Joint pain refers to discomfort, aches, and soreness in any of the body’s joints (shoulder, knee, elbow, hips, wrist).
It could be caused by short-term or long-term problems like overuse, strains or sprains, arthritis, or plain old aging but your getting help from a doctor is dependent on how severe the pain you feeling is.
It is important you access your pain as it ranges from mild to moderate. If it is mild, you can often treat it at home.
Joint pain as a result of inflammation or arthritis can be resolved without medical help but if the pain persists or get worse, you may need to seek medical attention.
In this article, you’ll be learning about some of the natural ways to manage joint and knee pains.
Exercising can help you maintain vigor and mobility, it can prevent you from developing Osteoarthritis (OA), one of the major causes of knee pain.
Limiting movement may help you avoid pain but it can also stiffen the joint and delay recovery.
According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)and the Arthritis Foundation (AF), people should exercise to manage OA of the knee. Walking, swimming, cycling, tai chi, and yoga are all very beneficial exercises for the joints and knee.
In cases of an injury, sprain or strain, or something more severe, you may need to rest from exercise for a period of time.
Rice stands R – Rest, I – Ice, C – Compression, E – Elevation. In the case of an injury, strain, or sprain as mentioned earlier, rice therapy is the best natural remedy for this kind of pain.
The first thing to do is to apply a cold compress (a bag of ice) to the knee, wrap your knee with a compression bandage but not so tightly to prevent swelling then elevate your foot while resting. Resting will help prevent fluid from building up and more swelling from occurring.
Tai-Chi or Yoga
You can’t completely rest your knee forever as this will cause stiffening and make the entire area degenerate. Immediately the initial intense pain has reduced, you will have to start exercising your joints. Tai-Chi is an ancient Chinese form of mind-body exercise that improves balance and flexibility. Yoga also gives the same benefit so you can settle for any.
Research in 2009 discovered that practicing Tai-Chi is very beneficial for people with Osteoarthritis. Tai Chi involves deep breathing, relaxation, and stretching that help reduce pain, stress and increase range of motion.
Obesity is a contributing factor to knee and general joint pain. The more weight your joint must bear, the more strain and damage it will receive.
The Arthritis Foundation has concluded from research that an additional 10 pounds of weight can add between 15 to 50 pounds of pressure to a joint.
Weight management can help reduce your chances of developing Osteoarthritis, relieve pains in your joint and reduce long-term knee pain.
Posture and support
Posture also has a role to play in minimizing joint pains and knee strains.
Avoid sitting on very low chairs that you can sink into
Elevate your sitting level by using a pillow if it’s too low
Adopt a good sitting posture
Avoid sitting without moving for long periods as your joints may become stiff and you start having pains around them.
Herbal ointment and Medication
Herbal ointment includes over-the-counter pain relief creams that can help with your knee and joint pains, an example is Salicylate. It is crucial to note that this remedy is effective for some people while for others, it isn’t
Medications that can help with knee pain caused by arthritis Include;
Steroid injections into the joints
Oral or topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Massage may relieve knee pain although there is no current guideline that recommends massage as a treatment for OA of the knee.
Tap the upper, lower, and middle thigh 10 times with both hands while loosely closing the hands into your fists. Repeat this process three times.
Place the heel of your hand on the top of the thigh while sitting with your feet on the floor and glide it as far as the knee then release. Repeat 5 times for the outer and inner sides of the thigh.
Press four fingers into the knee tissue and move up and down five times. Repeat all around the knee.
Place the palm of the hand on top of the thigh, glide it down the thigh over the knee and back up the outer thigh.
They’ve proven that massaging the thigh muscles will have a significant and beneficial impact on the knee.
Window bark is sometimes called “natural aspirin” its pain-killing component is “salacin” which converts to salicylic acid in the body. Willow bark extracts can be found in tinctures teas and capsules although some people prefer chewing the bark.
Willow bark can help relieve pain although people who are allergic to aspirin, have gastrointestinal problems and diabetes and people who are using another anti-inflammatory drug are advised to check in with their doctor first as they are potential intense and mild side effects.
Ginger has diverse importance. It is used as a dietary supplement, as an ointment, and as a spice for adding flavor to dishes.
A 2015 study discovered that ginger helped reduce arthritis pain when people used it with a prescription treatment for arthritis. The benefits are consistent regardless of what form (fresh or powdered) you use.
When to see a doctor
Home remedies are very effective for strains, sprains, and other mild joints and knee pains. If you notice any of the following signs, you are to see a doctor.
Deformity or severe bruising
Severe pain and swelling
If symptoms persist longer and are getting worse
A physical examination will be performed and if necessary, some X-rays and blood tests for proper investigation.