At one point or another, all of us will experience knee pain. The causes of knee pain include things like bursitis, arthritis, injury and overuse of the muscles connected to and surrounding the knee. Knee arthritis is so prevalent that it is one of the leading causes for disability in senior citizens living in the United States.
On the bright side, knee pain in many cases can be avoided. Proper diet, exercise and physical therapy are all tools that a person can use to treat chronic knee pain. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, these techniques produce results that are on par with the results seen in patients who have had knee surgery to treat pain connected to arthritis or knee tendonitis.
The key is identifying the muscles and ligaments that are the cause of the knee pain. Then a person must learn how to strengthen weakened muscles and stretch tight muscles in order to protect the knee, reduce pain, and increase the health of our knees.
A Stronger Butt Leads to Happy Knees
Most injuries to the knee, including ACL tears, result from weaknesses in the muscles surrounding the hip. It is interesting to note that ACL tears occur with more frequency in female athletes than they do in their male counterparts. These tears are directly linked to painful knee arthritis in the later years.
When the muscles that make up the gluteus maximus are weak, the pelvis will lower, and the femur will develop an inward tilt. As a result of this, the body becomes misaligned. This misalignment puts unbelievable stress on both the hips and the knees while running or after running. A good way to deal with this is by doing hip extensions. Hip extensions strengthen all of the muscles in the butt, and by extension, they remove the stress that causes pain in the knee.
Keep Your Core Muscles Strong
Much emphasis is placed on having stronger core muscles. Our core muscles affect everything else that we do. Weak core muscles will lead to knee pain. When a person has weak abdominal muscles, their pelvis will tilt forward. This changes the curvature of the back. As a result of this, our knees will either want to roll toward the middle of the body or push out. This drastically increases the amount of pressure and stress that is put on the knees and leads to knee pain and swelling. A weak core is often a contributing factor in knee injuries. When an individual strengthens their core, their body realigns and the amount of knee pain they experience drastically decreases. Strengthening your core helps keep your spine in alignment with your lower extremities. It allows the knees to move without unnecessary joint compression.
There is a correlation between obesity and chronic knee pain. The knees, the legs and the joints in the human body are designed with a set tolerance level. When a person is overweight, they are consistently putting more pressure on their knees and joints than the knees were designed to withstand. This leads to pain. However, once a person loses weight and this excess pressure is removed, knee pain begins to disappear.
Home Remedies for Knee Pain
In addition to lifestyle changes, like losing weight and increasing exercise, there are home remedies that an individual can use to help ease the pain of knee injuries, knee pain from working out and runner’s knee. The most common home remedy is simply putting ice on the affected area. Icing a sore knee for between 15 to 20 minutes will reduce inflammation and reduce the swelling around the knee. It is a great way to get pain relief fast.
Gently massaging the area around the sore knee is a great pain relief technique. Two to three times daily apply warm olive oil to the area around the knee. Gently massage the area for between 10 to 15 minutes. In connection with using a cold compress, this will usually provide pain relief.
The other side of the coin is using a hot compress. This can be done either by soaking the knee in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, or by using a hot compress and applying it to the knee 3 to 4 times every single day for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
Elevating an injured knee will cause swelling to go away. While sitting at home and watching television or reading a book, put a few pillows on a chair or on a couch under your leg. Keep your leg as elevated as you possibly can while still feeling comfortable.
A popular home remedy for treating knee pain related to joint injuries is using a mixture of turmeric and egg yolk. Turmeric powder is mixed with castor oil and egg yolk and then heated in a pan. The mixture is put on the knee, and the knee is wrapped with a bandage or gauze and left overnight. In the morning, remove the mixture using warm water and Epson salt. The result will be a lessening of the discomfort felt in the knee.
Painkillers and Rest
At times, knee pain is so severe that it is necessary to use an over-the-counter pain reliever. These pain relievers are anti-inflammatories and reduce pain by reducing the swelling and inflammation around the knee. Individuals who prefer to avoid over-the-counter painkillers may want to try drinking cherry juice, as this also has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Many times, the only way to eliminate knee pain is to rest. Rest does not necessarily mean inactivity. A person can still maintain their exercise routine. It may just require them to alternate the days they work out certain parts of their body and thus give the joints and tendons in the knee enough time to recuperate and to repair themselves.
Wearing the Appropriate Footwear
Not all footwear is appropriate for all exercises. There are shoes that are specifically designed for running, just as there are shoes that are specifically designed for playing basketball. Using improper footwear can result in knee injury. Consult with a medical professional and see what type of footwear they recommend for the activities you engage. This will drastically reduce knee pain.
Our knees are essential for mobility. The human knee is durable, strong and agile. When injured it has the capability to repair itself. Properly caring for the health of your knees will improve the chances of them functioning without chronic pain for the rest of your life.