There are many possible causes of knee pain. It could be due to overuse, injury, or arthritis. When your knee is hurting, there are simple things you can do for quick relief. However, keep in mind that these tips should not substitute a visit to the doctor. If your knee symptoms persist, make an appointment with a specialist.
The RICE method stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest means stopping the activity that’s causing the pain. Apply ice to control swelling and numb the area. Do this for 20 minutes, four times a day, for up to 48 hours. Wear compression knee sleeves to increase blood flow and relieve pain. Elevating your knee (keeping it above heart level) helps reduce swelling. The RICE method helps with knee pain due to overuse, a sprain, arthritis, and can also be used as a first-aid technique for sports injuries, such as ligament injuries.
It is important to keep inflammation in check. Acute inflammation is the body’s response to injury and causes white blood cells to rush to the area to start the healing or repair process. This is a good kind of inflammation. However, uncontrolled inflammation can cause problems, which is why anti-inflammatory medication helps. Anti-inflammatories do not stop the body’s inflammatory response completely but aim to control it, so it doesn’t cause damage. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories also have the benefit of relieving pain.
Oral medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen are available over-the-counter, as are topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Diclofenac sodium 1% gel. Anti-inflammatory medication can be used for knee pain due to arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. OTC medications are only intended for short-term use.
Heat can boost circulation and relax muscles, which can ease knee pain. You can apply heat using heating pads or take a hot bath or shower. You only need 15 to 20 minutes of heat therapy to experience relief. Do not apply heat to a swelling knee, as it can interfere with the healing process. Heat therapy is useful for knee pain that is caused by tiredness, muscle pain, or joint stiffness.
Self-massage can help ease knee pain. Massage therapy for quick relief from knee pain focuses on gentle motions. Sit down and keep your feet flat on the floor. Place the heel of one hand on your thigh. Then, slide your hand down as far as the knee goes with some pressure. Release and repeat at least five times. Let your hand form a fist and tap different areas of the thigh at least 10 times. Massage therapy, when done right, can provide quick relief from knee pain, however, improper technique can be harmful. An orthopedic doctor or physical therapist can teach you how to do this properly.
Methods for quick relief are just that — designed for quick relief. For lasting relief from chronic knee pain, an orthopedic specialist’s input is invaluable. They can also find out what’s making your knee hurt, and help you manage it better next time.
Knee Specialist in Catonsville, Columbia, Eldersburg, and Fulton
The orthopaedic doctors at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland specialize in treatments for acute and chronic knee problems. We will identify the problem and help restore your knee for better function. Our physicians will also make sure you receive detailed instructions for quick relief from knee pain. To make an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor, call (410) 644-1880 or use our online form.
Patients with acute injuries of the knee should be seen by a physician. We also offer urgent care services for minor acute orthopaedic injuries. For more information, please visit our urgent care webpage.