The Ultimate Sore Knee Remedy Guide
Sore knees are one of the most common health issues with elderly people, and yet only a few ever overcome this problem. Whether your knee pain is due to something small like a sprain or a bigger problem like arthritis, you can probably treat it successfully at home.
Chances are, you already know someone who’s always complaining about their knees but can’t seem to find a solution. Have you ever wondered why knee pain is such a prevailing issue amongst the elderly? It’s because preventing and treating bad knees can be counter-intuitive – as you’ll find out in this article.
Access Your Pain
Do you know what’s more painful than tolerating sore knees for days? It’s knowing that you have been following the wrong remedies all along. Sore knees can have varying solutions depending on the problem and the scope of the pain.
Moderate to Severe Pain (resulting from an injury) – If you’re experiencing excorticating knee pain from an injury, you should seek medical attention. Knee soreness resulting from an injury might require surgery or other interventions to resolve – depending on the severity.
Minor But Prolonged Pain – If your knee pain is due to arthritis, a minor injury (like bumping your knee into something) or inflammation, there are treatments you can try at home which have been proven to be effective.
Home Remedies For Sore Knees
If your knee pain is minor, you should be able to treat it at home. Through the article “The Ultimate Sore Knee Remedy Guide” – we want to help you diagnose and treat your knee pain at home so that you can save yourselves the doctor’s visit. So, be ready for the tsunami of information coming your way.
PRICE – Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate
Your first goal should be to save your injured knee from further inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury. Knee padding or splinting are great ways of preventing further damage or stress to your knees.
You should reduce the activities which cause repetitive stress on your problematic knee. Resting can also help prevent further soreness and give the knee time to recover. Once you experience knee pain, you should forgo all the activities which put your joints under stress.
Icing is known to be one of the best remedies for swelling and inflammations which can be used for both acute and chronic knee injuries. Icing the injured knee 2-3 times a day for 20-30 minutes each can show significant improvement. A frozen pea bag is another great replacement for ice bags for more sensitive areas.
Compressing the knee with a knee brace or wrap can help reduce knee soreness. In some knee injuries, compression can be used to keep the patella aligned and to keep joint mechanics intact. It’s no coincidence that sports good manufacturing companies produce compression clothing for athletes who encounter repeated and regular joint tension.
Elevation can help reduce swelling as it works with gravity to help fluid flow back to the central circulation that would otherwise accumulate in the knee. Elevation works best when the knee – or any other injured body part – is higher than your heart level.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Stiffening of knees is bad news when it comes to soreness and inflammation. For heat therapy, use a heating pad while reclining or elevating your knee to prevent knee stiffness. If you prefer cold therapy, wrap a gel-style cold pack or cool compress around your knee to reduce pain and swelling.
We talked about the remedies of knee soreness being counter-intuitive, remember? While you might want to lay in bed all day long, doing so will only make matters worse. You should be doing light exercise to keep the joints moving as it can help in reducing knee pain.
Ointments and Extracts
You can’t talk about home remedies and leave out oils, ointments and extracts. Massage with coconut and mustard oil has long been a home remedy for treating joint aches. Salve made of cinnamon, ginger, mastic, and sesame oil are other effective ways of treating joint aches.
A 2001 study showed that some people with arthritis experienced pain relief after using willow bark. The willow bark extract is commonly used by herbalists to treat pain, inflammations, and fever. Ginger extract, according to a study, is another product that can help in reducing knee pain in people with arthritis.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are naturally occurring substances found in the connective tissues of the body including the cartilage that covers the ends of bones in the joints. A decline in these substances in your body – which can happen as you age – can lead to joint pains.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are two incredibly effective join-support supplements which can help in elevating knee soreness and pain. You should consider supplementing with these substances (usually paired together in a single supplement) as you grow older, and even when you’re not facing any joint issues.
Sore Knee Remedy Kit
Types of Knee Pains
Now that you know the most potent home remedies for moderate knee pains, let’s get deeper into the ultimate sore knee remedy guide and talk about the kinds of knee pains and which kind of treatment is best suited for them. While there are many types of knee pains, we’ll go over the most common ones.
Chronic Knee Pains
As a result of infection, trauma or crystalline deposits, the various bursae (a fluid-filled sac or saclike cavity that counter friction at a joint) of the knee may become inflamed.
Symptoms – Trauma (acute or chronic) can cause a painful and often swollen knee from the inflammation of the bursae. Common types of bursitis are –
- Prepatellar Bursitis – This type of knee pain is common with people who work while being on their knees. It is often referred to as the housemaid’s knee or carpet layer’s knee.
- Anserine Bursitis – The anserine bursa is located about two inches below the knee. It usually occurs in overweight individuals, but also affects athletes and other physically hyperactive people.
Treatment – While this type of sore knee can be treated with PRICE (the first home treatment in our ultimate sore knee remedy guide), severe forms need to be cured with periodic steroid injections.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by the degeneration of cartilage in the knee. In its extreme form, the menisci (cartilage) will be completely eroded, and the femur will rub on the tibia, bone on bone which can be chronically painful.
Symptoms – OA is a chronic and persisting painful condition that gets more painful with activity.
Treatment – Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help in subsiding chronic pain. A lubricating gel such as the Hyaluronic acid is often injected into the knee over 3-6 weeks as it can provide substantial relief for a year or more.
People with severe OA might need narcotic pain medicines or a knee joint replacement in which a synthetic joint replaces your knee joint.
