Foods That Can Reduce Knee Pain
It is often said we are what we eat and we firmly believe that, if you consume all the vital nutrients that your body requires then you will be healthy and your body will function better, so here are some of the food items that can reduce knee pain.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids/Fish Oils
Cold-water fish are a rich source of natural Omega-3s and unsaturated fats, which are fundamentally important supplements for our body. These significant supplements are often called polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Omega-3 can be found in cold-water fish like salmon, trout, halibut, and sardines. You can either sort of consume these fish to get Omega-3 or you can resort to a fish oil supplement which is more of an approach to ingesting Omega-3s.
Nuts and Seeds
There’s a piece of great news for the veggie lovers and vegans among us. Omega-3s can likewise be found in an assortment of nuts and seeds. You can munch on them every day. Making a small jar filled with pecans, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, or pine nuts can help you with decreasing the aggravation in the joints and connective tissue, but make sure you have them in moderation.
Organic products some of the time get negative criticism due to their high sugar content, yet many have great antioxidant properties. Very much like with vegetables, certain organic products are more compelling than others to our body.
Lentils and Beans
Garlic and Root Vegetables
What Other Ways Can Help You With Dealing With Knee Pain
When it comes down to it, finding pain relief will depend on whats causing your knee pain.
Carrying excess weight will put extra stress on your knees, which can lead to pain and osteoarthritis.
Thats why one of the simplest and most effective ways to ease your knee pain is to lose weight.
It may be the simplest, but that doesnt mean its the easiest.
Your doctor can recommend a combination of diet and exercise that will help reduce weight and strengthen the muscles around your knees.
A study completed in 2013 found that overweight adults with knee osteoarthritis had a reduction in weight and knee pain after 18 months of diet and exercise.
But again, when you exercise, be sure to follow your doctors orders and dont overuse your knee.
If you do overuse your knee, or perform high impact activities and injure your knees, refer back to R.I.C.E. or ask about physical therapy.
Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a program that includes range of motion exercises, stretches, and muscle strengthening movements.
# Create Knee Stability
As I mentioned in the previous section, your knee joint is a hinge, meaning that it opens in one direction only. However, it is also classified as a slave joint, because it operates down the kinetic chain from your hip, which, as a ball-and-socket joint, has much great range of motion.
Simply put, your hip dictates much of the movement your knee faces. Strong hips allow your knee to perform its intended function only , while weak hips can cause your knee to suffer from lateral movement that its not built to sustain.
Hip strength comes from your Gluteal muscle groups, primarily your Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Medius. A Pointing Dog exercise is a great way to activate your glute max, as well as to improve your knee extension for better ROM:
Next, a lying leg raise can be used to squarely target your glute meds:
Remember, the stronger your glutes, the more stable your knees will become. Dont skip these exercises in favour of simply focusing on the traditional knee-related exercises like squats and deadlifts.
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Think Twice About These Treatments
Our experts say that some people may find relief with the following therapies but that this may be because of a placebo effect:
Injections. While injections of corticosteroids may ease inflammation and pain, relief is short-lived, and the therapy can cause side effects, such as bone thinning, tendon weakening, and nerve damage. The May 2018 Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons study mentioned above reported that injections of hyaluronic acid, which is also sometimes used for knee OA, dont have a significant positive effect on pain and function.
Bracing. A 2015 Cochrane review on bracing found that wearing a brace, such as a valgus knee brace, neutral brace, or neoprene sleeve, may have little or no effect on pain reduction, knee function, or quality of life. And because a knee brace must exert enough force on the knee to change your gait, its pretty uncomfortable, says David S. Jevsevar, M.D., chair of the department of orthopedics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.
Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements. Theres little evidence that these help knee OA, according to the AAOS guidelines. In addition, supplements arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the same way that medications are, and you cant be sure that whats on the label is whats in the bottle.
Compression Sleeves / Brace
Compression sleeves and knee braces serve different functions. These devices apply light pressure around the joint to trap in body heat. Essentially, a compression sleeve is like strapping a low-grade heater onto your leg.
A knee brace applies pressure to the knee to provide stability to the joint and additional support to the muscles and tendons.
