Knee pain is a common problem that can affect anyone, at any age. No matter the cause of your knee pain, it’s important to seek treatment and take steps to reduce the discomfort and return you to daily activities. Fortunately, there are several effective knee pain relief strategies that you can use depending on the type of injury or condition causing your discomfort.
Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of sources, ranging from minor stiffness or injury to more serious medical conditions. The most common causes of knee pain include bursitis, meniscus tears, tendonitis, strained muscles and ligaments, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, and rheumatoid arthritis. Knee pain without injury can be caused by osteoarthritis, which is a chronic condition that affects the knee joint and surrounding cartilage. It can cause stiffness, pain, swelling and difficulty in movement. Other forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis can also cause knee pain. Many times knee pain is a result of your whole body alignment, including but not limited to your knee joints, being out of alignment.
Knee Pain Relief
Knee pain can be debilitating and frustrating, making it difficult to carry out your daily activities. Fortunately, there are several ways to quickly relieve knee pain and reduce discomfort.
One effective way to alleviate knee pain when there is an injury and inflammation present is to use rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) therapy. This involves resting the joint and applying an ice pack to reduce swelling. It’s also important to wear a compression bandage and keep your knee elevated above heart level when possible. RICE therapy should be done as soon as the injury occurs and repeated several times each day until the pain subsides. Often, depending on the type of injury, it is recommended to alternate between ice and heat.
Another valuable consideration is to temporarily limit activities to things that you can do without aggravating the pain. This allows the body the space to begin healing. Pain is a message that something is not right. When you can get curious about the pain and listen to your body it will guide you. Find other ways to move that feel good to your body until your knee can heal.
In addition to RICE and listening to your body’s signals, there are other strategies that can help reduce knee pain depending on the severity of your injury. Hydrating and eating foods that minimize inflammation can help reduce pain and swelling; as well as strengthening the muscles around your knee, which can provide better support and reduce pain. For more serious injuries always be sure to consult with a doctor who may recommend things like knee surgery, physical therapy or injections to rehabilitate the knee.
Aside from cold/hot therapy, if your knee pain is caused by a minor injury, you may be able to find relief with over-the-counter pain medications, postural alignment exercises that focus on aligning, stabilizing and strengthening the muscles not only around the knee joint but throughout the entire body.
It’s also valuable to reduce stress on your knee by aligning your posture, wearing healthy shoes and avoiding activities that put excessive pressure on your joints. In more serious cases, such as tendon or ligament tears, surgery may be necessary.
Knee pain can be a debilitating and frustrating condition, but it doesn’t have to stop you from living an active lifestyle. If at any point during your recovery process you experience persistent pain or worsening symptoms, seek professional help immediately so that they may provide additional guidance on how to best manage your knee pain relief strategy. However, if you want to know what are the early signs of chronic pain, watch this quick video below!