Knee pain is very common among adults. There are generally two types of knee pain, traumatic, and non-traumatic.
Traumatic pain comes from injury to the bone, tendons, and ligaments that support or make up the knee joint.
Non-traumatic pain could be a result of infection, an autoimmune disorder, or another disease.
The cause of the pain determines how it is treated. This article will address;
- How knee pain may be medically treated
- When to see a doctor
- Home remedies for knee pain
- How to relieve joint pain overnight
- How to stop knee pain completely
- When is knee pain considered serious?
How to treat knee pain?
There are many ways in which knee pain and injuries can be treated medically. Some may be completed from the comfort of your own home.
The majority of drugs used for the treatment of knee pain are in fact over the counter medications. They are common and also readily available.
The most used medications to treat knee pain are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. They act to both reduce pain and control inflammation that may be causing the pain.
They have very few side effects, but rarely cause skin rashes and peptic ulcers.
People with pressing medical conditions, such as hypertension and kidney disease, should speak with their doctor before taking these medications to treat knee pain.
A physical therapist can help patients by analyzing the type of movement that causes the pain.
This treatment generally helps reduce pain in as little as 6 weeks, but participants find that with dedication they enjoy a more active, comfortable lifestyle.
When to See a Doctor?
You should make an appointment with a doctor if you experience:
- Significant swelling
- Tenderness and warmth around the joint
- Significant pain
For those suffering from minor knee pain over a significant amount of time, if the pain worsens you should visit your local doctor if it interferes with usual activities or sleep.
Emergency care should be sought if knee pain is accompanied by:
- A joint that appears deformed
- Popping noise at the time your knee was injured
- Inability to bear the weight
- Intense pain
- Sudden swelling
What is the best home remedy for knee pain?
Some simple lifestyle changes and home remedies can facilitate the relief of joint pain. They can be completed in the home without a doctor’s advice.
Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of joint pain and injury, especially conditions such as knee osteoarthritis.
Excess body fat increases the pressure that is put onto the knee joints, tendons, and muscles. Reducing your weight leads to significant improvement in controlling knee pain and can delay conditions or surgery.
Osteoarthritis patients are generally advised to reduce their weight by 10% or at least 10 to 15 pounds.
Without exercising for hours on end there are many ways in which you can lose weight. These include; walking, change in diet, and taking the stairs more often.
These small changes can all add up and allow you to lose unwanted pounds easily.
Those who suffer from knee pain should avoid exercise that will add more pressure to the knee joint, for example, jumping and running.
Focusing on therapeutic exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home is an excellent alternative.
A good exercise regimen incorporates activities that strengthen the quadriceps and stretch the hamstring and calf muscles.
Low-impact aerobic exercises like cycling and walking are also beneficial for those who suffer from knee pain.
When your knee pain is caused by trauma then you should treat it with the P.R.I.C.E method, or protect, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. For a minimum of 48 hours after the injury, it should be protected.
This allows the healing process to begin and stops the injury from worsening. It prevents anything physical from happening that may cause the pain to increase.
This can take many different forms. Limiting movement and using a pad or a splint are just some of the ways in which the protection phase can be implemented.
Rest is an important part of the healing process. It may help to speed up the recovery of your joint and relieve pressure. It also allows it to heal properly and reduce further injury and swelling.
Rest means not being allowed to do any activity that requires overstretching of the knee or bearing weight on the injured knee joint.
The right amount of rest for healing is crucial. However, resting for more than one week may cause the muscles in the leg to weaken and make the joints stiffer.
After a couple of days of rest, you should proceed to the next stage of recovery.
Ice can be applied to the injured joint using ice wraps or ice packs. Ice should be applied right after the injury, even in the case of chronic knee pain conditions.
This should be done up to three times a day for 20 minutes at a time. A prolonged application can lead to ice burns, so this should be avoided.
Ice application has two major benefits, it controls the pain and also decreases the swelling.
Swelling is due to inflammation and can contribute to pain. It can make the joint hot, red, and tender. It can even limit the movement of the knee.
Apply compression to the joint by wrapping the knees with an elastic bandage, brace, or compression bandage.
It is helpful to reduce the swelling around the knee. You should stop compression if the knee begins to tingle or if the pain worsens. This may indicate that the bandage is too tight.
This can increase the swelling, so it is important to achieve the right level of tightness.
Elevation can be achieved by laying flat on a surface and raising the affected leg above the heart. It can significantly decrease knee swelling.
