Our knees take a lot of strain each day. Simply walking and carrying our body weight can be a strain on these joints. It is no wonder many people suffer from knee pain, cramps and regular twinges. Exercising puts even more strain on the knee joints and tendons with load-bearing exercises such as running, increasing the load on the knees many times over. This article will look at the different ways you can care for you knees and reduce knee pain naturally.
Knee pain can come on suddenly if the knee is twisted or strained, while other knee pain can be a constant ache in the joint or muscle that will not go away. Whichever type of knee pain you are suffering from there are tricks that can be done at home to lessen knee pain and, depending on the cause of the pain, even cure it forever.
Causes of knee pain
There are many causes of knee pain and they can cause temporary or permanent conditions. Tearing a ligament or tendon in the knee causes sudden knee pain which is intense. The tear can sometimes be heard as a rip or pop and this knee pain will require immediate rest. A muscle sprain or strain is a similar injury caused by twisting or turning suddenly. This is painful though a little less serious than tearing a tendon, and takes less time to recover from.
Other causes of knee pain include tendonitis, which involves inflammation in the tendons of the knees and can come on after walking or running too far too quickly. This puts the knee at risk of further injury and so rest is required until the inflammation reduces. A cyst can also cause pain in the knee due to swelling, though this is due to the accumulation of fluid in the cyst and not from a movement-related injury. Long-term problems with knee pain can stem from arthritis, when the joint is inflamed.
Chinese medicine and the knees
Whenever you do not know the cause of your knee pain, it is important to see a doctor, who will discuss your health with you and should be able to determine a cause. It is worth considering that in traditional Chinese Medicine, the knees are connected with the kidneys, so improving the health and function of the kidneys may go some way to improving your knee pain. This means that drinking more water to flush out the kidneys could help reduce inflammation around the knees and reduce any pain.
Ways to reduce the swelling
There are many things you can do to reduce knee pain. If you have injured your knee playing sports or by sudden movements the first thing to do is rest the knee and apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling. Depending on the severity of the injury, you should go to a doctor to assess the extent of the damage, while a very severe injury may need immediate attention from a medical professional.
The cold compress is a first tactic as the cooling action will reduce swelling. A cabbage compress is an old technique that could also come in handy on a mild knee injury due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Simply boil cabbage for a few minutes, let it cool, then place over the knee and cover with a cool cloth. For greater benefit, wrap the knee in plastic wrap along with the cabbage and leave it on for half an hour.
Arnica is a plant that is famous for reducing bruising and inflammation and has been used by sportspeople for many years. The extract can be found in health food stores and herb shops, often as a cream or a gel. This can be massaged into the knee as needed.
Massaging the knee
Massaging the knee gently can help recovery from knee pain. The best oils to use are sweet almond oil and sesame oil. Mix 50ml of almond oil with up to 15 drops of mint essential oil and slowly massage over the whole knee area. This is an excellent concoction for knees that are swollen and red. For knees that are cold, a better alternative is 50ml of sesame oil with up to 15 drops of ginger essential oil. Another good oil to massage the knee with is hypericum, which you can make easily at home by steeping fresh hypericum flowers in olive oil for 30 days.