Millions of people worldwide live with knee pain. It’s estimated that up to 25 percent of adults experience this problem. Over the past two decades, the number of cases has increased eight times in the U.S. and three times in the UK among those age 65 and older.
However, seniors are not the only ones who suffer from knee pain. This issue can affect people of all age, including children and teens. It also tends to be more common among athletes and active individuals. Treatment depends on the cause of knee pain. If your pain is due to arthritis, for instance, it requires a different approach that gout, tendinitis, or sports injuries.
The question is: how to relieve knee pain before it gets worse? For the start, try these quick fixes:
Apply Heat or Ice
Depending on your symptoms, you can either use ice or heat for knee pain. Heat reduces stiffness and improves your range of motion, while ice can prevent and decrease swelling.
Apply a heating pad on your knee for 15-20 minutes twice daily and cover with a towel. If you prefer to use cold therapy, place a cloth on the affected area and then top with a bag of ice for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Repeat once or twice a day.
Prolonged sitting and lack of exercise can make your pain worse and increase stiffness. While it’s important to get plenty of rest, it doesn’t mean you should give up exercise altogether.
Low-impact activities, such as walking, stationary cycling, stretching, yoga, and tai chi, can accelerate healing and improve joint function. In clinical trials, mild exercise has been shown to be just as effective for pain relief as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Plus, it has none of the side effects associated with medications.
Physiotherapists recommend stretching and strengthening exercises to improve knee mobility. Here are a few examples:
- Wall squats
- Bodyweight squats
- Squats with resistance bands
- Straight-leg raises
- Leg stretches
- Hamstring stretches
- Hip thrusts and hip bridges
- Hip abduction
These simple movements strengthen the muscles around your knees and may help prevent future injury. Additionally, an active lifestyle makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight. Every extra pound you carry outs stress on your knees and joints, which may cause wear and tear in the long run.
Massage isn’t just for sore muscles and back pain. It’s also beneficial for your knees and joints. By massaging your thigh muscles, they’ll be able to better support the knee and help restore its mobility.
There are various self-massage techniques you may use, such as tapping, deep gliding strokes, and friction strokes. Ideally, consult a physiotherapist. Those who work in this field know how to administer deep tissue massages and other treatments for knee pain. Plus, they can show you how to prevent injuries and protect your knee when running, cycling, or playing sports.
Get in Touch with a Physical Therapist
Knee pain can have serious causes and shouldn’t be taken lightly. While there are a couple of things you can do right away to ease the pain and discomfort, they may not work in the long run. If your pain is due to rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and other musculoskeletal disorders, it may worsen and slow you down. Early intervention can prevent complications.
At Back to Health, we use the latest techniques to address orthopedic, neurological, and musculoskeletal disorders as well as sports injuries. Our physical therapists have years of expertise and can recommend a custom treatment plan that suits your needs. Book an appointment at 888-312-5764 today to see how we can help!
Take a look at this video that Dr. Dekhtyarev at Back To Health at one of our Facebook Live events