Home remedies to treat knee pain can be used for problems related to aging, poor posture, a bump or minor injury, or even when your knee pain is due to the weather or problems with your joints and bones. However, it is not always possible to prevent knee injuries, and any serious knee injuries should be evaluated and treated by a doctor.
Knee problems that require medical attention
- If you can’t support your weight on the knee.
- Your knee looks deformed or abnormal.
- The knee locks or makes a cracking sound when you bend it.
- The knee pain is very severe even when lying down.
- You have noticeable swelling or redness around the knee, or the knee feels warm to the touch.
- The knee pain lasts for more than three days of rest and home remedies.
Causes of knee pain
The knees are one of the most complex joints in the body and the most susceptible to injury. Why? The design of the knee may be to blame. Unlike the hip joint, which a deep, cushioned joint, the knee joint is more exposed and as a result more vulnerable.
If knee problems can be the result of injuries such as falls, automobile accidents, sports injuries or illnesses like arthritis, the majority of knee problems are caused by straining the knee while hiking, climbing or other repetitive, high-impact exercises. Poorly developed leg muscles can also place stress on the knees.
Home remedies for knee pain
If your knee pain is a result of excessive use, lack of use or some problem related to joints, you can use the strategies and home remedies in the next section to improve and maintain the health of your knees and, if you have pain, to help alleviate knee pain and accelerate healing.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight affects all the joints of the body, and carrying around those extra pounds is especially hard on the knees, since with each step you exert on the knees a force equal to one and a half times your body weight. An extra 20, 30, 40 or more pounds of excess weight (usually body fat) can cause serious knee problems and cause unbearable pain.
For example, if you are just 20 lbs overweight and you go to run, you are putting 100 lbs of extra force on each knee with each step. So working to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight by adopting a low fat, low calorie diet and regular exercise routine, among many other tips to lose weight and slim down that you can find on our site, will help you avoid knee pain and other injuries that can occur.
Control your feet
A common cause of knee problems is pronation, or the movement of the foot inwards. A certain amount of pronation is normal, but too much can cause problems for your knees, since it throws the knee out of alignment, causing knee pain.
You can correct pronation with supportive shoes designed to prevent pronation or with orthopedic inserts, which are specially made for shoes.
Buy the right shoes
To avoid knee pain it is recommended to wear the lowest heeled shoe possible. The body can tolerate a heel of approximately one inch; high heels push the body forward and place stress on the knees. If you tend to pronate, buy a shoe that has antipronation support or high density material on the inner part of the insole. Also, look for shoes that are rigid where the shoe cups the heel, since this helps to stabilize the heel.
For sports, buy shoes designed for the specific activity – walking shoes for walking, running shoes for running, and so on. Using walking shoes for running can cause pain in the shins and, in some cases, in the knees.
Use Epsom salts
Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which is really a wonderful substance for relieving knee pain. Magnesium sulfate is a natural mineral that has been used to relieve pain for years due to its high levels of magnesium.
You will need
- 1/2 cup of Epsom salt
- A large container of warm water
Fill a large container with warm water and add ½ cup of Epsom salt. Stir to mix and submerge your knee in the water. If it’s difficult to do this in a container, try taking a bath with Epsom salts. You can use a bathtub full of warm water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt. Soak for at least 15 minutes.
Turmeric and ginger are two natural anti-inflammatory spices that will help you relieve knee pain, and will help treat rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric in particular has gotten a lot of attention lately. Its active ingredient is something called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. In addition, it reduces levels of 2 enzymes responsible for inflammation (which is what we are often dealing with when we have arthritis). You can take it in supplement form or make a pleasant tea to enjoy every day.
You will need:
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- Honey to taste
Boil 2 cups of water, and then add ½ tsp each of ground ginger and ground turmeric. Reduce to low heat and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain, add honey to taste and enjoy twice a day. This recipe makes 2 servings.
Get more magnesium
Magnesium is something that our bodies need, but we can’t make ourselves. Magnesium is used in more than 300 different biomechanical functions in our body. It relaxes our muscles and nerve endings, relieves stiffness and helps alleviate knee pain.
It doesn’t just help to relax muscles and relieve pain (this is useful for arthritis pain, also), it also helps with bone mineralization. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did one of many studies about magnesium showing that people who have a diet rich in magnesium have better bone density, and stronger bones in general.
There are several ways to get more magnesium and use it for arthritis in particular and to treat knee pain.
Supplements: magnesium capsules are a good option to add to your life, but they work better when they are used in conjunction with a healthy diet.
Diet: This is really the most important factor when it comes to getting the magnesium your body needs. Eat foods with a high magnesium content, which includes dark green vegetables (like spinach), nuts and legumes (beans).
Oil: There is magnesium oil that you can apply topically which is absorbed through the skin. Rub on painful joins to relieve pain.
Mixture of mint with eucalyptus oil
Mint and eucalyptus don’t change the course of arthritis, but they do have analgesic substances which help to alleviate knee pain. The refreshing sensation that they produce can temporarily numb any soreness, and create a relaxing feeling that can also relieve arthritis pain.
You will need
- 5-10 drops of peppermint oil
- 5-10 drops of eucalyptus oil
- 1-2 tablespoons of carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, grape seed oil, etc.)
- A small, dark glass bottle
Mix 5 to 10 drops of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil together, and then mix them with 1 or 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. The carrier oil is necessary to dilute the essential oils so that they don’t irritate your skin, and can be olive oil, grape seed oil, or something similar (not petroleum based). Store the mixture in a dark glass bottle and away from direct sunlight, and run into joints when they ache. This is an effective home remedy for knee pain.