Where would you be without your knees? Their joints help you to walk, run and climb – and when you have knee pain, you realise just how important they are! They’re some of the most fundament parts of the body and they take a lot of abuse, which is why they’re prone to pain, discomfort, inflammation and general wear and tear. In this article, we’ll explain some of the common causes of knee pain and give you some suggestions for simple remedies.
Painful knee joints can happen whatever your age. A bruise, trouble with ligaments or the beginning stages of arthritis are the most common causes. Certainly, the pain can be unbearable – even paralysing – and have a dramatically negative affect upon your quality of life. It’s essential to prevent or slow this deterioration with an active lifestyle and healthy diet. If the pain has already taken hold, you can stop it from recurring with some easy tips and tricks. Let’s take a closer look.
Common causes of knee pain
Did you know that the knee is the biggest joint in the human body? Almost all of your movements require it. There are some fascinating and complex structures involved in its mechanics and they must always be in good shape. Bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons work together to give this joint its amazing flexibility. But it’s precisely this flexibility that makes it so prone to injury and pain. Let’s analyse the most common causes of pain in this part of the body.
Is the pain associated with movement?
- We’ve all done it: a wrong turn of your knee, an impact or a sudden movement that makes you wince. If you suspect that your knee has done a funny turn, you may have a meniscus injury. You’ll know if this is the case when the pain is at its most intense in the 24 hours following the mishap.
- You might have damaged a ligament. If you feel pain in the area and can’t bear weight on your leg, you might have an injury in one of the two ligaments that is inside the knee joint. If so, it’s likely to take a long time to heal.
- Tendinitis and knee bursitis are other possible causes. These types of injury result from a wrong movement, an impact or inflammation of the bursa – the small sack full of liquid that acts as a cushion between the bone and the muscles or tendons.
Is there an apparent reason for the pain?
- Arthrosis is due to wear and tear in the joint cartilage. The bones scrape against one other and pain flares up during mundane tasks such as climbing stairs, for instance. The knee pain that results from arthrosis will be at its most intense at night. Although there is no cure for arthrosis, you can ease it with drugs or natural remedies.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects the joints. This condition causes fatigue, pain and even fever. Its onset can be sudden and then – just as suddenly – disappear. The good news is that it can be treated over time. Medication can be effective or you may elect for surgery to replace the knee cartilage and restore its ability to function properly. Your GP should always consulted. He or she will be able to guide you toward the best solution for you.
Remedies for your pain in the knee
Olive oil is an excellent aid for soothing pain. Its anti-inflammatory properties are hard to beat and it also helps to stimulation the circulation. Try a gentle massage twice a day using two tablespoons of olive oil. Once you’ve thoroughly massaged the area, wrap your knee in gauze.
To reduce inflammation and relieve pain, it doesn’t get much easier. Just put some ice cubes in a bag and keep it on your knee for about 20 minutes. Don’t leave it for longer or you may do some superficial damage to your skin.
Wheat flour and turmeric
Turmeric is a proven anti-inflammatory and you can see for yourself by making a paste with soya milk, wheat flour, castor oil and turmeric powder. To half glass of hot water, add three tablespoons of wheat flour, a tablespoon of oil and a pinch of turmeric. Mix well until you get a paste that you can apply to your knee. Ensure that you put it on whilst the paste is still warm. You should feel an instant relief.
You might be surprised by the number of foods that can reduce knee inflammation. Provided you include these foods in a varied and healthy diet, you should see a lot of improvement. One of the most important components of your anti-inflammation diet is ample amounts of the fatty acid, Omega 3. You’ll find it in chia seeds, flaxseed, broccoli, cranberries, goji berries, turmeric, pineapple and green tea – and that’s just to get you started.
Other recommendations for healthy knees
- Avoid weight gain. Any extra weight puts more burden on your knees.
- Swimming is a low-impact sport, so is great for strengthening your knees and making them more resistant to pain and injury.
- If you’re suffering from arthrosis, avoid strenuous exercises such as running or biking. And, by all means, when you feel a sharp pain, it’s best to rest.
- Anti-inflammatory medication can have quite a few side effects. If you must resort to medication, paracetamol is the pain relief you should choose.