Jumper’s knee is usually seen in basketball and volleyball players, and people playing other sports that involve repeated jumping. Repetitive stress on the tendons causes the jumper’s knee. It is rarely seen in people who aren’t associated with some sort of sports.
Symptoms – Jumper’s knee causes pain at a specific point in the knee which gets worse with activity. It usually hurts more as you jump up than when you land because jumping puts more stress on tendons of the knee.
Treatment – Home remedy using the PRICE technique coupled with an anti-inflammatory drug is an incredibly effective method to manage the acute pain phase. After controlling the pain and inflammation in the knee, you should slowly start an exercise program to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip, and calf muscles before resuming your usual activity.
The Osgood-Schlatter disease is usually seen in adolescent athletes. The repetitive extension of the knee causes inflammation and injury to the tibial tubercle (the bony protrusion at the top of the shin, just below the kneecap).
Symptoms – In the Osgood-Schlatter disease, the tibial tubercle is tender to touch and over time begins to protrude more because the chronic inflammation stimulates the bone to grow. The pain can get excruciating while extending the leg.
Treatment – To eliminate the acute pain, the treatment includes PRICE and NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) therapy. The disease is a self-limited condition that usually resolves as the tibial tubercle stops growing with the end of adolescence (about age 17 in males and 15 in females).
Acute Knee Pains
Sprained and Torn Cruciate Ligaments
An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear is one of the most common types of injury in active sports. It is caused by a hard stop or a violent twisting of the knee. The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) tear is stronger (but less common) than an ACL injury.
A PCL injury happens due to a hard blow to the knee, such as when the knee strikes the dashboard in a car accident; this is why a PCL injury is often associated with other ligament and bone injuries.
Symptoms – An ACL tear is accompanied by a popping sound in the knee. You’ll also notice your knee becoming unstable and will experience pain so acute that you might feel like vomiting. An ACL injury will mostly be followed by knee swelling over the next couple of hours because the ACL bleeds briskly when torn.
Treatment – Through the ultimate sore knee remedy guide, we would suggest a surgical procedure for a torn ACL as it is often the best and quickest way of recovering from the injury.
A meniscus (a piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between your femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone)) injury is usually traumatic but can also be due to overuse. In a meniscal injury, a piece of the meniscus will tear off and float in the knee joint.
Symptoms – Meniscal injuries can lead to knee locking in a particular position. It could also lead to the knee clicking or grinding through its range of motion. Meniscal injuries are often accompanied by swelling and may also cause the knee to give way.
Treatment – This type of injury usually requires arthroscopic surgical repair.
A muscle – or tendon – rupture is when tissues break or burst suddenly when they are put under stress. Both the quadriceps and patellar tendons may rupture partially or completely which can cause acute pain in the knees.
The quadriceps tendon rupture isn’t a rare occurrence in recreational athletes older than 40 years. On the other hand, a patellar tendon rupture usually occurs in younger people who have had steroid injections to the knee or suffered from tendonitis previously (inflammation of the tissues connecting muscle to the bone).
Symptoms – A severe pain when trying to kick or extend the knee. Many people with complete ruptures are unable to extend the knee. Experiencing a quad or patellar inflammation along with knee pain should be a signal for this kind of injury.
Treatment – You should rush to emergency care in cases of tendon ruptures as they typically need surgical repair.
Knee dislocation is caused by a powerful blow to the knee and typically requires urgent medical care. In cases of knee dislocation, the lower leg becomes completely displaced compared to the upper leg.
A knee displacement can not only stretch and tear the ligaments of the knee but can also damage the arteries and nerves. Untreated artery injuries can leave the lower leg without a blood supply. If the circulation is not restored by fixing the arteries, a leg amputation can become inevitable. On the other hand, nerve injuries might leave the lower legs viable but without strength or sensation.
Symptoms – Knee dislocations are visible to the naked eye due to an obvious deformity of the knee. You might hear a pop or experience a sharp pain in the knee when it dislocates.
Treatment – Many dislocations reverse on their own. You might hear a dull clunk when it happens. Although, if the knee doesn’t return to its place within a few minutes, you should go see a doctor who will do the needful immediately.
Whether a dislocation reduces itself or is put back into place in the hospital, you should consult a doctor. Get tests done to ensure that arteries or nerves are in perfect shape.
As the adage says, “prevention is better than cure.” There are ways through which you can limit the probability of facing the sore knee problems mentioned above. Follow the advice if you don’t want to join the pack of elderly people who are always complaining about their knees.
Keeping your weight under check and staying slim will keep the excess tension off your joints during athletic and everyday activities. A study shows that keeping your weight in check can reduce your odds of contacting osteoarthritis.
Exercise and Stay in Shape
People with disproportionate physiques are inviting trouble for their joints. If you train (or even if you don’t), make sure you have a balanced musculature. Stretching should be a vital part of your daily routine if your goal is to prevent sore knees.
Stretching avoids your knee from becoming too tight which aids in preventing both patellofemoral syndrome and iliotibial band syndrome. Strength exercises, especially of the quads, can help prevent knee injury and are essential to reducing arthritis and associated complications.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
If you have existing knee problems, you should avoid any activities (basketball, volleyball and even cleaning for that matter) which can put excess tension on your joints. Swimming or other water exercises are great for people with sore knees as the force of buoyancy can support some of your weight so your knees aren’t burdened.
Protect The Knee
You should take the smallest of signs from your body and use support gear like knee sleeves or braces to protect your joints against unnecessary stress. If the pain remains after using assistive gear, consider avoiding the knee stressing tasks or find alternatives for the task at hand.