Knee pain is a very common medical condition that occurs due to constant wear and tear of the knee joint. It can be experienced by older adults, young adults and children. Women are more vulnerable to knee pain than men.
The exact location of the knee pain can vary. Pain can originate in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint (femur, tibia and fibula), the kneecap (patella) or the ligaments and cartilage (meniscus).
Knee pain can be localized or diffuse throughout the knee. Also, the severity of pain can vary from a minor ache to severe and disabling pain.
Pain in the knees can be caused by weakened bone structure, and wear and tear due to aging. Other common causes include fractures, ligament injuries, meniscus injuries, dislocation of the knee joint and stiffness in the joint due to arthritis, lupus and other chronic ailments.
In addition to pain, you may have symptoms like stiffness in the knee, noticeable swelling, redness, numbness in the affected leg and difficulty walking or standing.
Don’t let knee pain sideline you from doing the things you enjoy. You can take care of your knee pain with some simple and easy home remedies.
These remedies are most helpful for mild to moderate pain caused by overuse, lack of use or improper training. They can also help with knee pain associated with aging and conditions like arthritis but you also need to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for knee pain.
1. Cold Compress
Applying cold compresses to the painful knee is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce pain and swelling. The cold will constrict the blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the affected area and thus reducing swelling. It will also give you relief from the pain.
- Wrap a handful of ice cubes in a thin towel.
- Apply the compress to the affected knee area for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Do this two or three times daily until your pain is gone.
A bag of frozen peas also works well as a cold compress. You can opt for alternating hot and cold compresses as well for chronic pains.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also helpful in reducing knee pain. Due to its alkalizing effect, apple cider vinegar helps dissolve mineral build-ups and harmful toxins within the knee joint. It also helps restore joint lubricants to help reduce pain and promote mobility.
- Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in two cups of filtered water. Sip this mixture throughout the day. Drink this tonic daily until you recover completely.
- You can also add two cups of apple cider vinegar to a bath tub of hot water. Soak the affected knee in the water for 30 minutes. Do this once daily for a few days.
- Also, you can mix together one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Use it to massage the affected knee once or twice daily until the pain is gone.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin that works like a pain reliever. Capsaicin’s natural analgesic or pain-relieving properties produce a warm sensation and reduce pain in the affected knee.
- Prepare a mixture by adding two tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder in one-half cup of warm olive oil. Apply this paste on the affected area twice daily for at least one week.
- You can also mix one-quarter or one-half teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder in one cup of apple cider vinegar. Soak a clean washcloth in this solution and apply it on the aching area for about 20 minutes once or twice daily until the pain and inflammation is reduced.
- You can even apply a gel containing 0.0125 percent capsaicin topically to reduce knee pain.
Whether knee pain is due to arthritis, muscle strain or injury, ginger is an effective remedy to alleviate the pain. Its effectiveness comes from the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds in it. Ginger can reduce swelling on the knee as well as the pain.
- Crush a small piece of fresh ginger root, add to one cup of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain and add a little honey and lemon juice. Drink two to three cups of this ginger tea daily until the pain is gone.
- You can also massage the affected knee with ginger oil two or three times a day until you are satisfied with the results.
Turmeric is an effective and natural treatment to relieve knee pain. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties that help reduce pain.
Also, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) reports that turmeric may slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, one of the main causes of knee pain.
- Add one-half teaspoon each of ground ginger and turmeric to a cup of water and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey to taste, and enjoy twice daily.
- Boil one teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk. Sweeten with honey and drink it once daily.
- Another option is to take 250 to 500 mg turmeric capsules three times daily.
Follow these remedies daily until the pain is gone completely.
Note: As turmeric can thin the blood, these remedies are not suitable for those taking blood-thinning medicine.
Lemon has also been found beneficial as a home remedy for knee pain caused by arthritis. The citric acid found in lemon works as a solvent for uric acid crystals, which is the cause of some types of arthritis.
- Cut one or two lemons into small pieces.
- Tie the pieces in a cotton cloth and dip it in warm sesame oil.
- Place the cloth on the affected knee for five to 10 minutes.
- Do this twice daily until the pain is gone completely.
Also, drinking the juice of one lemon diluted in a glass of warm water early in the morning on an empty stomach is also beneficial.