Your knees are one of those things you take for granted until they start hurting.
Pain in your knees can quickly turn regular, easy movements into painful experiences. Dealing with knee pain can be very difficult.
Knee pain can affect people of all ages, and it is usually the result of an injury, like a torn ligament, or medical conditions, like arthritis.
Your knee is designed to help you bear weight and absorb shock when you move.
When your knee is healthy, you will feel strong when you walk, and you will have a good range of motion.
When you start to notice knee pain, you need to act quickly.
Knee pain isn’t something you should try to “walk off.”
Fighting through knee pain instead of actively trying to fix it is never a good idea and can cause more problems in the long run.
If you were to ignore knee pain that turns out to be a torn ligament, you could increase your likelihood of developing early-onset arthritis.
Fortunately, many instances of minor knee pain will respond well to self-care measures and home remedies.
Sometimes, though, medical attention is unavoidable.
In the article below, we will go over a few tips for dealing with knee pain at home and how to know when to see a doctor for treatment for knee pain.
Table of Contents
Evaluate Your Pain
The first thing you need to do is decide how bad your pain is.
If you have mild to moderate knee pain, it’s possible to treat it at home.
Whether it’s due to an injury or a medical condition, there are ways to manage the pain.
Suppose your pain is due to inflammation, arthritis, or a minor injury. In that case, you likely will not need to seek medical attention, and it will resolve on its own.
There are things you can do at home that will help with your comfort levels and manage your symptoms.
If your pain is severe and nearly unbearable, or if your symptoms get worse over time, you should seek medical attention for a full examination.
Go Easy On The Rest and Exercise
Many people think that once anything starts to hurt that they need to rest.
But you shouldn’t rest too much.
Too much rest weakens your muscles, which can worsen joint pain.
You should find a low impact exercise program that won’t harm your knees and stick to it.
Even a walk around the neighborhood every day may be enough to keep your knee loose.
Cardio exercises will strengthen the muscles that support your knee as well as increase your flexibility.
Weight strengthening exercises and stretches will do the same.
Walking, cycling, swimming, tai chi, and yoga may all be beneficial as well.
When you’re physically active, you will boost the health of your cartilage tissue.
Exercise will also better enable your body to support your joints.
If you aren’t sure what to do, you can work with a doctor or physical therapist to figure out the best exercises and stretches for your condition.
When you strengthen your upper leg muscles, like your quads, through exercise, you are helping them protect your knee joint.
Here are a few simple ways to strengthen these muscles:
- Sit or lay down and straighten and raise a leg.
- Perform step-ups on your stairs.
- Sit on a chair and then stand and sit repeatedly for a minute.
- Hold a chair and squat until the kneecaps cover the toes ten times.
Be Easy On Your Joints
When you exercise, try to avoid high impact exercises.
High impact exercises can injure your knees even more and cause more pain.
Jarring exercises like running, kickboxing, and jumping should all be avoided.
It would be best if you also steered clear of exercises like lunges and deep squats that put a lot of pressure on your knees.
These exercises can worsen your pain, and if you don’t do them correctly, they cause injury.
Relieve Pain With R.I.C.E.
When you use the R.I.C.E. method on your knee, which is rest, ice, compression, and elevation, two to three times a day, you will help reduce inflammation.
Each step in R.I.C.E. is essential.
The rest phase will give your knees a break from whatever may be irritating or aggravating it.
Icing your knee for up to 15 minutes will reduce inflammation by restricting the blood flow.
Ice also acts as an anesthetic that numbs and relieves pain.
Compressing your knee joint with a wrap or bandage helps by restricting excess blood flow and adding heat to the affected area.
And finally, elevating your knee and leg above your heart will increase your blood flow back to your heart.
That removes excess blood from your knee, allowing it to recirculate faster.
Posture and Support
Your posture and how you support yourself will also help relieve knee pain.
When you sit, avoid sitting on low chairs and couches that you will sink into.
You can sit on a pillow to raise your seating level if you need to.
You should also be sure you are using a good sitting posture without leaning down or slouching over.
Wearing supportive shoes and avoiding shoes with broken arches will also take the pressure off of your knees.
Bad shoes can put an abnormal force and wear on your knees.
Don’t sit for too long without moving because that can stiffen your joints.
If you have a painful or unstable knee, you are much more likely to fall and suffer more injuries or knee damage.
Reduce your risk of falling by making sure you have plenty of light in your home, using handrails when available, and use sturdy footstools and ladders when you need to get something off of a high shelf.
And never be shy about using a walking aid.
Using a crutch or cane will take the stress and pressure off of your knee.
Using knee splints and braces can also help you stay stable.
What other ways can help you with dealing with knee pain?
When it comes down to it, finding pain relief will depend on what’s causing your knee pain.
Carrying excess weight will put extra stress on your knees, which can lead to pain and osteoarthritis.
That’s why one of the simplest and most effective ways to ease your knee pain is to lose weight.
It may be the simplest, but that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest.
Your doctor can recommend a combination of diet and exercise that will help reduce weight and strengthen the muscles around your knees.
A study completed in 2013 found that overweight adults with knee osteoarthritis had a reduction in weight and knee pain after 18 months of diet and exercise.
But again, when you exercise, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders and don’t overuse your knee.
If you do overuse your knee, or perform high impact activities and injure your knees, refer back to R.I.C.E. or ask about physical therapy.
Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a program that includes range of motion exercises, stretches, and muscle strengthening movements.
When Should You See A Doctor?
There are many instances of knee pain that can be treated at home, but sometimes there’s no way to avoid the doctor.
If you notice any of the following, you should contact your doctor right away:
- Symptoms lasting longer than a few days or get worse instead of better
- Health conditions that could complicate the healing process
- Signs of infection, such as a fever
- Severe pain and swelling
- Deformity or severe bruising
- Symptoms in other parts of your body
When you visit your doctor, they will conduct a complete physical examination.
The exam can include tests, such as blood tests or X-rays.
If you have knee pain that dies need medical help, the sooner you visit a doctor and begin treatment, the better outlook you’re likely to have.
The Bottom Line
Knee pain is a very common affliction that affects over 18 million adults in the United States every year.
Using the tips for dealing with knee pain above, like exercising and stretching the muscles that support your knees, losing weight, and using R.I.C.E. may help ease pain, improve your range of motion and flexibility, and reduce your chances of developing knee pain again in the future.
When you have any kind of joint pain, especially if you are experiencing severe pain, you should always talk to a doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
Your doctor will make sure it is safe for you to exercise, and they will may help you select exercises and stretches that are the best for your situation.
They will also help you modify any moves based on your knee pain and the underlying causes.
Contact Ethos Health Group
If you think your knee pain is beyond home remedies, Ethos Health Group has developed its proprietary HyalRegen-CT method as a comprehensive solution for those suffering from knee arthritis and pain.
Lubricating injections can be performed under precision imaging guidance, so we know we’re targeting precisely the right area.
This advanced medical process serves to add cushioning fluid back into and around your knee, like oil for a squeaky hinge.
Even more exciting, these F.D.A. cleared injections can help your knees stimulate more of their natural fluid, giving you long-term benefits and relief.
If you would like to learn more about what the Ethos Health Group can do for your knee pain, click the button below to schedule a free consultation.