By Dr. Divya Mandial | 6th Feb 2023
Knee pain is a very common condition that all age groups experience. It can begin as mild pain and get worse over some time. Knee pain can occur due to an injury, overuse of knees, infection in the knee joint, or torn ligament or cartilage. Medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, and gout also can cause knee pain.
Minor knee pain can be treated at home with self-care and preventive measures. However, you have to get it treated over time with medications, injections, therapies, and surgeries.
It is good to follow an exercise routine while on a treatment plan for knee pain. However, following the exercises depending on your knee condition is important.
Suppose your knee pain is due to some injury, surgery, or arthritis. In that case, you should start with mild stretching and strengthening exercises that may help relieve the pain while also improving the flexibility and motion of the knee.
Once your knees have developed some strength, you can switch to moderate exercises such as yoga, swimming, stationary cycling, and walking.
It’s good to avoid intense cardio exercises such as running and jumping with knee pain to put less stress on your knees.
If your body mass index (BMI) is higher than average, it will exert additional pressure on your knees. This can worsen your chronic knee pain and increase the risk of other complications, such as osteoarthritis.
People with excess weight can reduce the load on their knees by 4 kg by shedding every 1 kg, and reducing 10 kg body weight will make a huge difference. Therefore, if you are under a knee treatment plan, it’s good to maintain an ideal body weight to reduce pressure on the knees, avoid wear and tear, reduce inflammation in joints, and reduce the risk of other complications.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are known to exhibit anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Including a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids can improve knee inflammation, reduce joint pain, relieve morning stiffness and also prevent the risk of arthritis. You can have omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, seafood, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, canola oil, olive oil, soybean, and vegetables. You can also take Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of supplements in combination with medications and other treatments to effectively manage rheumatoid arthritis.
Besides, Omega 3 fatty acids also reduce heart attack risk, blood lipid levels, and blood pressure.
Men should have a daily intake of 1.6 g, while women should have a daily intake of 1.1 g of omega-3 fatty acids to prevent and treat chronic knee pains.
Read more – Plant Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (PRICE) is a protocol formula to protect the injured knee from further damage and to add to the pain-relieving process. It is a very effective treatment in combination with medications to reduce knee pain from sprains.
Protection is the precaution to protect the knee from further injury. You can stop the intense activities and lift heavy articles to protect the knee from further pain.
Rest refers to giving time for knee tissues to heal. During the resting phase, you should not perform any such activity that stresses the knee. However, completely stopping the knee movement is also not advisable. You can continue with the mild knee joint motion, which will help with a speedy recovery.
Ice or cold compression therapy is recommended in combination with medications to reduce knee pain and inflammation. 10-15 mins of cold compression thrice a day is sufficient to reduce knee inflammation. Cold compression therapy is safe for longer periods until you are not allergic to cold exposure. You should discontinue this treatment if your skin becomes mottled, red, and raised after contact with ice.
Compression includes using elastic bandages as compression wrap on the injured tissue. Compression puts a mild force on tissues to reduce inflammation in knee joints. It is recommended to loosen the elastic bandage while sleeping and to re-apply the bandage the following day.
Elevation of the leg is recommended to drain the excess fluid back into the body. This will reduce knee pain and swelling. It’s recommended that the position of the knee should be above the level of the heart. In case of extreme swelling, it’s good to position your knees on extra pillows for 1-2 days, even while sleeping.
Read more – Topical Pain Relievers
It’s good to invest in a comfortable pair of shoes while seeking a treatment plan for knee pain. Shoes with shock-absorbing insoles, midsole support, motion control, and athletic footwear can provide extra stability while walking and exercising. The extra cushioning will also help reduce the pressure on the joints. This will effectively reduce chronic knee pains due to osteoarthritis.
Disclaimer: The information given in this article is true to our best knowledge. Still, we recommend that you consult your doctor before following any exercise or treatment for knee pain mentioned in this article.
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