How To Take Opioid Medicine
- Take the medicine as directed by your health care provider.
- Eat before you take the medicine.
- Drink plenty of water with the medicine.
- Write down when you take the medicine and how many pills you take.
- Do not drive when you are taking the medicine. The medicine will affect your ability to make decisions or react quickly.
- Do not drink alcohol when you are taking the medicine.
- Use it only for the first few days or weeks when the pain is most intense. Talk with your health care provider for a taper plan.
- Put your opioid medicine in a secure place to prevent others from using it.
How To Ease The Pain Now
When your knee starts aching, experts suggest the following steps:
Apply ice or heat. Both can reduce pain ice can also cut swelling, and heat can ease stiffness. For icing, place a towel or cloth on your skin, then top with a small bag of ice at least once a day for 20 minutes, recommends physical therapist Erica Fritz, P.T., D.P.T., manager of the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
If your knee feels stiff but isnt swollen, apply a heating pad to the area for 20 minutes twice a day. Place a protective layer, such as a towel, between the heat source and your skin.
Get some low-impact activity. You may not feel much like being active when your knees hurt, but the evidence suggests that it can help. A 2015 review by the independent Cochrane Collaboration found that the short-term pain relief conferred by exercise is comparable to that achieved with use of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug .
Walking and cycling are good choices. But if land-based exercise is too painful, try an aquatic workout.The buoyancy of water is gentle on joints and may make it easier to work out. Aquatic exercise also provides a small but measurable decrease in pain and disability in people with knee and/or hip OA, according to another Cochrane review, published in 2016.
Ask about physical therapy. If pain and swelling make it very challenging to be active or youre unsure which exercises are best for you, see a physical therapist.
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.
Recommended Reading: Do Compression Sleeves Help With Knee Pain
How To Relieve Knee Pain Through Stretches And Exercises You Can Do At Home
Your knees are two of the largest, most heavily used joints in your body. It’s no wonder, then, that knee pain is both pretty common and pretty hard to ignore.
“In many cases, knee pain can be treated at home via stretching and strengthening exercises,” says Dr. Kenneth Brooks, orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee surgery at Houston Methodist. “However, some types of knee pain can also be the result of a serious injury that requires evaluation and treatment by a specialist.”
Whether your knee pain is due to aging, overuse, muscle tightness or muscle weakness, Dr. Brooks is here to help you understand how to alleviate your pain, as well as the signs indicating that it may be a sign of serious injury.
When To Consider Knee Replacement
If your knee pain is chronic and worsening, recommended therapies provide insufficient relief, you find that youre unable to perform everyday activities without pain, and you have trouble walking without using an assistive device such as a cane, you might be a candidate for a knee replacement. Get the lowdown on this surgery.
Also Check: Bleach Dark Knees
When Should You See A Doctor
There are many instances of knee pain that can be treated at home, but sometimes theres no way to avoid the doctor.
If you notice any of the following, you should contact your doctor right away:
- Symptoms lasting longer than a few days or get worse instead of better
- Health conditions that could complicate the healing process
- Signs of infection, such as a fever
- Severe pain and swelling
- Symptoms in other parts of your body
When you visit your doctor, they will conduct a complete physical examination.
The exam can include tests, such as blood tests or X-rays.
If you have knee pain that dies need medical help, the sooner you visit a doctor and begin treatment, the better outlook youre likely to have.
Treatment For Knee Problems
If initial treatment methods do not provide relief, and X-rays show destruction of the joint, the orthopaedist may recommend total joint replacement for the knee, also referred to as knee replacement.
ACL Tears in Female Athletes: Q& A with a Sports Medicine Expert
Sports injury prevention isn’t a one-stop shop, especially for injuries like ACL tears, which are four to eight times more common among women than men. Discover ways for women to help prevent this common injury.
You May Like: Where To Get Knee High Converse
Articles On Knee Pain
You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury or arthritis you’ve had for years.
Follow these 11 dos and donâts to help your knees feel their best.
Donât rest too much. Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.
Do exercise. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Tai chi may also help ease stiffness and improve balance.
Donât risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.
Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.
What Is Knee Pain
Pain is a common knee problem that can originate in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint , the kneecap , or the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee. Knee pain can be aggravated by physical activity, as well as obesity, affected by the surrounding muscles and their movements, and be triggered by other problems . Knee pain can affect people of all ages, and home remedies can be helpful unless it becomes severe.
Read Also: Best Knee Walker 2016
How To Use Pain Medications Properly
There are two types of over-the-counter pain medications that can be used for osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever but not an anti-inflammatory. It may help with mild knee pain.
NSAIDs can be more effective because they both relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, they come with potential side effects and risks. NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach, which may lead to an ulcer or other stomach problems. They also can impair kidney function. Some NSAIDs can increase blood pressure. And theyve been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.
Because of the risks, Dr. Day cautions against using NSAIDs regularly over long periods of time. Instead, she uses NSAIDs for her patients in two ways. First, people who have a flare-up of pain can take them regularly for three to five days and then stop. Second, they can be used over the long term, but only occasionally, maybe a couple of times a week as needed.
If youre taking NSAIDs several times a day for long periods of time, Dr. Day advises reducing their use by maximizing the other treatment strategies. She also suggests trying a topical NSAID, such as diclofenac , which has fewer potential side effects.
