Knee pain is one of the most common types of problems that we see at our office. However, there are many things you can do yourself at home to help relieve knee pain. Of course, there are many different causes of knee pain. If your knee is unstable, red, swollen, hot, or you have a fever, please seek medical attention. The most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis, a condition where the cartilage, the slick part of the joint, becomes worn down.
Exercise your knee: Strengthening and stretching the muscles that surround the knee will help protect your knee joint. It is also important to maintain the range of motion in your knee. Exercising your knees doesn’t have to be hard and painful. Gentle and low impact forms of exercise are the best way to exercise knees with arthritis. Consider walking or water exercises which are very easy on your knees.
Proper sitting posture: If you must sit, don’t do so without standing up occasionally to avoid stiff joints. Choose supported chairs that avoid you having your knees flexed more than necessary. Don’t lean forward while sitting. Avoid very soft places to sit where you would sink into the furniture.
Weight loss: More weight will stress your knee joints. Get to a healthy weight.
Diet: Improve your diet. Eat foods that are high in fruit, vegetables, and fiber and low in meat, animal fat, and other fat. Look at our nutrition article for more info.
Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate (R.I.C.E): Purchasing a compression brace or support for your knee can help reduce swelling. Raising your leg above your heart level will also help reduce inflammation. Apply ice packs to also reduce swelling and reduce pain. You can alternate with heat packs as it can reduce stiffness.
NSAID’s and Aspirin: Oral medications such as naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen, and diclofenac can be used to reduce pain and inflammation of your knee.
Topical medications: topical medications such as diclofenac and creams that contain menthol, lidocaine, and or capsaicin are very helpful in reducing knee pain with very limited absorption into your body. Our experts at Southwest Pain Management can also order compounded creams for you that contain other prescription pain relieving medications.
Off-loader knee brace: A prescription off-loader or unloader brace is the type of brace that shifts weight off the affected portion of the knee. This works well if the arthritis is limited to one part of the knee.
If home care of your knee pain is not enough, consider visiting with us at Southwest Pain Management. We offer some unique therapy options to treat your pain even if your knee joint has been replaced!
- Intra-articular knee joint injections: According to this study, injecting hyaluronic acid (rooster comb product or viscosupplementation), steroid, or other homeopathic medicines is the most helpful way to reduce pain in your knee.
- Genicular nerve blocks: If nothing else is helping with the pain, we can perform a genicular nerve block which can remove the pain from your knee without affecting the strength in your leg.