There are all sorts of reasons why we get knee joint pain. Genetic dispositions, osteoarthritis, various injuries, and sports accidents are among the most common. I was told many years ago that I had degenerate joint disease, that my knee joints looked like those of a 70 year old, and then I was questioned as to what I had been doing to be like this! I was also told that I would have to have knee replacement for sure, and maybe even twice! That was over 20 years ago when arthroscopy was considered cutting edge, and some orthopedics had no bedside manners. Granted, the doctor didn't call it the crude, degenerative joint disease - just osteoarthritis, oh, and no treatment, except don't downhill ski, don't run, and watch the dance classes.
I studied everything I could get my hands on relating to any treatment for knee joint pain relief. There wasn't any specific knee pain treatment, but there was natural joint pain relief offered. Mainly it was European clinics or spa type places where one was restricted to a vegetable broth diet, and had massages and exercises to help. Well, I couldn't afford to run off to any such places, but I could cook vegetables, and drink the broth. I did so, but couldn't tell you today if it helped. Eventually I found out (about 15 years later) that I had a genetic disease that was wreaking havoc with my knee joints, and the damage was irreversible, but I could maintain a healthier level with less pain.
To this date I haven't had my knees replaced, and I am very grateful, yet I do work at keeping them healthier. As it turns out, most of what I have practiced for over 20 years now is the same treatment and advice for maintaining general good health as well as relief for osteoarthritis knee pain. Those are:
- Losing excess weight and staying at a healthy weight.
- Performing specific exercises to strengthen the ligaments and muscles around my knee joints.
- Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs (ibupoforin, aleve, aspirin).
- Using ice initially to reduce inflammation, then warm water soaks, mineral springs are very helpful.
Those 4 solutions are really fairly general, and can be applied to many health issues as well.
Good temporary relief for knee pains are topical analgesics like; bengay, traumeel, triflora, or any with turmeric. Apply them directly on the skin where the pain is, and do so sparingly, at least initially until you know the strength of the topical lotion. Sometimes I think just the massaging of the lotion helps to soothe the pain. It is similar to acupuncture in that it relieves and improves function, although acupuncture takes some weeks of treatment. Keep in mind that not all inflammation reducers are also pain reducers, read the ingredients.
Exercise is really helpful if non-weight bearing exercises (swimming) are included. These are target specific for the muscles around the joints, and the more I keep an image of my ligaments holding my joints, the more I strengthen them. Physical therapists can help with those specific exercises, and physical therapy is a great place to start helping yourself with knee joint pain relief. Balance improvement exercises also help. Along with good exercises, comes good footwear. For some people, having orthotics really helps because it helps shift the pressure away from the knee. Especially if you are performing weight bearing exercises like running or walking. Try not to walk/run on concrete. Grass is best, then asphalt, and last is concrete.
Reducing inflammation is the key to knee pain relief. Flax seed oil is an essential source of omega-3 fatty acids, and is beneficial to inflammation reduction. It can be found just about at every food store or drugstore presently. Walnuts, canola oil, pumpkin seeds and cold water oily fish also are good sources of omega-3's. Olive oil reduces inflammation, and is good for risk reduction of cardiovascular disease, too. Incorporating these in your diet can really be a boost to better working knee joints.
The stiffness and pain on joint movement often comes gradually, over a period of years (aging), and inflammation follows. Like the rest of our body, the foods we eat do make a difference in our well-being. One example is to eat fresh pineapple often because it has the enzyme bromelain which is excellent for inflammation reduction. Certain herbs are beneficial, like alfalfa. It contains most of the minerals needed for bone formation, can be consumed naturally (raw) or in tablet form, and may be helpful. Sulphur in foods like eggs, asparagus,onions, and garlic are calcium absorbers, and calcium is needed in bone building and repair (cartilage and muscle tissues, too), so they would be a good idea to incorporate into your diet.
Really, you can get knee joint pain relief by incorporating some of these tools in your daily regiment. Research what works for people you trust, take some control, and move through it.