Knee pain is hard to deal with, even when it is a short term occurrence. It severely constricts movement, and leaves you unable to carry out day to day tasks without the help of someone else. It is harder when this knee pain is chronic and flares up occasionally without warning. Yes, you learn to live with the pain, but the severe lifestyle changes caused by chronic knee pain can be harder to live with compared to the actual pain itself.
There is, however, a silver lining of sorts. Chronic knee pain might not be completely curable, but there are certain remedies you can use to keep the pain away for the most part so you can go about your day. These chronic pain remedies can also help you build up your body’s pain tolerance to slowly but surely help you move around better. The important step is to keep moving, because a complete rest based approach does more harm than good.Just be sure to consult your doctor before you make any changes in your schedule if you already have a rehabilitation plan in place.
This article will first outline a few possible causes of chronic knee pain and then move on to effective remedies for it.
Causes of Chronic Knee Pain
The kind of remedy which works for you will depend on the cause behind your chronic knee pain, so it is very important to find out what initially brought about the pain. Here are a few of the most common causes.
To clarify this right off the bat, most injuries do not result in chronic pain. In fact, most injuries heal by themselves with rest while some might require medication but will still go away in less than a month. But there is a very small possibility that your injury heals improperly, and this can cause chronic pain. If your chronic pain stems from an unresolved injury, remedies for chronic knee pain can help you effectively control the pain.
Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis of the knee. A condition in which the cartilage in the knee joint and surrounding areas slowly decomposes, osteoarthritis is a condition which mostly affects people older than fifty years of age. Chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis is debilitating, and the pain worsens over time. Your doctor can help you with a course of treatment to lessen the pain, and even home remedies can help to a certain extent.
Tendinosis is a condition in which the tendons that attach your muscles to bones are overused and start to degenerate. Knee tendinosis can be the result of overusing the tendons in the knee, through persistent activity and heavy loads. Since the major cause is overstraining, this is more common among athletes and people who carry out physically demanding jobs. Rest and proper rehabilitation can help this heal, and chronic pain remedies are also effective.
5 Effective Remedies for Chronic Knee Pain
While physical activity may seem counter-productive in the short run, sustained low intensity physical activity is the best chronic knee pain remedy. It is always recommended to start off with light stretches of the knee to help build flexibility and strength to regain your movement. This is particularly crucial if you are overweight, because a significant load of your body rests on your knees while walking.
2.RICE for Knee Pain
RICE is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. While it is mostly used for relief from acute pain such as those caused by a recent injury, it can also help people who deal with chronic knee pain when the pain suddenly flares up.
Rest your knee as soon as possible when you experience shooting pain. Take your weight off the knees and if possible, lie down rather than sit. Apply a cold ice pack to the knee joint to bring down any inflammation in the knees. Firmly wrap the region using a crepe bandage to bring any swelling under control by compression, but take care not to wrap it too tight that it causes more pain. Elevating the knee to a point above your heart can help bring down your swelling. Using pillows to elevate your knee while on the bed is the easiest way to do this.
3.Diet and Supplements
Keeping your muscles, bones, tendons and other things that make up the knee joint strong can in itself act as a chronic knee pain remedy. Vitamin C boosts collagen production which speeds up the healing of tendons, while Vitamin D is vital for the bones. A good intake of Calcium is also important to keep your bones strong. Milk and milk products are good sources of Vitamin D and Calcium, and the body itself can produce Vitamin D on exposure to sunlight.
4.Natural Pain Relief Oils
Massaging with pain relief oils is a very efficient chronic knee pain remedy. While the massage improves blood circulation in the body, thereby warming up muscles and helping them heal faster, the analgesic properties of the oils also play an important role in ensuring lasting and immediate pain relief. Natural oils such as the one offered by MY DR. Pain Relief are better compared to artificial products since they cause zero side effects.
Acupuncture is an ancient method of pain healing from China, and can immensely help people dealing with chronic pain. Some even recommend acupuncture as an alternative to surgery, but it is always better to go for surgery if there are no major expected complications and your chronic pain can be solved by it. Acupuncture involves placing needles in certain pressure points in the knee to relieve pain. For people suffering from chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, pain relieving effects from acupuncture can last upto a year. You can also opt for a more advanced electro-acupuncture therapy.
- While exercising, do not overexert. Your physical capabilities might be limited and will need to be slowly built up again. The important thing is to avoid overexertion and further injury.
- Painkillers might seem an attractive prospect to keep pain away at first, but control your painkiller intake. Constant use of painkillers can lead to kidney degeneration. Liver problems have also been linked to painkiller use. They can, however, be unavoidable in certain situations such as when you have an emergency to attend and have no time to rest and wait till the pain goes away.
- While the chronic knee pain remedies listed here can help you handle your pain, it is always better to consult your doctor before you embark on a new remedy because they know your condition the best. Also, these remedies should be used in tandem with and not as a substitute to your normal prescribed treatment plan.
While chronic knee pain might cause a lot of difficulties in day to day life at first, the worst of the pain can be handled using chronic knee pain remedies which will help you get back on your feet. While physical activity might seem daunting at first, taking those small steps can help you get your old life back to some extent.