5 Simple Tricks to Treat Chronic Knee Pain At Home

  Close-up of male bandaging his leg

 

 

The knee is one of the largest and strongest

joints in your body.  We use them each and

every day as we walk, move, work, and play.

Unfortunately, chronic knee problems often

result due to continuous wear and tear.

Complaints we often hear from knee pain

sufferers include:

  • Morning stiffness
  • Swelling after activity
  • Creaks, clicks, snaps, or grinding
  • Weakness or buckling

 

These types of concerns result from the

cumulative effect of the forces we put

through our knees.  The Center for Disease

Control reports that 1 in 2 people will

develop symptomatic knee pain due to

breakdown of the joint by the age of 85.

 

We all want to live longer and more vibrant

lives well into our "golden" years.  However,

none of us wants to be on pain medication

or have to resort to injections or surgery

to stay active.  So, how do we alleviate pain

and improve mobility when our knees take

such a beating?

 

Here are 5 alternative ways to manage your

knee pain without seeing your physician:

 

1. Exercise

 

Regular exercise can improve strength and

flexibility of the knee joint and surrounding

muscles.  This will lessen pain and improve

movement.  Stronger muscles around your

knee joint results in improved shock

absorption and less impact on the joint with

each step.  When done properly, and at

appropriate intensity, exercise will not

"wear out" your joints faster.

 

2. Heat and Cold Packs

 

At home, you can use ice packs or heating

pads to decrease pain and facilitate healing.

The questions though, do I use ice or heat

for my injury?

 

Generally speaking, ice helps reduce

inflammation and swelling immediately

after an injury (48-72 hours) or during

a flare up.  Heat will relax the muscles

and increase circulation to decrease

pain and facilitate healing in chronic

conditions or after swelling has subsided.

 

3. Weight Management

 

Decreasing the amount of weight you

carry around each day, will significantly

reduce stress on your joints.  Studies have

found that being just 10 pounds overweight

adds up to 60 pounds of forces on your knees

with each step.

 

In addition, recent studies have found that

fat cells increase the amount of inflammation

in your body.  So by increasing lean muscle

and decreasing your percentage of body fat,

you will decrease inflammation causing

arthritic pain, diabetes, and heart disease.

 

4. Orthotics

 

Foot orthotics are shoe inserts that can

correct an abnormal gait pattern, provide

support, and decrease pain. Most people

look to shoe inserts to treat foot pain only.

However, the proper orthotic will better

position the foot to improve overall mechanics

of the foot and lower leg.

 

For example, my flattened arch causes

my knee to rotate inward and my IT band

to tighten.  This abnormal knee position

results in pain, and over the long term could

cause early onset osteoarthritis due to uneven

wear of the joint surfaces.  A solution as easy

as adding a prescribed arch support in my

shoe realigns my foot in relationship to my

knee and corrects the problem and the pain.

 

5. Bracing

 

Knee braces can be worn to help stabilize

the joint, assist with proper alignment, or

provide compression for healing. They

range widely in materials, complexity,

and price.  You may want to start by

trying a general, light support brace and

see if it provides you any relief.

 

You will need assistance from a professional

to select and fit a more specific brace to your

condition if you feel that is necessary.

Always remember that knee braces are

not to be used as a sole treatment.  They

can be helpful in combination with other

techniques we discussed.

 

Most importantly, STAY ACTIVE!

 

When pain and stiffness set in, some

naturally limit activity to avoid discomfort

or stop activities all together to prevent

damage.  However, damaged knees

actually worsen as a direct result of

reduced activity.

 

At Peak Potential Physiotherapy and

Wellness, we have a long list of tools we

utilize in addition to exercise to

conservatively treat knee pain including:

  • ASTYM (www. astym.com)
  • Dry Needling
  • Manual Therapy
  • Taping techniques
  • Orthotics
  • Adjuncts such as ultrasound or e-stim

 

If you are interested in more tips and tricks

to treating your joint pain, request our FREE

report:

       "8 Proven Ways for Runners to

      Stop Nagging Hip and Knee Pain"

 

Not just for runners, this report can help

anyone alleviate knee or hip pain and regain

mobility. Click HERE to get it today!

 

Whether you are at a stage of sore and

stiff or sharp and severe, now is the time

to take action.  You can significantly impact

your pain level and improve your function

for years to come.