Knee pain is a common complaint, which may have several causes including overuse. Your knees can take a lot of wear and tear throughout the years. Sometimes injuries occur due to repeatedly participating in high impact activities, such as basketball, running and dancing. Other causes of knee pain include tendinitis, arthritis and poor form during exercise. Regardless of the cause, knee pain can interfere with everyday activities and prevent you from being as active as you would like. In addition to taking over the counter pain medication, there are several useful home remedies for knee pain.
Ice is often recommended for various types of joint and muscle aches including knee pain. Ice helps reduce knee pain by decreasing inflammation. According to Medline Plus, on the first day of knee pain, ice may be applied every hour for about 15 minutes at a time. On subsequent days, ice can be applied about 4 times a day.
[Related – 10 Common Causes Of Knee Pain]
Elevate Your Knee
One very simple home remedy for knee pain is elevation. Keep your knee elevated as much as you can when you are sitting or lying down. Placing a few pillows under your knee while resting can reduce fluid buildup and swelling. Elevation is especially helpful at the onset of pain.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight places a great deal of added stress on the joints, especially the knees. The more a person weighs the more pressure is applied to their knees. By losing excess weight, less stress is placed on the joints and pain may be reduced or even eliminated. Keep in mind, even modest weight loss can help decrease knee discomfort.
Wear A Compression Bandage
A compression bandage helps knee pain in two ways. It can help reduce swelling, which may decrease discomfort. It also helps provide support and stability to the knee, which can reduce pain during activities. Applying the compression bandage correctly is essential in order for it to be effective. While it is important to have the bandage tight enough to provide support, it should not decrease circulation.
[Related – 10 Frequent Causes Of Knee Swelling]
Replace Athletic Shoes Often
Knee pain which is due to overuse and participating in high impact activities is common. Wearing athletic shoes, which provide little support, can cause knee pain to develop or make it worse. The exact time frame for replacing athletic shoes depends on what type of exercise you are doing. For example, according to the Cleveland Clinic, running shoes should be replaced about every 600 miles.
Sleep With A Pillow Between Your Knees
A small change while you are sleeping may help decrease knee pain in some cases. For instance, placing a pillow between your knees while you sleep may help reduce pressure on the knee. This may especially be helpful if knee pain is from bursitis. In addition, avoid lying on the side which has the bursitis, according to The University of Maryland Medical Center.
Although not all research supports the theory taking supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin reduces joint pain, some studies have positive results. According to the Mayo Clinic, glucosamine and chondroitin appear to be most effective for moderate pain due to arthritis. As with all supplements, it is advisable to speak with your doctor before starting. Although usually mild, possible side effects with glucosamine and chondroitin include mild nausea and diarrhea.
[Related – Glucosamine And Chondroitin For Osteoarthritis]
Consider Arch Supports
Having flat feet can contribute to knee pain from overuse. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, wearing arch supports can help decrease knee pain. In addition to buying arch supports off the shelf, custom supports are an option, which may work better for some people.
Switch To Low Impact Workouts
Sports and exercise activities which involve jumping and running put stress on the knees, which can lead to pain. While it may not be necessary to give up your favorite sports activities, reducing how often you engage in high impact activities may be helpful. Consider switching some high impact exercise with low impact activities, such as swimming, bike riding and walking.
Take A Break
Depending on the cause and severity of knee pain, rest may be all you need to fix the problem. Limiting exercise or at least high impact exercise for a while until the pain subsides may help. If you are a runner and don’t want to stop training all together, changing surfaces, avoiding downhill running and shortening distance may help reduce knee pain.
Many times, knee pain may be minor and nothing to worry about. Although knee pain may resolve with home remedies, there may be instances when medical attention is needed. If knee pain is severe or does not improve after 3 days of home remedies consider seeing a doctor. Anytime knee pain is accompanied by fever, warmth, swelling or redness around the knee, it could be a sign of an infection and medical attention is needed.