Many of us suffer from joint and muscle pains. This pain can range from an occasional, minor irritant to a chronic, debilitating handicap. Knee pain, in particular, can be a serious issue and an impediment to everyday life. The causes of these pains can also vary, with some of the most prevalent causes including injury, arthritis, inflammation, osteoporosis, tendonitis, torn ligaments, and gout. Fortunately, there are many treatments for knee pain. Before starting any medical treatment, it is always important to consult a professional first, like a knee doctor. Here is how to treat knee pain:
Hot and Cold Therapy
One of the easiest and most effective treatments for knee pain is hot and cold therapy. This involves alternating between applying heat and cold to the affected area. Applying heat with a heating pad or a hot water bottle helps relax muscles and increases blood flow to the affected area. Cold therapy, using an ice pack or cold compress, decreases blood flow, thereby slowing inflammation. Cold therapy also helps reduce the pain.
Many people suffering from knee pain turn to medication to help them. The most common over-the-counter (OTC) drugs used to treat knee pain are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. Acetaminophen, like Tylenol, can also help with the pain. When over-the-counter medicine is not enough, many patients turn to prescription medication. Prescription strength NSAIDs can reduce inflammation, while analgesics can assist in reducing pain. Steroids can also be used as treatment for severe flare-ups.
Holistic and herbal remedies offer another option for patients suffering from knee pain. While herbal remedies should not be used as a replacement for doctor prescribed medication, many patients turn to them to supplement their treatments and deal with the chronic pain or an occasional flare-up. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties and can alleviate joint pain. The tannins found in eucalyptus can lessen pain and swelling. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory properties. These are just a few of the many herbal remedies that can help with knee pain. Although not as effective or potent as OTC or prescription pharmaceuticals, a benefit of herbal remedies is that they often lack the harmful and concerning side effects of drugs.
Chronic knee pain often discourages patients from putting too much of a strain on their affected knees. This reduced activity can exacerbate the pain further. It is important to continue working out the joints and muscles. General exercise and activity are always good, but can indeed strain the pained areas. Physical therapy is a great option as well. Targeted therapy under the supervision and guidance of a trained professional can help strengthen muscles and joints, reduce swelling, stiffness, and pain, and improve joint function, while minimizing the risk of further injury.
These are a few of the many treatments available. Every patient has different needs and should consult a knee doctor in Pottstown, PA before starting new treatment. Information from the Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania was used in this article.