Knee pain is one of the most disruptive forms of chronic pain there is, for the simple reason that it affects your ability to walk, run, or engage in a variety of forms of exercise. When you remove the ability to bend your legs, even the simplest task can become incredibly challenging and you can find yourself struggling even with sitting down!
Unfortunately, many people will ignore knee pain or labor under the false pretense that it will ‘go away’ or somehow magically get better on its own. The reality is that this is not true.
Knee pain is very often manageable. It is very often possible to treat it quickly and easily. But this is only true if you try. And if you ignore it, it will usually get worse and worse over time until eventually, it is beyond repair.
There are lots of things you can start doing today in order to fix your knee pain. While not all of these strategies will work for everyone, there is a better-than-average chance that at least one of these things can work for you!
1. Go to Your Doctor/Physio/Chiropractor
Not what you were expecting to be the number one item on this list? Few people do. Most of us want an ‘easy fix’ that doesn’t involve leaving our comfort zone… or even leaving the house. The reality though is that visiting your doctor is by far the most important first strategy. If you visit the doctor, they can properly diagnose the problem for you and let you know if you may have an underlying infection, water on the joint, or something else that needs to be addressed first.
Likewise, if you visit your doctor, they might refer you to a physio who will be able to provide the best exercises and techniques to improve the condition quickly and effectively.
No one wants to go to the doctor. But what’s worse: going to the doctor, or permanently suffering from pain and loss of mobility?
2. Eat Omega 3 Fatty Acid
If your knee pain is caused by inflammation – and there’s a good chance that this is playing at least some role in the discomfort – then you should consider supplementing with omega 3 fatty acid or getting more from your diet by adding oily fish.
Omega 3 fatty acid is good for you for numerous reasons but one of its biggest benefits is its ability to reduce inflammation by improving the ratio of omega 3: omega 6. This can do wonders for arthritis pain!
I suffered from knee pain for several years and tried many different things to fix it. In the end, the best solution for me was to start doing leg extensions on a lightweight setting. Many of us believe that exercise is bad for painful joints but in reality, it can actually be precisely what you need to restore them and improve your health: by strengthening the muscles you can ensure the patella tracks across the joint correctly, you can encourage more lubrication, you can improve flexibility and more.
Regular stretches can help a lot, depending on the cause of the knee pain, which part of the knee is affected, and which stretches you use. For pain behind the knee, for instance, try stretching your hamstrings and glutes. Good ways to do this include trying to touch your toes, or trying to lift your leg straight up while you’re lying flat on your back. Restoring flexibility can make a big difference.
And once again, the best way to get these exercises that will stand the best chance of fixing the problem is to see a professional who diagnoses these kinds of treatments for a living!
5. Change Your Seat
When you sit all day at work, this takes a very serious toll on your body. You will be shortening your hamstrings and tightening them, while at the same time lengthening and weakening your quadriceps. This combination can result in uneven pressure being placed on your knees, which in turn leads to pain and difficulty walking and running.
Using a seat that keeps your legs in a different position, or even just making sure to get up regularly, can make a big difference and solve this problem.
Rest is very important for treating any kind of injury or pain. This is especially important for those suffering from knee pain, as it is used so frequently throughout the day. If you have a headache, then you take time away from the computer and you don’t read the small text!
And yet many of us with knee pain will continue walking, running, sitting, and doing other things that place strain on the joint. This is why it is so important to make sure that you get regular rest to solve the problem until it subsides!
7. Assess Your Running Style
If you are a runner, then there is a very good chance that this could be contributing to your pain. Running places a lot of strain on the joints due to the impact that the legs make with the ground and the jolt this sends through the body.
Switching to running on sand or grass can make a big difference to this. But even more important is to ensure you are running with the right technique so that your center of gravity runs straight down the legs and through the feet, allowing you to absorb impacts like a spring.
8. Assess Your Walking Style
Likewise, the wrong walking style can also make a big difference when it comes to knee pain. This could transpire to be due to a problem such as flat feet or pronation, but it might also come down simply too bad habits – especially if you wear the wrong shoes.
To fix this problem, you can consider having your writing style assessed and then using this as a guide to fix your gait and ensure that you aren’t causing the wrong kind of pressure or placing weight on your feet at a bad angle.
Analgesics are pain killers and these are of course among the very best tools for improving any kind of pain. Any analgesic will improve your health because it is designed to act on pain receptors in the brain in order to dull any ache. If you need to reduce pain temporarily then, this is a great option to do so.
But better yet, if you choose an analgesic such as Aspirin or ibuprofen, then you will also benefit from additional blood-thinning effects.
The right nutrition can make a big difference to your knee pain. We’ve already seen the difference that omega 3 can make, but many other foods can also increase or decrease inflammation or can increase or decrease bone and tendon strength.
Choosing calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D for instance will all help to strengthen your bones, recover injuries, and more. Likewise, if you provide your body with amino acids, or with vasodilators, this can further help you to rebuild and fortify against future injury.