A compression sleeve should be worn for a few hours during the day, to provide heat therapy to the knee, which may prove beneficial in relieving knee pain.
A knee brace should be worn during physical activity, particularly in the event of a sport related injury. It will provide additional support to the injured muscle or tendon, while also taking primary responsibility for stabilizing the knee itself.
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When You Should See A Doctor
As we said before, pain in your knees usually goes away without medical treatment with these at home knee pain treatment measures.
However, there are a few reasons you should see the doctor.
See your doctor if:
- your pain doesnt get better after a few weeks
- you cant move your knee at all
- you cant put weight on your knee
- your knee locks, clicks painfully or gives way
Your doctor can usually diagnose your knee pain from your symptoms and a physical examination of your knee.
Sometimes tests or a scan will help confirm a diagnosis, especially if they think further, more specialized treatment may be needed.
Top 12 Knee Pain Exercises And Stretches
The type of knee exercises that will help you find relief from knee pain depends on the underlying cause of your condition. Dr. Torrance has found that for his patients to get the most results from knee pain exercises and stretches, they first have to identify if theyre generally more strong or more flexible.
If youre legs are very flexible but not so strong, you want to work on strengthening and activating the correct muscles in your legs to support your knees . On the other hand, if youre strong but also tight, you want to improve your flexibility/mobility. If you have a condition that causes pain, gently working on improving both strength and range of motion is important.
Below are some of Dr. Torrances favorite knee strengthening exercises and stretches:
1. Clam Shells This is a great exercise for younger athletes and females who have weak gluteus medius muscles. Its also helpful for those who have flat feet, which creates stress in your ankle that travels up to your knees. Start by laying on your right side with your knees bent and feet and hips stacked. You want your feet to be in line with your butt and your shoulders stacked. Engage your core and keep your feet together as you raise your left knee out to the side while keeping your right knee down on the floor. Hold your lifted knee for one second, then lower and repeat. Try to complete 20 reps on each side.
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How Can I Relieve My Pain
When knee pain emerges, how can you ease the ache? Try these at-home measures:
- Switch up your routine: Stop doing the activity that brought on your knee pain, if possible. If youve been jogging, for example, try biking or swimming instead, which are easier on knee joints.
- Rest: Avoid putting weight on the affected knee.
- Apply ice or heat: Cold packs several times a day for 20 minutes at a time can reduce inflammation. Applying heat may increase blood flow to the area and feel soothing, Dr. Kissin says.
- Compress: Wrap the painful knee snugly but lightly in an elastic bandage or thin knee sleeve.
- Elevate: When possible, rest with your affected knee higher than your heart.
- Medicate: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can reduce pain and swelling.
Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.
Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.
Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.
Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.
Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.
Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.
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Conventional Treatments For Knee Pain
Ron Torrance II, D.O, a Sports Medicine Trained Physician at the New ReGeneration Orthopedics of Florida, says he commonly sees knee pain-related conditions among his younger patients who are generally fit especially runners, female athletes and anyone who uses their legs in other repetitive ways
Dr. Torrance feels that an often overlooked aspect of treating knee pain is the need for different interventions depending on someones current fitness level. For example, a young woman who experiences knee pain after running for several months will benefit from a much different treatment approach than an older man with osteoarthritis of the knees.
When treating knee pain injuries, Dr. Torrance first looks at his patients symptoms and then discusses their lifestyle and exercise habits. Knee pain treatment should always depend on which specific part of the knee is injured and the underlying cause of the pain. Even if medications and corrective devices like knee braces are needed to treat knee pain, exercises, stretching and other functional medicine practices should also be incorporated to help with recovery and injury prevention.
Aside from resting the knee after an acute injury, conventional treatments for chronic knee pain that lasts more than several weeks include:
Heat And Cold Therapy
Heat and cold can be effective for managing knee pain. Heat can relax the muscles to improve pain and function and promote joint lubrication, which can reduce stiffness. You can use a hot water bottle or a heating pad. For cold therapy, an ice pack, wrapped in a towel, can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Some people can get the most out of knee pain relief when they alternate heat and cold therapy. You can experiment with both to figure out what best works for you to manage your knee pain, swelling, and stiffness.
