Therefore, adding some ginger to your meals could be helpful in getting rid of knee pain. However, it's advisable to first consume them in very small amounts to see if it suits your stomach.
Massaging your knee by yourself can have therapeutic effects, especially if your knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis. Some of the massages recommended by AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association) are:
- pressing four fingers firmly around your knee, letting your tissue move up and down. Five strokes should do.
- gliding the heel of your left hand from the top of your inner thigh all the way to the top of your knee. You can repeat this 5 times while being seated.
- sliding both your palms down from the outside of your upper thigh down to your knee caps; then with medium pressure, bring them back to the starting position. Do this while you're seated with both feet on the ground.
Consuming apple cider vinegar might also have relieving effects on your knee pain as it may have anti-inflammatory properties. It's best to avoid dairy products, foods that are acidic, along with potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. A well-balanced diet would be ideal.
"There is no magic diet for arthritis," said Laura Gibofsky, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian. "You don’t need to take supplements, when a well-balanced diet that includes all the major food groups is sufficient to provide your body with the appropriate vitamins and minerals."