If you’ve experienced knee pain, you know it can be debilitating. Our knees are the joints between bones, they provide support and allow movement. Any damage to our knees due to arthritis can significantly impede movement and cause pain. Knee pain can bring up thoughts of surgery and sometimes replacement surgery is needed. However, there are nonsurgical options that should be explored before making surgical plans.
Knee pain can be debilitating and affect your daily activities. While surgical options are available for severe cases, there are several non-surgical treatments that can help relieve knee pain. Here are seven non-surgical knee pain treatments commonly used:
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy focuses on strengthening the muscles around the knee joint, improving flexibility, and correcting any imbalances or abnormalities in movement. It can help reduce pain and improve overall knee function.
- Exercise and Stretching: Low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling, and walking can help strengthen the muscles supporting the knee joint. Stretching exercises can improve flexibility and reduce stiffness.
- Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for knee health. Excess weight puts additional stress on the knee joint, exacerbating pain. Losing weight through a combination of diet and exercise can significantly reduce knee pain.
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, can help reduce knee pain and inflammation. Topical creams or gels containing analgesics or anti-inflammatory agents can also provide temporary relief.
- Assistive Devices: Knee braces or sleeves can provide support to the knee joint and help alleviate pain. They can help stabilize the knee, reduce strain, and improve mobility.
- Injections: Corticosteroid injections can provide short-term pain relief by reducing inflammation in the knee joint. Hyaluronic acid injections, also known as viscosupplementation, can help lubricate the joint and alleviate pain in some cases of knee osteoarthritis.
- Heat and Cold Therapy: Applying heat or cold to the affected knee can help reduce pain and inflammation. Cold packs or ice packs can be used in acute cases or after activities that exacerbate pain. Heat therapy, such as warm towels or heating pads, can help relax muscles and increase blood flow to the area.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these treatments may vary depending on the underlying cause and severity of knee pain. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific condition.