Have you ever felt or heard a crick in your knee when standing up? Do you know that it’s your knee telling you it is in pain?
No other bone in the body can make its presence felt as much as the humble knee joint.
Of all the pains that can afflict a person, the most excruciating can be the one in the knee. Increasingly, it is affecting more and more people. It is one that can niggle on for days, or recur even if treated. Therefore, the need to find the best knee pain treatment.
I myself had suffered from knee pain from my mid-thirties, and I knew if I ignored it, I would be living with it for the rest of my life. The solution for me was pretty simple, which I will reveal at the end of this post.
A FEW TRUTHS ABOUT KNEE PAIN
There is no particular age in which knee pain can affect people, and home remedies can be helpful if it is not severe and does not require medical intervention.
Pain in the knee can originate in any of the bones of the knee joint, the kneecap or the ligaments, tendons, or cartilage of the knee.
It can be aggravated by physical activity, excess body weight, the surrounding muscles and their movements, and also be triggered by other underlying problems.
Pain in knee can be at a specific area of the knee or cover the whole joint structure.
Knee pain treatment depends on the underlying cause.
Also read: what is diabetes
WHAT ARE KNEE PAIN SYMPTOMS
The extent of the joint pain may vary, from a minor ache to a debilitating pain.
The exact location of the knee pain will vary depending on the origin. Infection or inflammation will affect the whole joint, while a torn meniscus or fracture affects only certain areas.
Other signs and symptoms that accompany knee pain:
- swelling and redness
- difficulty in walking/limping
- inability to climb up or down stairs
- struggling to bend or extend the knee
- using unaffected knee more
CAUSES OF KNEE PAIN
It can be a result of various factors ranging from acute injuries to complications of underlying medical conditions.
Knee pain reasons can be of three types:
Acute knee injuries
Acute injury: such as a broken bone, torn ligament or meniscal tear
Fractures: are the most obvious and also most painful, caused by a direct injury. Most knee fractures will make it very painful to bear weight. All fractures of course need immediate medical attention.
Ligament injuries: this is often a sports-related injury brought about by a sudden stop and change in directions.
Meniscus injuries: twisting the knee can injure the menisci which are cartilage acting as absorbers of shock between bones in the knee.
Dislocation: The knee joint can be dislocated which can restrict blood flow to the leg and have other related problems.
Chronic use/overuse conditions
Chronic use/overuse: osteoarthritis, tendinitis, bursitis
Osteoarthritis: erosion of cartilage of the joint due to use and age
Patellar tendinitis: inflammation of the tendons connecting the kneecap to the shinbone and is found in individuals repeating the same motion during exercise
Prepatellar bursitis: inflammation to the fluid filled sac in front of the kneecap may cause anterior knee pain.
Medical conditions: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, infections
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition, can affect any joint in the body. It can cause severe pain, disability and swelling.
Gout is a form of arthritis that is most commonly found in the big toe, though it can also affect the knee. Gout tends to flare up and is extremely painful during the acute episodes. When there is no flare-up, the knee can be pain free.
Also read: how to avoid high blood pressure
WHAT ARE RISK FACTORS FOR KNEE PAIN
Excess weight: the knee comes under extra pressure when the individual is overweight as it is a weight bearing joint. Obesity also increases the risk of knee osteoarthritis as the cartilage breaks down at a faster rate.
Biomechanics: the knee joint is one that is most often used during waking hours, in routine everyday functions as well as sporting/exercise events. Any change in movement can cause changes resulting in pain and injuries.
Overuse during repetitive motions can cause breakdown of cartilage and result in pain.
HOW TO GET KNEE PAIN RELIEF
Medications can be to relieve the symptoms or to manage the underlying conditions.
Avoid self-medicating, chronic knee pain has to be evaluated by a qualified professional.
Physiotherapy can be employed to ease the pain and avoid further damage. Sometimes the joint has to be re-trained to work as designed.
In extreme cases, directly injecting corticosteroids and lubricants into the knee might help relieve symptoms.
Corticosteroid injections can alleviate arthritis and other inflammations of the knee. They need to be repeated at regular intervals, every few months.
Lubricants similar to the fluid already in your knee joint can also support movement and remove pain.
Most often, knee pain will occur for a short period of time and then disappear. Sometimes it can recur after few weeks or months.
However, it is important to get chronic knee pain checked thoroughly to avoid permanent damage. Prognosis depends on the underlying causes of the pain.
All the above treatment methods are conventional and symptomatic.
THE BEST KNEE PAIN TREATMENT
The best treatment is of course prevention.
As they say prevention is better than cure.
When I realised that knee pain is mostly due to lifestyle, I decided that I did not want to be sentenced to a life of medications. After much research, I stumbled upon a simple truth.
Food is our medicine!
A plant-based diet is the ideal one which can prevent and reverse several lifestyle diseases. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with a healthy mix of whole grains and nuts, free from all products of animal source. It is full of nutrients, natural fats and oxidants. Most importantly, it is less acidic and more alkaline in nature which is the healthiest for the body.
With a plant-based vegan diet,
- the body weight is managed, therefore there is no extra pressure on the knee
- alkalinity of the body is maintained
- less inflammation in the cells
- joints are well lubricated due to natural fats
So, as you can see being mindful of what is on your plate can actually be the best knee pain treatment.
Make the shift before it is too late!