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Sign Up For Physical Therapy
Some people with osteoarthritis respond to acupuncture, especially those with arthritis of the knee or spine, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is also one of the nondrug approaches recommended by the American College of Rheumatology.
Acupuncture combined with moxibustion, a technique that involves burning the herb mugwort close to the skin, is a course of Chinese medical treatment for osteoarthritis, says Ming Jin, MD, PhD, an acupuncturist and founder of the Ming Qi Natural Healthcare Center in New York City. Moxibustion can be as effective as oral medications for treating knee arthritis, according to a study published in the journal Medicine in February 2016. Your treatment should be tailored to your disease stage and may include acupuncture, acupressure, and moxibustion, Jin notes.
What You Can Do
If you have knee pain, Rippe recommends low-impact activities, like swimming, brisk walking, or cycling. You can also consider taking supplements that provide glucosamine and chondroitin to strengthen and lubricate knees.
On the flip side, too much movement can be hard on your joints. So if youre one of those people who just cant quit their HIIT habit or long-distance runs, there are some simple moves and stretches you can try that will help alleviate pain.
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How To Fix Knee Pain
This article was medically reviewed by Troy A. Miles, MD. Dr. Miles is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California. He received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010, followed by a residency at the Oregon Health & Science University and fellowship at the University of California, Davis. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the North Pacific Orthopaedic Society.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 96% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 48,833 times.
Exercises To Reduce Knee Pain
Knee pain is one of the most common orthopedic conditions for which people seek medical treatment. It includes pain felt behind and around the knee cap, especially during activities like stair climbing, squatting, running, and walking while carrying a heavy load. Knee pain can prevent you from participating in your favorite activities and performing daily tasks. Without proper treatment, it can linger for years.
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which include knee stiffness, incorrect positioning of the knee cap at rest or with movement, flat feet, improper exercise form, and weakness of the muscles that control the hip and knee.
A physical therapist can work with you to address your knee pain. After an evaluation, a physical therapist will design an individualized comprehensive treatment program to address the specific factors causing your knee pain. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation.
To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
These exercises are proven by research to reduce pain and improve your ability to participate in the activities you love.
Consult your health care provider before starting these exercises to determine if they are right for you. If you experience any symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness at any time, you should stop immediately. These exercises are provided for educational information only.
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How To Get Started
If youre ready to give tai chi a try, you might be wondering how to get started. Here are a few tips that will point you in the right direction.
- Find an instructor: The best way to learn and practice tai chi is with an instructor. You can look for classes at senior centers, local fitness facilities, the YMCA, or tai chi centers. If youre unable to locate any on your own, try searching online.
- Watch the class first: Talk to the instructor ahead of time about observing the class before you commit. This allows you to see the moves in action and get a feel for the class. If you can, try to talk with a few of the participants to see how they like doing tai chi.
- Check out YouTube: Beyond the more formal videos you can find online, YouTube is also home to some great clips on different tai chi moves.
Bonus #6 Rest Smart Rest More
Make sure that you are getting adequate sleep while you rehabilitate your knee. This seems like such a simple option, but few people include this in their recovery plan.
Increasing sleep can help increase muscle protein synthesis, therefore increasing your leg muscle development, and eventual return to sport performance .
It is also during sleep that Human Growth Hormone is maximally released . HGH has many benefits, increased protein synthesis, increased lean muscle development, and increased rate of healing in your bones, muscles, and even tendons and ligaments.
In other words, the more you sleep, the more HGH you will have in your system, and the faster you will recover.
Along with sleep, it is crucial that you are getting enough rest between workouts, especially when training atrophied muscles that you are just starting to rebuild. There isnt an exact rule I can give for the recovery you will need, so listen to your body.
After both of my knee surgeries, I lost more than 2 inches from the circumference of my thigh. My quads and hamstrings were very weak, and they took noticeably longer to recover post-workout compared to my healthy leg. If you typically take 2 days off between leg workouts, be prepared to give yourself a third day, remembering that more work is not always better when it comes to building muscle and strength.
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