This works by draining the accumulated fluid inside the swelling back through the vascular system. This will in turn reduce the size of the swelling.
You should avoid elevating the foot by supporting the knee itself. This can cause the knee joint to become tense. The knee needs to be supported by pillows for the best results.
Ice can also be applied during elevation to reduce swelling further.
How can I relieve knee pain overnight?
Knee inflammation usually worsens during the day when the joint is in use. It may not be as noticeable as you are moving around.
However, at night when you have time to relax and distractions are at a minimum you will likely feel and focus on the aggravated, burning knee pain.
There are a few tips that you can utilize in order to relieve your knee pain during sleep.
Take a warm, 20-minute bath to soothe joints and help you fall asleep faster.
Place an ice pack or heating pad on your knee 20 minutes before bed.
Adjust the time you take medications, so they provide the most relief at night.
Elevate your knee before bed and while you sleep.
Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.
How can I stop knee pain?
Knee pain can be treated in many ways. Unfortunately, some knee pain can not be healed completely, but there are steps that you can take in order to avoid further injury.
The above methods will work to begin the healing process and start to rehabilitate a significant injury, but for less severe injuries they may completely heal the knee pain.
Avoiding high-impact exercise and sports is one way that you can minimize the effects of your knee injury.
You can use walking aids, such as crutches or a cane. these can help to take the stress off the knee. Alternatively, a knee splint or braces will also keep the knee joint stable.
For a holistic approach to stopping knee pain, you may wish to try acupuncture. This type of ancient Chinese medicine involves inserting fine needles at certain points of the body. It is used to relieve all kinds of pain including knee pain.
How do I know if my knee pain is serious?
One of the most obvious signs that a knee injury has occurred is excessive swelling that you can see or feel. Serious swelling is subjective.
A minimal amount of swelling may not be a cause for concern. If you only notice a subtle difference between the sizes of your knees, you may not need to seek emergency assistance yet.
It is only extreme swelling you need to worry about. Extreme swelling means when one knee is significantly larger than the other.
While some deformities occur over time, when the deformity is a result of an injury, it could be the result of a fracture or chronic wear on the knee joint.
If you are already experiencing any kind of misalignment in your lower extremities, then you could be more prone to this type of injury.
If you notice a bone deformity after an injury seeking the assistance of an orthopedic doctor immediately.
Feel or hear a pop
Sometimes, a pop sound after a movement can indicate something is out of place.
Commonly this type of sound is indicative of a ligament injury. Not all ligamentous injuries are full tears, though, and not all require surgery.
However, if you also experience excessive swelling and instability, get it checked out by a medical professional.
Greater than normal movement
If you feel that the range of motion in your joint is greater than usual then something may be out of place or even injured. It is known as joint instability.
You may feel like your knee will buckle or fold with walking, twisting, or weight-bearing. The sensation of the knee giving away may occur with simple daily activities or when you return to sport after a minor injury.
Additional episodes of joint instability may worsen the condition of a knee after an injury.
Tears of the ACL or MCL and patellar dislocations could also create joint instability
Unable to put weight on it
If you find it painful to stand or put weight on the injured knee then there is definitely a serious knee serious.
This could be the sign of a fracture, bone contusion, cartilage injury, or a ligament tear. Following a minor injury, such as a twist or a fall, you may be unable to put weight on your leg immediately.
It may not necessarily be cause for alarm, however, if you have not recovered in a few minutes then it could indicate a more serious problem.
Cannot straighten knee or leg
having trouble straightening your leg, or if it hurts to do so, may also indicate a serious joint injury.
If you can not lift your lower leg and fully extend your injured knee then this is cause for concern. You may still be able to stand, bear weight, and walk carefully without assistance, but that does not mean you do not need to seek medical assistance.
Patella fractures, quadriceps tendon tears, and patellar tendon tears are all generally associated with an inability to straighten the leg.
Alternatively, you might have trouble bending your knee but if your knee feels stuck in any way, and the feeling doesn’t go away within a few hours, you could be experiencing something more severe.
Knees are buckling
If your knees feel as if they gave way underneath you this is known as knee buckling. This is not a temporary sensation of wobbliness or weakness, but the feeling of your shin and thigh bone not connecting or staying in place.
Buckling knees can be a sign of an ACL tear or a cruciate ligament injury.
It may begin with a small pop or crack or possibly may occur following strenuous exercise sessions or high-intensity sports.
Your knee will feel unstable and weak, giving out momentarily. It may even make you uneasy about standing safely in case this happens again.