If you are looking to get rid of knee pain and get back to normal life, then this post is for you.
Over the last few years, I have seen numerous patients who suffer from pain in their knees. This is usually a problem in middle age to elderly women, though some men seem to suffer from this as well.
The problem with knee pain is that it can impact day to day activities. Simple tasks such as walking to the local grocery shop or climbing stairs become a real problem.
Over time, this can become very frustrating. Surgery may be recommended, but it is not an option many want to pursue.
Why Do We Get Knee Pain?
Aging is an inevitable process. As we get older, the joints become less flexible. This is because the lubricating fluid in the joint reduces in quantity.
Not just that – there is a lot of inflammation in the joint as well. This makes any joint movement or pressure a painful experience.
So what can you do to try and reduce the pain in your knees? How can you improve your mobility?
Here are some simple ways to get rid of knee pain.
Ways To Get Rid Of Knee Pain
#1 – Exercise Regularly
It is a common misconception that people who suffer from knee pain should avoid any form of exercise. Fortunately, this is quite far from the truth.
Those who have knee pain must make sure that they exercise on a regular basis. While exercises such as running or contact sports may not be advisable due to the different movements of the knee has to undergo, other exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling and even retraining can be extremely beneficial.
A common problem that we see in clinic is women who suffer from knee pains who find it difficult to walk. One exercise that can be extremely beneficial in such a situation is aqua therapy. Here, walking in water in a swimming pool for at least 30 minutes can help patients not just lose weight but do so without causing any undue stress on the joints.
One fact you must remember is that with every kilogram increase in body weight, an equivalent of 4 kg increased strain over the knee joints is seen.
This means that if you are 60 kg in weight, you are placing around 240 kg in weight on the knee joints. It is no surprise therefore that knee pains begin to occur as you get heavier and heavier.
#2 – Use RICE
No, I am not talking about food.
RICE stands for Rest, Ice application, Compression and Elevation.
If you find that you are experiencing knee pain following an injury, the best way to reduce the pain is to follow this protocol.
Firstly, rest the knee. If you do not rest the knee following an injury the pain will only get worse. The next step is to apply an ice pack on the knee joint to help relieve the pain. You do not need to purchase an ice pack but instead can wrap a few ice cubes in is Ziploc bag or in a handkerchief and place it on the knee joint.
Use a compression bandage around the knee joint to stabilise it. These are now readily available in most medical shops. Following this, make sure you keep your leg elevated whenever you can. This will help keep the swelling down and will prevent further pain of the knee joint.
#3 – Muscle Strengthening
The knee joint is supported by a group of muscles and tendons. The greater the strength of these muscles and tendons, the stronger is the knee joint.
If the pain in your knee joint is because of weakened muscles around the joint, then it is important to do exercises that can help strengthen these muscles. I have previously talked about how beneficial exercise is when it comes to managing knee joint problems but what I have not mentioned in detail is strengthening exercises.
You could do the strengthening exercises at home but ideally, they must be done under supervision for at least the first few days. Seek the help of a physical trainer or a chartered physiotherapist and they will be able to guide you about the best exercises to relieve knee pain.
In short, these exercises will concentrate on strengthening the quadriceps muscles and hamstrings. These are the muscles of the thigh and are primarily responsible for maintaining the stability of the knee joint. Simple squats are often sufficient though some people may require additional retraining using equipment.
#4 – Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulphate
A combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate administered through supplements has been found to improve the strength of the joints in the body.
Chondroitin sulphate is a compound that is produced by the body and is responsible for the cartilage to retain water.
Similarly, glucosamine is a part of healthy cartilage present in the joints. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Many patients across our country are on the supplements as they can replenish cartilage, increase the quantity of joint fluid and smooth the joints to help them become less painful.
Studies have found that chondroitin supplementation may help relieve knee pain to an extent. Experts suggest that the improvement is to the tune of 8 – 10 percent, and is more so with hand and knee arthritis.
In one particular study looking at glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate supplementation in knee pain, it was found that the combination could be effective to some extent in moderate to severe knee pain. It was less effective in mild knee pain.
However, the study found that it was not effective in preventing damage from osteoarthritis.
The good news is that those who get relief with this supplement can continue to take them long term as there are minimal side effects. Very few patients may experience mild gastric irritation.
#5 – Grapes
You may be interested to know that regular consumption of grapes may help relieve pain from osteoarthritis of the knee and get rid of knee pain to an extent.
Of course, grapes are seasonal and this treatment can only be followed at particular times of the year. Nonetheless, give them a try.
Grapes are rich in antioxidant compounds that can fight harmful free radicals are responsible for joint destruction in osteoarthritis. These organic compounds are called polyphenols and have been proven time and again to help with knee joint pain among its other beneficial effects.
In one particular study conducted at the Texas women’s University, it was found that women who consumed grape extract regularly had less knee pain and better mobility compared those who did not.
#6 – Omega 3 Supplements
Omega-3 supplements are now widely available in the form of capsules. There are very limited natural sources of bigotry and the best sources available are non-vegetarian (i.e. fish).
I have already discussed how they can help your heart.
Flaxseed and wheat germ oil and the good vegetarian sources door the absorption within the human body is rather limited and a lot less compared to fish eyes.
Clinical studies have found that regular consumption of omega-3 supplements can improve joint health and reduce joint pains that occur from arthritis.
So if you are looking to get rid of knee pain, you may want to consider taking omega-3 supplements. Always speak to your doctor before taking any supplementation.
Knee pain is a common problem as we get older. Simple methods can help get rid of knee pain to an extent. The most effective is weight loss and regular exercise.