About 13 Tips for Knee Pain Relief at Home
When knee pain occurs, whether it is due to arthritis you’ve had for a long time or a recent sports injury, there are many things you can do help relieve the pain you’re feeling. Check out our list of home remedies to keep your knees at their best.
Keep this handy acronym in mind whenever knee pain starts. Stop whatever activity you’re doing and give your knee some rest.
Apply ice to the injured area to reduce or avoid swelling. Use a compressive bandage. Lastly, keep your knee elevated and above heart level if possible.
When knee pain occurs due to an injury or accident, the first thing to do is to stop whatever activity you are doing and rest your knee. Use a small pillow under your knee while you’re resting.
Application of ice to any injured area helps with pain and can minimize the swelling. Try to find cold packs or ice and apply it immediately to your knee for 10-20 minutes as much as three or more times a day.
You can also compress the area with a bandage by wrapping it around the injured area to decrease the swelling.
Don’t wrap it too tightly, as this can actually cause swelling below the knee. If the bandage has been wrapped too tightly, you will start to feel sensations of tingling, numbness, and increased pain.
Keep your knee elevated on pillows when applying ice packs to the area and even when you’re lying down or sitting. Best practice is to keep your leg above heart level.
Don’t Rest Too Long…
While resting is recommended to avoid pressure or stress on the area, too much rest is also not good. It may weaken your muscles, which can aggravate your joint pain. Visit a physical therapist to see what movements or exercises are safe for your type of knee pain and ask for a program that you can realistically stick to.
Mild exercise always helps. To strengthen your muscles around your knee area, try some cardio exercises, stretching, and weight training. To get your blood pumping, swimming is great as it’s gentle on the joints.
You can also walk daily, do water aerobics, and try stationary cycling. Tai Chi has also been noted as a form of mild exercise that improves balance and helps with stiffness.
Avoid Heat at First
During the first 12-48 hours after an accident or injury, avoid doing things that may increase the risk of swelling like taking hot baths, hot showers, or applying hot packs. Alcohol consumption may also be considered a risk.
Apply Heat Slowly & Carefully
Once the swelling is gone, after the first 48-72 hours, you can begin applying heat and start mild exercise with the help of a hot pack to help with your joints and maintain flexibility. You may need to alternate the use of hot packs with cold packs.
Until your doctor advises that it’s alright to apply pressure on the knee, reduce stress on that area. Avoid high impact exercises like tennis, running, jogging, snowboarding, or water skiing.
You can use a crutch or cane to assist you while walking. Crutches are the most suggested form of aid.
Smoking decreases blood flow and supply and delays tissue repair, thus slowing the healing process.
You can massage the area daily to promote blood flow to the area. If it causes pain, light rubbing will do.
Don’t Risk Falling
Knee pain can make you feel more unstable when you walk or perform other activities, which can lead to a higher risk of a fall. To avoid this, take preventative measures in and around your home.
Make sure areas of your house are well lit, and use the handrails of your staircase whenever heading up or down.
Use a foot stool or a sturdy ladder when reaching for something on a high shelf, or ask someone for help. Even when around the home, make use of your crutch or cane.
Manage Your Weight
If you are overweight, that adds more stress to the injured area. Losing just a few pounds can make a big difference.
Shoo Away Bad Shoes
Not wearing the right type of footwear can make matters worse. Try using cushioned insoles to reduce stress and pain on your knees.
Ladies should avoid wearing high heels as it’s not surprisingly one of the most common causes of knee pain. For those suffering from knee osteoarthritis, speak with a physical therapist or your doctor for a recommendation on special insoles.
This is a form of traditional alternative Chinese treatment. It involves inserting thin needles on certain points on the body.
It is believed that this helps the “Chi” or energy flow better in the body, and can relieve many types of illnesses and pain.
When life gives you lemons… you use it for pain relief! The citric acid in lemons works as a solvent for uric acid crystals, which has been noted as the cause of some types of arthritis. Try following these instructions and see what happens.
Slice one lemon into quarters and tie it in a piece of cloth. Dip it in warm sesame oil, and then place it on the affected knee for 10-15 minutes. You can do this up to two times a day until you feel relief.
While these home remedies are great and have proven to give relief from knee pain, there are some symptoms you should be looking out for in case you need more than home treatment.
If any of the below occur, see your doctor immediately to get the best medical treatment for your needs.
- If knee swelling lasts longer than 48 hours
- If your knee becomes hard to move
- If it looks like signs of infection are developing
- If your foot, lower leg, or knee starts becoming cold or looks bluish
- If symptoms get worse, or do not improve
- If pain is severe and unmanageable
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