Opioid pain relievers are discouraged for long-term treatment of chronic knee pain. The milder narcotic tramadol might be appropriate for occasional use in some people, says Dr. Day.
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.
Read Also: Does Aflac Cover Hysterectomy
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:
What Medical Conditions Cause Knee Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that can affect any joint in the body. It can cause severe pain and disability, as well as swelling.
Gout is a form of arthritis that is most commonly found in the big toe, though it can also affect the knee. Gout tends to flare up and is extremely painful during the acute episodes. When there is no flare-up, the knee can be pain free.
With , the knee joint can become infected this leads to pain, swelling, and fever. This condition requires antibiotics and drainage treatments as soon as possible.
Chronic use/overuse conditions
Patellar tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons connecting the kneecap to the shinbone . Patellar tendinitis is a chronic condition often found in individuals repeating the same motion during exercise .
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is caused by degeneration or stress under the kneecap where it meets the thighbone . Patellofemoral pain syndrome occurs in runners and cyclists.
Osteoarthritis: a wearing down of cartilage of the joint due to use and age
Prepatellar bursitis: Inflammation to the bursa in front of the kneecap may cause anterior knee pain.
You May Like: How Much Does Aflac Pay For Ambulance Ride
Common Conditions Of Hip Pain Vs Knee Pain
Hip Pain Hip pain can be caused by a variety of medical conditions as well as from certain injuries. Inflamed tendons from over-exertion or an athletic injury can cause temporary or chronic hip pain. Tendinitis, dislocation, sprains, and pinched nerves can all contribute to or be the cause of hip pain. Hip pain may also result from repetitive injuries or poor posture.
Knee Pain Injuries that include torn cartilage or damaged ligaments can cause knee pain. Fractures, tendinitis, and knee bursitis are all common knee injuries. Medical conditions such as arthritis or gout can cause mild to severe knee pain. You may be experiencing stiffness or swelling in one or both knees. It might be difficult to stand, walk, or fully straighten your knee. Sometimes knees will make popping or crunching noises.
Regular Exercise To Support The Knee
The function of muscle is to support and move the knee. Walking is a weight bearing activity which helps to increase bone density.
Before starting any exercise program, it is important to consult your doctor, physiotherapist or Orthopaedic surgeon to get medical clearance and specific guidelines for what is appropriate for your particular situation. Once you have received medical clearance, it would also be a good idea to hire an advanced personal trainer to assess your gait and design a program to balance the muscles surrounding the hip, knee and ankle.
Don’t Miss: Knees Crack When Doing Squats
Heel And Calf Stretch
This stretch targets the muscles in your lower leg, specifically your calf muscles.
To do this stretch:
Natural Treatments For Knee Pain Relief And Prevention
1. Exercise and Proper Time to Recover
Weak muscles and stiffness are two of the leading problems associated with knee injuries. So while exercise is important for keeping your knees healthy, you also need to rest enough and give your body time to heal. Some people will need to take a break from most exercise or several weeks to heal a damaged knee, or at least limit high-impact activities for a period of time. Before trying more drastic treatments, see if taking a few days off from your usual exercise helps. If you see improvements with rest, then you should plan to decrease your mileage/length of workout when you return.
To protect yourself from injury, always warm up lightly and stretch before exercise. Before engaging in running, biking or another knee-bending exercise, walk a quarter- to a half-mile. After your exercise, be sure to stretch again and then to give yourself enough time to recover properly, at least 12 days .
Doing low-impact exercises is best for people with chronic knee pain or conditions that affect the joints. Examples of low impact workouts include:
- Activities that involve repetitive movements of the legs
- High-impact sports
2. Physical Therapy
3. Good Footwear, Insoles and if Needed, a Knee Brace
In general, people with knee pain should try to avoid wearing sandals, flip flops, Crocs, boat shoes, high heels and boots. These types of shoes are not very supportive and can aggravate back, knee or hip pain.
4. Foam Rolling
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Don’t Miss: Nano Knee Cost
What Are Risk Factors For Knee Pain
Biomechanics: The knee joint is complicated in its operation and is used frequently throughout the day. Any change in the movement of the joint can cause subtle changes and cause pain and injuries.
Excess weight: The stress on the knee joint is increased with excess weight. Obesity also increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis as the cartilage breaks down more rapidly.
Overuse during repetitive motions as are found during certain exercises or work conditions can cause breakdown of cartilage and lead to pain.
What Else Can Help With Knee Pain
Finding relief from knee pain depends on the cause or issue thats making it difficult for you to go about your daily activities. Carrying excess weight puts extra stress on your knees, which may lead to osteoarthritis.
In this case, the most effective treatment, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is weight loss. Your doctor may recommend a combination of diet and exercise to help you lose weight and strengthen the muscles in your lower body, especially around your knees.
A 2013 study found that adults with overweight and knee osteoarthritis experienced a reduction in weight and knee pain after 18 months of a diet and exercise program.
But if overuse is the culprit, your doctor will likely suggest RICE which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation and physical therapy. A physical therapist can work with you to develop a program that includes range of motion exercises, stretches, and muscle strengthening movements.
Recommended Reading: My Knees Crack When I Squat