Knee pain is a common condition that can occur at any age, but it is never normal. If you are suffering from knee or joint pain, you should figure out the reasons for knee pain and consult a pain management doctor.
The pain usually flares up while walking or climbing stairs. Reasons for knee pain can be inflammation, injury, or arthritis. It can be a short-term problem or chronic pain. Before going for any medical and surgical treatment, one should know the root cause of it. But at the same time, you can opt for some simple tips that can alleviate your knee pain to a great extent.
Here are the top 7 tips to reduce knee pain from pain management doctors:
Acronym RICE is the first thing that comes to the list while talking about knee pain management. RICE helps when a person experiences knee or joint pain due to twisted legs, strained knee, sprained knee, taken a fall, arthritis, or inflammation. Use RICE therapy 2 to 3 times regularly.
RICE refers to:
- R – Rest
- I – Ice
- C – Compression
- E – Elevation
Rest will allow your knees to heal by providing a break from aggravating activity that may cause inflammation. It lowers the risk of further injuries and allows tissues to heal. However, while resting, stopping all the movement is no good.
After rest, icing your knee for around 15 to 20 minutes can lower inflammation and swelling. It acts as anesthesia and restricts the blood flow. Ensure that you don’t put ice directly on the skin. Always wrap it into a cloth before using it.
Knee compression will enhance your knee support. It is a tight wrap that restricts blood flow and heats your joints.
Elevating will reduce the swelling and encourage circulation. It removes excessive blood from the knees.
Physical Activities and Exercise for Knee Pain
People with knee pain tend to rest more, but they shouldn’t. No mobility can worsen knee pain and weaken the muscles. It is advisable to maintain mobility to support knees and increase flexibility.
Exercise for knee pain are:
- Water aerobics
These exercises can reduce the risk of OA (Osteoarthritis).
However, if you have a strain or sprain injury and severe knee pain, you should avoid exercising.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Heat and Cold is a highly adaptable treatment for knee pain. You can play with the temperature, or you can use them as alternatives.
Heat relieves muscle pain, improves lubrication, and reduces stiffness in joints. You can use a warm pad or hot water bottle and apply it for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Wrap ice in a cloth, or take a gel pack and use this for reducing swelling, pain, and inflammation. It is advisable to use a cold wrap within 24 to 48 hours after the injury.
Weight Management and Diet
Obesity puts pressure on the knees. If a person has chronic joint pain, he/she should go for a weight management plan and have a healthy diet.
The diet should be high in fiber, involving fruits and vegetables, and low in fat such as animal fat and meat.
Posture & Support
People with knee pain should consider posture and support guidelines in order to relieve knee pain.
- Do not sit on couches or low chairs.
- Sit on a pillow to raise the seating level.
- Wear supporting shoes.
- Avoid too much rest, maintain mobility.
- Do not sit leaning or slouching. Always sit in a good posture.
You can either do self-massage or get massage therapy from a pain specialist to alleviate your knee pain. The pain specialist may also guide you for the exercise for knee pain.
If you are doing self-massage, make sure you do it in a seated position. Point your knees forward and spread your feet flat on the floor.
Follow these steps for self-massage treatment:
- Close your hands into fists lightly, tap the lower, middle, and upper thigh ten times with both your hands. Repeat the process thrice.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor, place your hand heel on top of your thigh, and glide it. Repeat the process five times.
- Use four fingers to press your knee tissues, and move them up and down five times. Repeat the process all around your knees.
- Place your palm on the top of your thigh, glide it down over your knee and back up your outer thigh.
You can go for massage therapy for minor to severe knee pain. No evidence supports that massage therapy can treat Osteoarthritis. However, when combined with exercise for knee pain, it can reduce the discomfort.
7. Herbal Ointments and Footwear’s
Herbal ointments can alleviate your pain. You can get a salve of any of the following:
- Sesame Oil
These are effective and work as over-the-counter creams to reduce pain caused by arthritis.
Similarly, always go with shoes with arch support. Pain management doctors support special insoles in the shoes to lower the stress on your knees. Talk to a pain specialist in Coimbatore to get guidance for suitable shoes.
When a person is diagnosed with knee pain, it becomes complicated over time. It is wise to take precautions and try to heal knee pain at an early stage. Knee pain can further lead to Osteoarthritis, arthritis, and other chronic health concerns.
Talk to the pain specialist to figure out the reasons for knee pain before going for any treatment. Pain management doctors will recommend a personalized and suited approach for each person to manage the pain immediately.