Many short-term knee issues don’t require doctor’s attention, and you can effectively treat them at home. In this article, we’ll review a few home remedies to treat knee pain.
Assess your Pain
You should assess your pain before trying any home remedies to treat your knee pain. Mild to moderate pain can be treated effectively at home. There are many ways to relieve the discomfort, whether due to a sprain or arthritis.
Immediately seek medical attention for moderate to extreme pain caused by an injury. Many cases of knee pain may require surgery or other treatments. Surgery may be necessary in severe cases of arthritis. If you are experiencing knee pain after surgery, consult your doctor.
Nevertheless, whether the discomfort is due to inflammation, arthritis, or a mild injury, some treatments have proven successful at home. Read on for more information on alternative treatments and supplements that can help alleviate pain in your knees.
Try RICE for Strains and Sprains
If you had a hard fall or you twisted your leg or strained your knee, it may be a good idea to get first aid at home. Note the “RICE” acronym for the treatment of strains and sprains:
Get off your feet and apply a cold compress or ice pack to your knee. Frozen vegetables, including peas, will also work if you don’t have an ice pack handy. In order to avoid swelling, wrap the knee with a compression bandage but not so tightly that it disrupts the circulation. Keep your foot elevated as you rest.
Tai chi is an ancient type of mind-body exercise from China that improves balance and flexibility. Researchers noticed, in a study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism, that the practice of tai chi can be especially beneficial for those with osteoarthritis. It can decrease discomfort and increase the motion range. The mental exercise can help cope with chronic pain.
Exercise and Weight Management
You can decrease knee pain by regularly exercising; it makes your joints move and helps strengthen them. For those with arthritis, keeping the leg still or reducing the range of motion to prevent discomfort can make the joint stiffer and make the pain even worse. Excess weight can also aggravate the issue; therefore, weight management is critical.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Put a heating pad on your knee while reclining to prevent the joints from getting stiff. Apply a cold compress or wrap a gel ice pack around your knee to minimize discomfort and swelling. Alternately use heat and cold pads; use cold more often during the first 24 hours of the injury.
According to the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, researchers studied a balm made of ginger, mastic, cinnamon, and sesame oil. They found that the balm was just as effective as creams containing salicylate, used for treating arthritis with an over-the-counter topical pain relief treatment.
A research conducted in 2001 found that some people living with arthritis reported pain relief by using willow bark. Herbalists do use the extract usually for treating fever, inflammation, and pain. But you should not take willow bark if you have aspirin allergies or you are taking blood thinners. Also, don’t give willow bark to children under four years old.
Ginger is found in various forms, and it is used in various cuisines and is easily available in the market. It can be purchased at natural food stores or vitamin stores in pre-packaged supplement form, or you can find ginger root or tea in a grocery store. Health benefits of ginger include relief from stomach discomfort and nausea and pain relief. A study of people who had arthritis showed that when used in conjunction with a prescription arthritis drug, ginger helped relieve pain.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are two additives that have seen widespread prominence over the past decade due to consumer ads promising to promote joint health. For those with mild to moderate osteoarthritis, research has shown that the combination has a limited effect on pain. But both treatments helped people who had more severe pain.