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Knee Pain Treatment: At-Home Treatment, Physical Therapy & Medication

Knee Pain Treatment: At-Home Treatment, Physical Therapy & Medication

Apria Editorial |

Chronic pain affects approximately 100 million Americans. The second most prevalent cause of chronic pain is knee discomfort, affecting one-third of all Americans at some point in their lives. An estimated 19% of adults worldwide suffer from chronic knee discomfort, becoming far more prevalent with age.

Knee pain can significantly impact a person's overall quality of life whether from an acute injury or chronic wear and tear. Pain in the knees may be caused by various medical conditions, including osteoporosis and inflammation. One of the primary reasons the knee is such a problematic joint is that it is made up of several different bones, muscles, and ligaments. Injuries and pains in the outer ligaments of the knee, as well as strains that limit the knee's natural range of motion, can make diagnosis challenging. A physical therapist is helpful in these situations, and it's important to note that the standard solutions of medication and surgery for knee pain are not the only ones available.

In this article, ApriaHome outlines some of the most effective ways to treat knee pain, including some at-home alternatives and lifestyle best practices.

How To Treat Knee Pain?

Knee pain that falls into the mild to moderate range is usually manageable without medical attention. There are several treatments available for mild pain and discomfort, whether caused by a sprain or mild arthritic symptoms.

Some types of pain, such as those caused by inflammation, arthritis, or a moderate injury, may go away on their own, with the help of several rehabilitation exercises and treatment solutions to facilitate symptom management.

If the pain is moderate to severe, or if the symptoms continue or worsen, the patient should seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid long-term complications.

Lifestyle

Knee pain is one of the most frustrating mobility-limiting conditions. As a result, millions of individuals annually ask for assistance from medical professionals, but patients can also take measures to reduce pain and restore mobility.

  • Maintaining A Healthy Diet: A healthy diet and regular exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Extra weight puts stress on your bones and muscles. As a result, it may aggravate inflammation in the knees and elsewhere in the body. Those who struggle with their weight and overall health can benefit from eating a diet high in fiber and low in fat and sugar.

Altering your diet to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods and supplements is one of the most effective strategies to alleviate chronic joint pain. For example, fish, chia seeds, soybeans, and walnuts all contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for reducing joint pain and stiffness by decreasing inflammation. In addition, antioxidants are abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables and work to prevent cell damage, protect healthy cells, and delay the onset of aging.

  • Coordination Of Posture And Motion: Many different types of activity may cause knee discomfort. For example, if you spend a lot of time sitting, try to avoid sofas and chairs that sink too far into the floor, making it difficult to get up without putting unnecessary stress on your knees. To prevent knee problems, wearing shoes with adequate arch support is essential. If you have to stand for long periods, be sure to take frequent rests to prevent unpleasant stiffness in your joints.
  • Managing Stress: The body's immune system and inflammatory response may both be negatively impacted by the stress hormones released. Therefore, the more stress you are under, the more likely you will experience an increase in the severity of your arthritic or joint-related pain. Stress management techniques helpful for treating inflammation include yoga, meditation, breathing relaxation techniques, and stress management supplements.
  • Quitting Smoking: Damage to the body's natural healing processes and decreased blood flow due to smoking prolongs recovery from injuries and inflammation. In addition, the inflammatory processes triggered by smoking can exacerbate joint pain because they impact every cell in the body. Quitting smoking will benefit your joints immediately and has long-term benefits for your health. Consult your medical professional for advice on how to stop smoking.

    Physical Therapy

    The physical therapy used to treat knee discomfort and pain includes strengthening and stretching exercises to improve mobility and develop the muscles that support the knee. In addition to other therapies like heat/ice treatment, ultrasound, or surgery, a doctor may recommend physical therapy. Some patients experience pain relief with massage, reflexology, acupuncture, and physical therapy, especially when combined with essential oils or pain-relieving ointments.

    The knee pain you're experiencing can be alleviated with physical therapy, saving you the expense and inconvenience of a surgical procedure. However, if surgery is necessary, physiotherapy is essential for a faster recovery.

    Determine the cause and origin of your knee discomfort before starting any physical treatment. After analyzing your stride, coordination, strength, and range of motion, your physical therapist will design a treatment program specifically for you. It's essential to keep the knee moving despite the pain because inactivity can exacerbate the injury.

