Knee Pain Home Treatment and Preventive Tips

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Most of us have had a minor knee pain problem at one time or another. Usually the body movements do not cause problems; however, it is not surprising that unpleasant symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear, overuse, and a result of an injury such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage or, certain medical conditions, including arthritis, gout and infection. Knee pain most often occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks or home projects. Fortunately, many relatively minor instances of knee pain responds well to self-care measures. More-serious injuries such as ruptured ligament or tendon may need surgical repair. Although every knee pain problem cannot be prevented particularly if you are physically active you can take certain home care treatments to cut back the risk of injury or disease.

At Home Care Treatment

Many causes of knee problem, especially those related to overuse or physical activity, respond well to at home remedies:

* Rest. Taking a break from your normal activity reduces repetitive strain on your knee, gives the injury time to heal and helps avoid further damage. A day or two of rest may be all that is needed for minor knee pain injuries. But a more severe damage is likely to need a longer recovery time.

* Icing. Ice help reduce both pain and inflammation. In fact, some sport doctors suggest applying ice to injured knee for about 20-30 minutes at least 4 times a day. Use ice pack wrapped in thin fabric to protect your skin. However do not leave the ice on longer than suggested as it put damage to your nerves and skin.

* Keep your knee elevated as much as possible to help reduce swelling and drain away fluids that accumulate after a knee injury.

* Gently compress the injured knee by wearing an ace bandage or elastic sleeve - either can be purchase at most drug stores. Compression may reduce swelling and provide support.

* Take a knee pain treatment or reliever for pain and swelling.

* Protection. The best method to protect your knee from further damage usually depends on the type and severity of your knee injury. For most minor knee pain injuries, a compression bandage is usually sufficient. While for more serious knee pain injuries, such as a torn ACL or high-grade collateral ligament sprain, typically require crutches and sometimes a brace to help stabilize the joint with weight bearing.

However, when at home remedies aren't enough to ease pain and swelling in an injured knee, your doctor may recommend other knee pain treatment such as:

* Physical Therapy. Normally, the goal of this activity is to strengthen the muscles around your knee and help you regain knee stability. And this exercise is likely to focus on the muscles in the back and front of your thigh, your calf, hip and ankle. You can do some of the prescribed exercise program at home. Others may require the use of weight machines, exercise bicycles or treadmills, which may mean regular visits to a fitness center or clinic.

* Treating the pain underlying medical conditions. If your knee pain is caused by other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout, your physician will likely prescribe disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to help control those conditions.

* Surgical Options. There's no best way to treat most knee pain injuries. Whether a surgery is best for you depend on several factors including: the type of injury and amount of damage to your knee, the risk of future injury or health damage if you do not have a surgery, your current lifestyle including which sports you play, your willingness to modify your activities and sports, and lastly your motivation to work through rehabilitation to strengthen your muscle after surgery. Now, if you have an injury that may require surgery, it is typically not necessary to have the operation immediately. In most cases, you will do better if you wait until the swelling goes down and you regain strength and full range of motion in your knee. Remember, before making in decision, consider the pros and cons of both nonsurgical rehabilitation and surgical reconstruction in relation to what is most important to you. Nonsurgical treatment, actually, is not an option if you have cartilage damage that interferes with your range of motion or if the blood supply to your knee is severely compromised.

* Other treatment options for knee pain. In recent years, a number of nonsurgical knee pain treatments have been investigated or become available. Some are in the experimental stage and others are used routinely to alleviate knee pain and inflammation. And these are: Orthotics and bracing, Corticosteroid injections, Hyaluronic acid, and topical knee pain relievers such as ointment.

Prevention Tips for Knee Pain

Although it is not always possible to prevent knee pain or injury, the following tips may help forestall injuries and joint deterioration:

* Increase your physical activity level slowly over time for example, when you begin exercising again, walk rather than run.

* Optimize your method. If you are involved in a sport or any activity on a regular basis, it is important to have the best method possible so that proper movement patterns are trained.

* Make sure your sport shoes fit well. A well-fitting shoe helps you maintain stability, so choose footwear that is appropriate for your sport. For example, running shoes aren't designed for pivots and turns but tennis and racquetball shoes definitely are.

* Maintain a healthy body weight. The best thing you can do for your knees is to keep an extra pound off. Part of this may be an every extra pound puts additional strain on your joints, therefore increasing the risk of ligament and tendon injuries and even osteoarthritis.

* Always listen to your body. If your knees hurt, or you feel tired, do not be a hero - take a break. You are much more likely to injure yourself when you are forcing yourself.

Bottom line: Knee pain is extremely common. Treatment for a knee problem or injury may always include first aid measures, rest, bracing, physical therapy, medicine and sometimes surgery. Treatment depends on the location, type and severity of the injury as well as your age, health condition and activity level such as work, sports and hobbies. So always check your symptoms and consult your doctor immediately if it doesn't get better after 24 hours of home care treatment-
Stuart Griffin
knee pain

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