Knee pain is very common and if you don’t have it, you most probably know someone suffering from it. Knee injuries, osteoarthritis, trauma, sports activities, accidents, overuse, and falls are some of the common causes of knee pain. The good news is that knee pain can be relieved naturally with simple modifications to improve flexibility, joint health, strength and alignment.
The following modifications can make a big difference in knee pain:
- Losing weight: Every pound you lose feels like 7 pounds less on your knees; therefore if you have knee pain, do whatever it takes to shed some weight. Healthy diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products lean meats, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. For a weight loss of 1–1 ½ pounds per week, daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 750 calories and this can be accomplished by portion size control.
- Investing in good shoes is very important since feet are the foundation of our body. Foot position greatly influences your knee mechanics. Also, cushioned well-supportive insoles can reduce stress on your knee. Flat foot will cause knee joint to roll in increasing stress on your medial knee structures including medial meniscus, medial collateral ligament and cartilage. If you have flat feet, make sure you get a good arch support or orthotics. Finally, make sure you replace your shoes every 6 months to avoid poor support.
- Hip strengthening is essential for knee health since hip is controlling your knee. Hip abduction exercise in side laying or standing can make a big difference and can help resolve knee pain by correcting mechanics of the joint and controlling the kinetic chain.
- Glucosamine helps wear and tear of the joint cartilage by increasing cushioning of the joint. It works well for most patients but there is small percentage of people suffering form knee pain who do not get benefits. General recommendation is to try it for 6 weeks and if works continue, but if it does not, then stop. The best-researched, high quality brand is Cosamine DS.
You can protect the injured knee by:
- Using kneepads if you have to kneel.
- Sleeping on the side with a pillow in between your knees if you are a side sleeper.
- Avoiding hyperextension and twisting.
- Avoiding high impact exercises such as jumping.
Your knee requires professional care in case the pain persists for more than two weeks, gets progressively worse and limits your daily activity. Knee injuries heal much faster with personalized treatment plan, and comprehensive treatment including multi-functional movement, advanced manual therapy and cutting edge technology.