    Benefits of physical therapy Include:

    • Enhanced knee function
    • Reduced pain, inflammation & stiffness
    • Knee strengthening
    • Improved range of motion & mobility

      Medication & Injections

      It's not uncommon for knee discomfort to start mild and increase over time. Medication prescribed for knee pain will vary by both the underlying reason and the degree of the pain being experienced. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or Acetaminophen are examples of over-the-counter treatments that can be used to alleviate mild to moderate knee pain and discomfort.

      Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs:

      NSAIDs help reduce pain and inflammation and may be purchased without a prescription. Examples include:

      • Ibuprofen (trade names: Motrin, Advil)
      • Naproxen sodium (Aleve)

      Acetaminophen:

      This may be effective for both pain relief and fever reduction. Acetaminophen is often used to alleviate the discomfort associated with osteoarthritis as well as headaches and the treatment of moderate to severe pain.

      Medication formulations that incorporate Acetaminophen include the following:

      • Actamin
      • FeverAll
      • Panadol
      • Tylenol

      COX-2 inhibitors:

      In cases of severe pain and discomfort, a doctor may prescribe stronger medications, including higher doses of NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors (coxibs). These include medications that have higher doses of Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Diclofenac. Examples include:

      • Celecoxib / Celebrex
      • Voltaren
      • Etoricoxib

      These medications are available in tablet form for oral consumption or as a gel or cream for topical application to the knee.

      When a patient is in extreme pain due to an accident or chronic condition like arthritis, an injection may be prescribed. Hydrocortisone or hyaluronic acid injections are two possible treatments.

      Hydrocortisone injection:

      Corticosteroids are the active ingredients in this injection. To alleviate knee pain, a physician will inject hydrocortisone straight into the joint. This method helps treat pain related to injury, arthritis, or bursitis by easing discomfort and swelling, allowing for more mobility.

      Hyaluronic Acid:

      An injection can be used to boost the concentration of hyaluronic acid in the knee, which can be used for the effective treatment of conditions affecting the knee joint, such as osteoarthritis. This treatment will be administered in a series of one to five injections over several weeks.

      Surgery

      When structural damage occurs within the knee, surgical intervention may be necessary. It may also be necessary if your knee pain has not responded to more conservative pain therapies.

      An anesthesiologist's job is to ensure that a patient does not experience pain during surgery. As experts in pain control, anesthesiologists also play a significant role in postoperative comfort and healing. This postoperative pain alleviation is essential for productive involvement in rehabilitation, physical therapy, and pain management strategies.

      The most common procedures include either arthroscopy (a minimally invasive procedure used to treat a wide variety of knee conditions) or knee replacement.

      Orthopedic Arthroscopy:

      Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to examine and treat various knee conditions. To perform arthroscopic surgery on the knee, the surgeon will insert a thin, flexible tube called an arthroscope into the joint. The images captured by the scope are displayed on a screen for the surgeon's reference. Then, a second incision is made to insert surgical instruments into the joint. This form of surgery is also known as keyhole surgery.

      Knee Replacement Surgery:

      Involves the surgical removal of degenerative or injured knee joint tissue, replacing it with artificial components composed of metal, ceramic, or plastic. It does not mean the entire knee joint will be returned.

      There may be some discomfort experienced in the artificial knee after surgery. However, in many cases, physical rehabilitation can start the day following surgery. As part of a recovery program, it is recommended that patients engage in physical therapy and post-op pain management strategies.

      Knee Pain Treatment At Home

      Knee pain is frequent and may have both immediate and underlying causes. Patients can frequently contribute to their rehabilitation and knee pain treatment at home for minor knee problems without serious medical intervention. Fortunately, many of the persistent complications connected with knee pain are responsive to home therapies as well. The course of knee pain treatments is impacted by the underlying cause of the condition.

      R.I.C.E

      There is always a risk of being hurt. Pain and swelling are common after any kind of injury, and although you may think you can push through the discomfort, doing so might potentially aggravate the issue. The R.I.C.E. method is a straightforward treatment for knee pain that helps speed up recovery from a joint injury.

      • Rest: Resting an injured joint helps it recover more quickly. Weight-bearing activities should be avoided for at least 24 hours, and sometimes longer, following medical advice.
      • Ice: To minimize discomfort and swelling, icing the damaged joint for 10 to 20 minutes every four hours is recommended. Try an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies wrapped in a towel for instant relief. However, no more than 20 minutes of ice should be applied at a time to the affected joint.
      • Compression: Wrapping the damaged joint with an elasticated bandage or compression brace can help reduce swelling and minimize any internal bleeding. Even though a tight bandage might restrict blood from flowing to a joint, applying one is necessary. Indicators of an improperly wrapped bandage include pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, and coldness. If a patient needs to keep a bandage applied for more than two days after an injury, seek medical advice as soon as possible.
      • Elevation: While you are resting, icing, and compressing the damaged joint, elevating it on cushions may help reduce swelling and pain. Keep the joint above the heart level to alleviate swelling and improve circulation and drainage.

