Knee pain affects more than half of adults over the age of 50 at some point in their life. The knee is responsible for supporting nearly the entire weight of your body, so over time, the knee joint sustains a lot of wear and tear, oftentimes resulting in knee pain.
Mild to moderate knee pain, resulting from a slight sprain or arthritis, can often be successfully treated at home, and natural therapies can afford good relief without the side effects of strong medications. Some alternatives to consider include:
- Heat and cold. Warm compresses can help to alleviate morning stiffness, and a cold compress can be used for acute inflammation or swelling.
- Movement and exercise. Daily exercise is important to keep good muscle tone in the muscles supporting the knee joint, and stretching is important to help support the tendons and ligaments of the joint. If you are experiencing knee pain, seated exercises and low resistance cycling can be beneficial.
- Herbs and supplements can be valuable for some people. (Always check with your physician if you are on any medication). Glucosamine and/or chondroitin have been shown to be helpful in 50% of people with joint pain. Omega 3 fish oil, 2–3 grams per day, is beneficial in reducing inflammation, which then may reduce pain. Other anti-inflammatory herbs, such as boswellia, bromelain, and devil’s claw, more widely used in European countries, have also been found to be effective.
- Gentle yoga, chair yoga, and tai chi. Both yoga and tai chi have been studied and found to be effective for treating osteoarthritis and other types of joint pain.
- Anti-inflammatory diet. Foods that increase inflammation in the body, primarily processed foods such as canned soups, white flour and white sugar, almost certainly contribute to more joint pain, while whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are known to decrease inflammation in the body, and thus may reduce pain.
For more ideas on natural methods for pain relief, go to www.Integralhealthsolutionswi.com to schedule a complementary 20-minute consult with Karen.