Published: 09/26/2014 - Updated: 04/25/2016
Knee pain can be caused by several different thing, from injuries to diseases, like arthritis. Nevertheless, a lot of times knee pain can be caused by straining the joint while walking, or by performing repetitive, high impact exercises, like activities that involve primarily the knees.
There is advice and remedies that can help fight knee pain naturally, but medical attention is always advisable to get a diagnosis, as the pain could be a symptom of a disease or illness like arthritis, gout, ligament damage, etc.
Problem signs with the knee
The knees are joints that have to support the weight of our bodies. Pain in these joint could be more common than in others due to the fact that it is an exposed joint, making it more vulnerable.
Every day we walk, climb stairs, run, we even bend our knees while sitting and standing up. When we have pain or discomfort, it is important to pay attention to a few signs and symptoms:
- Pain while trying to support yourself on your knee
- Inflammation around the knee
- Redness in the knee area
- Numbness around or near the knee
- Knee pain even while resting
- Difficulty bending your knee, or the knee makes noises while bending
- Persistent pain in spite of rest
What you should know and avoid in order to care for your knees
Keeping our knees healthy is important because we move about with our legs. This is why a few preventive measures will help care for these joints.
Losing weight: Excess weight is one of the most common causes of pain in the hips, back, and feet, because our body has to carry excess weight. Extra weight puts strain on the knees, which is why losing weight is recommended to prevent and fight pain.
Care for your feet: Knee problems can in fact originate from walking. Knee injuries could signify pronation, which is an internal foot rotation while walking. A little bit of pronation can be normal, but excessive pronation affects knee alignment, leading to pain. This problem can be corrected with footwear designed especially to correct pronation, but it is always recommendable to see a professional, podiatrist or orthopedist that can advise you of your best option.
Choose comfortable footwear: High heels can alter body alignment as well as weight distribution in the legs. This position, and walking in heels can cause knee pain. Using flat shoes that provide good support is recommendable, especially if you have been experiencing pain. It is also recommendable to use shoes designed especially for your activity if you are doing some sort of physical activity. Another important fact in regards to shoes, is that you should replace them once they have become worn, and they no longer provide sufficient support.
Support your knees: If you have to do activities that require you to support yourself on your knees, like gardening, cleaning floors, or organizing cupboards, try to support yourself on a soft and fluffy surface, like a mat or foam. Avoid kneeling down on the ground.
Avoid impact exercises: Jumping or running, for example, are high impact exercises since the feet raise of the ground, requiring more strength and receiving more impact upon touching the ground. This energy frequently affects the joints, especially the knees. Therefore, if you have pain, inflammation, or difficulty bending your knee, it is advisable to use proper footwear for doing these types of exercises. There are several shoes available that are adapted to absorbing part of the impact.
Remedies for improving the condition of your knees
Some plant oils and extracts can help improve knee pain, but, you must keep in mind that results depend on a good diagnosis. If you are not treating the cause, the pain might not disappear.
External use remedies
To alleviate pain and rigidity in joints, you can use basil or comfrey oil, by rubbing it over the area. Eucalyptus essential oil also helps at reducing inflammation, and just a few drops dissolved in a bit of olive oil should be used.
Ginger is a relief for joints affected by arthritis. Applying hot compresses with ginger infusion is recommended for the painful area.
Applying a mustard paste to the knee can also alleviate pain.
Internal use remedies
Chamomile tea, a very common tea with anti-inflammatory properties could help alleviate pain from an inflamed knee.
Willow is also a soft analgesic that, when consumed regularly, can be useful for fighting pain.
There are several therapies that can help mitigate or eradiate knee pain. Among them, acupuncture, aromatherapy, magnetic therapy, and massage, all stand out.
Acupuncture is based on inserting needles into energetic points on the body to produce a therapeutic effect, and can be an alternative for relieving pain.
Aromatherapy consists of using essential oils that help relax the muscles and calm general pain.
In magnetic therapy, magnets are applied to increase blood flow, and to calm pain.
Massages can also help alleviate pain, as long as they are always done by experts.