        Footwear

        Wearing shoes that are too small or tight might cause knee and hip pain. This may not seem significant at first, but it's important to note that your body's major joints, including your knees and hips, must bear the most body weight. Therefore, to avoid injury, it's crucial to select proper footwear. Sports and running shoes are ideal for those who suffer from joint discomfort. These footwear products provide superior cushioning and support for your joints and support orthopedic health.

        Choosing a walking shoe that can flex and move with your foot is best. The flexibility of your foot is compromised when you wear shoes that are too rigid. If you want to reduce the stress on your knees, you should also opt for shoes with lower and broader soles while still offering adequate insole padding.

        Shoes should fit well and allow for motion and flexibility, allowing you to walk comfortably.

        Stretches

        By enhancing the joint's range of motion and function, the correct set of strengthening and stretching activities as knee injury treatment can also alleviate mild to severe knee pain. Also, make stretching a part of your everyday routine. Utilizing a foam roller is an excellent option for alleviating pain. If you want to get rid of muscular tension, address stiffness in the myofascial and skeletal muscles. Myofascial release is a technique used to relax this tissue and lessen discomfort, and it can also be administered via a massage. This helps alleviate tension that may be placing abnormal strain or pulling on the knee joint.

        Hamstring Stretch: The hamstring muscle is located on the back of the upper leg. To stretch your hamstrings, do the following:

        • Lie on the floor against a wall or door frame's outer corner.
        • Raise the left leg and place its heel on the wall. Maintain a slight bend in your left knee.
        • Stretch the back of the left thigh by gently straightening your left leg.
        • Hold for approximately 30 seconds.
        • Repeat for the other leg.
        • As your flexibility improves, increase the stretch by progressively moving closer to the wall or door frame.

          Quadriceps Stretch: The quadriceps muscle is located on the front of the thigh. You can Stretch your quadriceps muscles as follows:

          • For added support, position yourself against a wall.
          • Gently draw the heel up and backward until you feel the stretch in the front of the leg.
          • Tighten the stomach muscles and keep your knees close together.
          • Hold for approximately 30 seconds.
          • Repeat with the other leg.

            Home Exercises

            Knee pain home treatment can include exercises targeting multiple muscle groups, including the hip abductors, hamstrings, and quadriceps. These will significantly alleviate knee discomfort and facilitate inner knee pain and back knee pain treatment.

            A side leg raise and a single leg lift are exercises you can incorporate into your routine. Perform this exercise routine at least twice per week. However many sets you perform throughout each session, it is essential to remember that trying to speed through workouts might have an adverse effect.

            Proper form is more important than pushing for maximum weight, speed, or endurance. Perfect your form before increasing the intensity of your exercise routines.

            Side Leg Raise:

            • Begin in a standing position, feet hip-width apart.
            • Raise your right leg to the side and return to the starting position.
            • Continue in a slow and controlled manner for the next 30 seconds, and then swap sides.

              For added intensity, this exercise can be performed lying down on your side, with the leg raised upwards and to the side.

              Single Leg Lift:

              • Keep your arms at your sides.
              • Keep your knees straight and elevate your left leg and feet until it points straight.
              • Return to the floor slowly.
              • Repeat with the opposite leg.

                For added intensity, this exercise can be performed lying down on your back, with the leg raised upwards and to the front.

                At-home Knee Pain Treatments, Knee Joint Support & Pain Relief With ApriaHome

                Because knee pain is the most common form of knee injury in adults, we understand the importance of causes and symptoms treatment solutions for knee pain. Learn more about the most common knee injuries.

                In the case of mild injury, home treatment, correct footwear, and home physical therapy can help restore mobility. However, in severe cases, it's important to seek medical assistance to avoid long-term complications.

                Injured your knee? We've sourced the best range of at-home treatment solutions for you.

                Ease Knee Pain With The ApriaHome At-Home Knee Pain Treatment Kit

                For targeted pain relief:

                  For effective compression therapy:

                    For effective cold therapy:

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                      For mobility assistance:

                      Convenient At-home Treatment For Injuries And Chronic Knee Pain

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                      Don't let your chronic knee hold you back or go untreated! We provide a comprehensive choice of hospital-grade mobility aids and home-care solutions for treating and alleviating knee pain and discomfort.

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