At some point in one’s life, knee pain will affect you or someone you love and being informed in ways to avoid injury is the best steps to prevent chronic knee pain. Knee injury doesn’t just occur from a slip or fall, the swelling or pain could be a result of a childhood knee trauma, an injury from playing sports in high school that occasionally flares up, a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage, or a medical condition including arthritis, gout, and infections.
The knee is the biggest joint in the body, which assists with sitting, standing, lifting, walking, running, and jumping. However, it also contains lots of mechanisms such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones that can tear, crack, dislocate, and swell.
A study conducted by the Osteo Arthritis Society International in 2013, found that 79% of the respondents reported chronic knee pain is one of the most significant factors in reduced productivity at work, and 14% reported having to take off 1 or more days of work in 12 months. Another noteworthy result from the study was that the respondents reported to take more days off from work due to being unpresentable for the work environment, where either they were limping or had to use an assisted devise. While knee pain is painful, it may go away with simple treatment. Let’s look at some of the strategies for preventing or alleviating chronic knee pain.
Rest a sore knee
The best remedy for knee pain is rest. Rest the knee for a couple of days to help with minor knee pain, however, for severe injuries, you may need to take more days of rest. While sleeping, ensure your injured knee is in the right position by placing a pillow between your legs if you sleep on your side. Of course, if the pain doesn’t subside consult your physician.
After rest -Exercise
Exercise is the best way to build muscle around the injured knee and joints. With strong muscles around the knee and joints, the prevention of injury to the knee is reduced. Low-impact exercise is recommended, such as water workouts and tai chi but take it easy to minimize the risks of more pain. Don’t forget to stretch. Muscles around the knee can get stiff and can lead to discomfort; however, daily stretching can help prevent tight muscle pain.
What’s the RICE formula?
According to WebMD, to help treat a knee injury try the RICE formula.
R– Rest for a day or two to heal
I– Ice your knee to help with inflammation
C– Compress (wrap) your joint for support and to prevent fluid build-up.
E– Elevate your leg on a pillow or stool to reduce swelling.
Wear sensible shoes
Invest in a good pair of shoes that prevent your risk of falling or twisting your knee. A good pair of slip resisted shoes with good tread, low heel with soft rubber soles. Don’t wear old worn-out shoes that have lost their support. Most importantly, clear your home of trip hazards, such as cluttered hallways.
Use a cane if you need one. If you’re not comfortable using a cane, try Nordic walking poles also known a fitness walking poles. Also try a knee brace, sleeve, or tape to help support the injured knee (consult your physical therapist for fitting) or you can buy one at a drugstore.
Talk to your physician
There are many reasons to consult your doctor when it comes to chronic knee pain, especially if the pain is keeping you up at night. Your doctor can help with medication, recommend a steroid shot, physical therapy, or even surgery to change worn joints or ligaments.
In the end, knee pain is a common ailment that can sometimes be resolved merely by home remedies and exercise, however with severe knee injuries that result in significant pain, deep cuts, swelling, or you are not able to walk, it is essential to consult your doctor for further examination.
Agaliotis, M., Fransen, M., Nairn, B., Votrubec, M., Heard, S., et al. (2013). Risk factors associated with reduced work productivity among people with chronic knee pain. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. Vol 21, Issue. 9, pg. 1160-1169. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.07.005
WebMD. (2019). An overview of knee pain. Retrieved from https://wb.md/2uN76k9
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