There is no getting around it, at some point in your life, your knees will be painful and downright uncomfortable.
You might be experiencing stiff knees in the morning or after sitting for a prolonged period, have a dull ache in the back of your knee joint, or a tear in one of the supporting ligaments in your knee. For our company President, it was knee pain from running that started his SierraSil journey.
Because the knee is such an integral joint in how we move, it doesn’t take much for your knees to become sore, irritated, swollen, and uncomfortable. It’s very likely that you know someone who has had knee surgery, is using a knee brace, or has had to give up a sport or activity because of their knee discomfort.
Well, we’re here to provide you with information on knee pain that can complement the medical advice you receive from your medical advisor. We include suggestions on what you can do to naturally relieve this knee discomfort.
What is Knee Pain?
Often knee pain identifies with a sharpness in the knee joint or a dull ache. You might crouch down to tie your shoes and when you stand up, you receive a sharp signal from your knee that something is not right.
Yes, knee pain can literally come out of the blue. Typically, this is a signal that you’ve pushed the joint too hard or an indicator that you’re developing an over-use injury or arthritis. This is why you shouldn’t ignore the signals your knees are giving you.
Because knee pain is so common, a lot of research has gone into understanding what the location of the pain tells us about the injury or problem.
Front of the knee: typically, this indicates that there is a problem with you kneecap. This can be caused by a range of reasons and factors. Do not ignore this knee discomfort and assume it will go away on its own.
Inside of the knee: a pain on the inside of your knee can indicate that you have a torn ligament or tendon. For example, you may have a torn meniscus, a damaged medial collateral ligament (MCL), arthritis, or another injury. Make sure you see a healthcare expert who specializes in knees – and do request an x-ray or MRI of your knee.
Outside of the knee: the knee relies on an intricate network of tendons, ligaments, and muscles to give the joint stability. Because of this there is a lot of strain placed on the knee, when you twist quickly, overuse your knee, or bend awkwardly. This makes it very easy to strain the lateral meniscus, develop tendonitis in your IT band, or to experience general knee discomfort.
Back of the knee: pain in the back of your knee can be caused by straining or over-extending your knee joint. For example, if you set the seat on your bicycle too high, you will likely develop a dull ache in the back of your knee. Another common source of back of the knee pain is a Baker’s cyst.
What are the Symptoms of Knee Pain?
The symptoms and signs of knee pain vary based on the location and severity of the injury or problem:
You should not ignore any signs or symptoms of knee pain. It’s important that you see your doctor when you have any of the above symptoms.
Remember, because the knee is such a complex joint, it’s important that the source of the knee pain and discomfort is diagnosed. For example, a pain on the top of the kneecap might seem minor but can be an indicator of arthritis or an overuse injury – two issues which require very distinct courses of treatment and care.
- Knee stiffness.
- A swollen knee.
- The knee feels warm and/or is red.
- The joint itself feels weak or unstable.
- Crunching, popping, or a locking of the knee when standing, walking, or bending.
- The knee won’t straighten or fully bend.
What are the Causes of Knee Pain?
Knee pain and discomfort can be caused by an injury, a structural problem, arthritis, or other reasons.
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to injury your knee. A slip on the ice and falling on your kneecap or landing awkwardly after jumping, for example can result in a range of knee injuries. The more common knee injuries include damage to your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a fractured kneecap, torn meniscus, knee bursitis, and patellar tendinitis.
Structural or Mechanical Knee Problems
Our joints are very complex, and when part of the joint wears down or is not supported properly, you can easily develop structural knee problems. Common structural knee problems include iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, dislocated kneecap, hip, back or foot pain, or degeneration in bone or cartilage that causes the damaged part to break off and disrupt knee movement.
There are over 100 types of arthritis and most impact the knee joint. Most commonly known is osteoarthritis - with use and age, the cartilage in your knee becomes worn down. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can come on with no warning – typically it is treated with medication. Septic arthritis is associated with having a fever and no prior knee problems – the knee becomes swollen, painful, and red very quickly.
How to Naturally Relieve Knee Discomfort
Whether you’re dealing with knee arthritis, awaiting knee surgery, or are recovering from an injury such as knee bursitis – there is a lot you can do to naturally relieve your knee discomfort and pain.
When it comes to naturally relieving knee discomfort – early action is extremely important. Do not ignore knee pain symptoms or neglect your knee exercises.
Consult with your medical advisor and keep in mind, that the more you can do to strengthen your body, to naturally reduce inflammation, and to keep your joints flexible and mobile – the healthier and happier your knees will be.
Move: yes, even with sore or injured knees, you need to move your body. People who have knee replacement surgery are typically up and moving the day after surgery.
The less you move, the easier it is for your knee to become stiff and for the supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments to weaken.
Depending on your knee problem, a physiotherapist will provide you with a series of exercises to help strengthen your leg muscles, ankle flexibility, hip movement, and the knee joint. Physiotherapists have a saying, “motion is lotion!”
Weight management:this is really a sensitive topic, and if you’re carrying extra weight, we understand that there can be many reasons for it, and if even if you’re able to address it, it’s really hard to manage and sustain what might be called a healthy weight.
With every step, jump, twist, or other movement – your knee is called upon to support you. When you’re carrying extra weight (on your body or a loaded backpack for examples) it inadvertently places extra strain and pressure on these crucial joints.
We know that with age, the knee joint wears and breaks down. For this reason, it’s important to lessen the strain you place on your knees. One of the best ways to do this is to maintain a healthy weight.
Reduce inflammation: often when you injure your knee or develop arthritis, the knee joint becomes inflamed and swollen. This makes it hard for you to move easily and to maintain flexible and mobile knee joints.
Some of the best ways to reduce inflammation include hydrating properly, taking a natural supplement proven to improve joint flexibility and health, and to eat foods that contribute to a balanced diet as well as moderate exercise (motion is lotion, right!).