9 Top Tips for Treating Knee Pain at Home
Don’t let knee pain stop you from enjoying your favourite activities. Whether you have suffered an acute injury such as a torn ligament or have an overuse condition like osteoarthritis, these top tips for treating knee pain at home will help you to continue living your life to the fullest.
N.B. If you are suffering from constant or very severe knee pain, you may need knee replacement surgery and should arrange an appointment with your doctor to discuss the options available to you.
Treating knee pain at home
1. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). This is usually one of the first treatments to be prescribed following an acute knee injury or the diagnosis of a condition like osteoarthritis, and for good reason. It helps ease pain and swelling and promotes healing and flexibility, for fast and effective relief. A detailed guide to RICE can be found here.
2. Exercises for knee pain. Certain exercises can build strength around the affected area and minimise the risk of further injury. While these may be uncomfortable at first, they can be very effective for relieving knee pain in the long term. Try building the knee pain exercises in this leaflet into your daily routine or request a tailored programme from a physiotherapist.
3. A healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle is one of the most important yet most commonly overlooked factors contributing to knee aches and pains. Excess weight places excess strain on the knees, while a lack of exercise causes them to stiffen up and weaken. Incorporate some gentle cardiovascular exercise such as walking or swimming into your daily routine and address any unhealthy dietary choices as best you can.
4. Knee bracing. Knee braces provide added control and support for the affected area(s), relieving knee pain, increasing mobility and minimising the risk of further injury. Arrange an appointment with your orthotist for help finding the best knee brace for your particular injury or condition, be it an ACL tear, osteoarthritis or something else entirely.
5. Anti-inflammatory medicines. Swelling is one of the biggest causes of knee pain, so it might help to tackle this at source. As well as prescribed medicines like acetaminophen and corticosteroids, there are many over-the-counter medications that can be effective for treating knee pain at home, including ibuprofen and naproxen. Always read the label and ask your doctor if you’re at all unsure about the best pain relief for you and your knee condition.
6. Topical anaesthetics. Numbing agents such as lidocaine patches and capsaicin creams may sometimes be used externally to treat knee pain in osteoarthritis sufferers. Arrange an appointment with your doctor if you would like to try one of these treatments, and they will advise you on the best course of action.
7. Magnesium. This important mineral helps to relax the muscles and nerve endings, in turn relieving knee stiffness and pain. Unfortunately, modern, large-scale farming methods and dietary choices have led to a sharp increase in magnesium deficiency in recent years, so you may need to make a conscious effort to increase your intake. Eat lots of nuts, legumes and dark, leafy greens, and top up with a magnesium supplement if necessary.
8. Vitamin D. Some recent studies have identified a link between chronic pain and the amount of vitamin D you have in your system, particularly in the case of osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. Make sure you get plenty of sun (don’t forget to wear a good sun cream!) and include fatty fish, fortified milk and egg yolks in your diet. You may also wish to augment your intake with supplements.
9. Natural remedies for knee pain. As my previous two points have indicated, many vitamins, minerals and other naturally occurring substances have crucial roles to pay in pain relief and some can even help speed up the recovery process. Some other natural home remedies for knee pain are listed here.
We hope you have found these methods helpful for treating knee pain at home. Remember, if the pain persists and is having a negative impact on your way of life, don’t suffer in silence. Call your doctor, who will be able to advise you on the best possible course of action.
Technology in Motion is a leading UK Orthotist and supplier of quality knee bracing solutions. For more information or to find a clinic in your local area, visit www.technologyinmotion.com or call 0330 100 1800 today.