Knee pain is extremely common (I suffer from knee pain on a daily basis after having an accident) condition, just as common as back And shoulder pain, and occurs due to the constant wear and tear of our knee joint. There is also no restriction on who may or may not experience knee pain; it can affect young children all the way through to older adults. Another thing the exact location we experience knee pain can vary from person to person, as it can in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint (femur, tibia and fibula), the kneecap (patella) or the ligaments and cartilage (meniscus).
We can experience Knee pain from injuries including sprains, swollen or torn ligaments, meniscus or cartilage tears and runner’s knee. Here are a few of the most conditions that can cause knee pain;
- Tendonitis -This is a overuse injury causing swelling of the tendons, the bands of tissue that connect your bones and muscles. This is sometimes called ‘jumper’s knee’ as it is common in sports involving jumping, such as basketball and netball.
- Bone chips – Sometimes, a knee injury can break off fragments from the bone or cartilage. These pieces can get stuck in the joint, causing it to freeze up. You may also have pain and swelling.
- Housemaid’s knee or bursitis – Caused by kneeling for long periods of time or repetitive knee movements. Fluid builds up in the bursa, the sac of fluid that cushions the knee joints. Swelling behind the knee is called a ‘Baker’s cyst’ and may be caused by injuries or arthritis.
- Bleeding in the knee joint – This injury is also called haemarthrosis and affects blood vessels around the knee ligaments causing the knee to feel warm, stiff, bruised and swollen. This may require hospital treatment in severe cases.
- Iliotibial band syndrome – An overuse injury to the iliotibial band of tissue that runs from the hip to the shin past the knee.
- Medial plica syndrome – An injury that affects the plica, a fold of tissue in the knee joint.
- Osgood-Schlatter Disease – This condition is common in teenagers playing sport and causes swelling and tenderness over the bony bump just below the knee.
- Partially dislocated kneecap (or patellar subluxation) – Is usually due to a physical condition with the legs rather than a sports injury. The kneecap slides out of position and causes pain and swelling.
Over the last 4 years I have learnt to live with my knee pain through the use of natural remedies rather than taking over the counter pain killers and here are a few of the remedies I personally use;
Applying cold compresses to the painful knee is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce pain and swelling. The cold will constrict the blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the affected area and reducing swelling. It will also give you relief from the pain.
- Wrap a handful of ice cubes in a thin towel. (A bag of frozen peas also works well as a cold compress).
- Apply the compress to the affected knee area for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Do this two or three times daily until your pain is gone.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also helpful in reducing knee pain. Due to its alkalizing effect, apple cider vinegar helps dissolve mineral build-ups and harmful toxins within the knee joint. It also helps restore joint lubricants to help reduce pain and promote mobility.
- Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in two cups of filtered water. Sip this mixture throughout the day. Drink this tonic daily until you recover completely.
- You can also add two cups of apple cider vinegar to a bath tub of hot water. Soak the affected knee in the water for 30 minutes. Do this once daily for a few days.
- Also, you can mix together one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Use it to massage the affected knee once or twice daily until the pain is gone.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin that works like a pain reliever. Capsaicin’s natural analgesic or pain-relieving properties produce a warm sensation and reduce pain in the affected knee.
- Prepare a mixture by adding two tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder in one-half cup of warm olive oil. Apply this paste on the affected area twice daily for at least one week.
- You can also mix one-quarter or one-half teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder in one cup of apple cider vinegar. Soak a clean washcloth in this solution and apply it on the aching area for about 20 minutes once or twice daily until the pain and inflammation is reduced.
Turmeric is an effective and natural treatment to relieve knee pain. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties that help reduce pain.
- Add one-half teaspoon each of ground ginger and turmeric to a cup of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey to taste, and enjoy twice daily.
- Boil one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk. Sweeten with honey and drink it once daily.
Epsom Salt Soak
A classic remedy for any knee pain is taking a relaxing bath with Epsom Salts as its high in magnesium and sulphates, which are easily absorbed through the skin to provide quick relief as they lower inflammation within the knee.
- Add two cups of Epsom salts to warm bathwater with 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and soak for at least twenty minutes.
- Mix 3 drops off peppermint essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply the oil onto your knee if it’s warm and swollen.
- Alternatively, Epsom salts can be used in a compress to apply directly to the skin. Simply dilute two cups into one gallon of water then soak your towel for several minutes to absorb the solution.
Please share in the comments box below your favourite remedy to help reduce your knee pain and inflammation.
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