Knee pain is one of the most common complaints from Americans of all ages. You could develop knee pain due to arthritis, an injury, or another condition. Without treatment, chronic knee pain could impact your quality of life.
Here are six tips that can help you find knee pain relief. With a knee pain management plan, you could keep it from impacting your mobility.
Learning how to manage your pain could help you avoid surgery, too.
Put a plan into action with these tips today.
1. Try RICE
First, take a moment to consider your injury. Understanding your pain can help you determine the best course for knee pain relief.
For example, you can usually treat mild to moderate knee pain at home.
If your symptoms are due to arthritis, a minor injury, or inflammation, the pain should subside without medical attention. You can use most of these knee pain management tips for relief.
If your pain is moderate to severe, however, there’s a chance your symptoms will get worse without treatment. Make sure to visit a doctor right away for a professional assessment.
You might experience mild to moderate pain if you strained or sprained your knee. For a minor injury, use RICE:
First, sit down and get comfortable. Apply a cold compress or bag of ice to your knee. Make sure to cover it using a towel first.
Wrap your knee using a compression bandage. Wrapping can help you avoid swelling.
Make sure not to wrap your knee too tightly. You don’t want to cut off circulation.
Then, rest and relax. Keep your foot elevated as you give your body time to heal.
2. Start Exercising
Exercising will help keep your muscles strong and body flexible. Daily exercise can help you improve your mobility, too. If you’re struggling with osteoarthritis knee pain, exercising could offer knee pain relief.
Though using the RICE method can help, resting too long could stiffen the joint. Remaining immobile for long periods might even slow down your recovery rate.
Exercising might help slow down the rate of damage to your joints.
Consider working with a physical therapist, pain specialist, or personal trainer. Having a professional with you can help you avoid a potential injury. A physical therapist or trainer will ensure you’re using the proper techniques.
Consider exploring low-impact exercises like walking, cycling, or swimming. You might want to give tai chi or yoga a try, too.
Consider picking up tai chi, too. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese mind and body exercise. Over time, it could help improve your flexibility and balance.
According to one study, patients with osteoarthritis found tai chi beneficial as an alternative treatment option. With practice, it could help improve your range of motion while easing your pain symptoms.
It can also help reduce your stress levels. Otherwise, stress can contribute to inflammation, which might increase your chronic pain.
If you have a flare-up, severe knee pain, or an injury, take a rest from exercising instead. Consider gentler exercises as well.
Work with a pain specialist to determine a program that suits your needs and goals.
3. Choose Hot or Cold
You can also find knee pain relief for mild or moderate pain using hot or cold therapy.
For example, you can use a cold pack to reduce inflammation and swelling. Hot therapy, on the other hand, could relieve your pain while you’re resting.
Whether you prefer hot or cold pain, make sure to alternate between the two.
Try to apply cold pads for 20 minutes a day, four to eight times a day, within two days of experiencing symptoms. Use a gel pack more often during the first 24 hours after you’re injured.
Only apply heat for 20 minutes at a time. Make sure it’s not too hot before applying it. Always wrap the pad up to avoid direct contact with the skin.
Otherwise, consider taking a warm shower or bath.
4. Lose Weight
If you’re overweight or obese, you could unintentionally put additional pressure on your knee joints. Losing weight might help provide relief for painful knees.
In fact, being just 10 pounds overweight can add an additional 15 to 50 pounds of pressure on your knees. Losing 10% of your body weight could cut arthritis pain in half.
Losing 20% might reduce your pain by another 25% or more.
People with a higher body mass index (BMI) have a greater chance of developing osteoarthritis than those with a low BMI, too.
Consider using weight management techniques to reduce putting additional pressure on your knees.
Make sure to work with a doctor to develop a plan for losing weight. For example, they might recommend dietary changes and exercise.
5. Explore Herbal Remedies
Herbal ointments featuring ginger, mastic, sesame oil, and cinnamon might help offer pain relief. Otherwise, consider over-the-counter arthritis creams that feature salicylate. Salicylate is a topical pain-relief treatment.
Willow bark is sometimes used to relieve joint pain and inflammation, too.
Don’t use willow bark if you’re on blood thinners or medication for low blood pressure. Avoid willow bark if you’re also using another anti-inflammatory drug or acetazolamide.
Consider consulting a doctor before exploring herbal remedies.
6. Visit a Specialist
If you’re struggling with chronic knee pain, don’t hesitate to visit a specialist. They might determine your pain is due to an underlying condition. With their help, you can develop a customized treatment plan based on your needs.
Your doctor can complete a physical examination and order a blood test or X-rays, too.
Make sure to visit a doctor right away if you experience:
- Signs of an infection (like fever)
- Symptoms that persist longer than a few days
- Symptoms that get worse over time
- Severe pain and swelling
- Deformity or severe bruising
The sooner you seek professional help, the sooner you can start the most effective course of treatment.
Ease the Ache: Use These Tips for Knee Pain Relief Today
Don’t let chronic pain impact your mobility or quality of life. Instead, consider using these tips for knee pain relief. Remember to visit a specialist right away if your symptoms persist.
A few small changes could help ease your pain in no time.
Want to discuss your knee pain management plan with a professional? We’re here to help.
Schedule an appointment with a top-rated pain management clinic today to get started.