Whether it is a temporary twitch in the muscle, a sudden resurfacing of an old injury or that post-workout agony - knee pain can bring your life to a standstill, quite literally. The debilitating pain in the biggest joint of the body can either last for some hours or at times for days altogether. In such a situation, it becomes imperative to figure out the underlying cause behind the excruciating pain.
There could be many reasons of you going week in your knees and feeling that unbearable pain. Pain has several categories; you could have mild pain through days and suddenly wake up one morning to find it gone. According to experts, in most cases, knee pain could just be a painful aftermath of physical exertion. Those intense workouts, an exhilarating football match or for that matter, the usual age-related wear and tear of muscles, bone-density and tissues - all these may trigger that hard-to-bear knee pain.
According to Dr. Supriya Bali, Internal Medicine, Max Hospitals, there are a few other things that can contribute in triggering knee and joint pains in general. "Knee pain can occur to anyone, from children to the elderly. Some of the most obvious reasons would include lack of Vitamin D, calcium and iron." Lack of Vitamin D is often responsible for hampering optimum bone health. It is one of the leading medical concerns in India. People, who suffer from it, complain of dull pain in their knees as well as in other joints.
As many say, 'prevention is the best cure,' many common ailments can be avoided just by making minor changes in our lifestyles. Knee pain, if sustaining for more than a week, could mean something serious including risk of arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and other bone related ailments. In order to rule out these conditions, it is imperative for one to consume a diet rich in calcium and vitamins right from one's childhood.
Mushrooms are enriched with Vitamin D
Your knee pain could be an outcome of a damaged muscle, ligament or weakened bones. Just in case the pain persists for more than three-four days, or gets worse, it is extremely important to seek professional help. In case of minor injuries, you can try treating them in the comfort of your home without popping pills. Here are some easy tips -
The Cold Treatment: In case of any injury (sports or trauma), experts suggest cold compresses for the first 48 hours at least thrice a day. Applying ice to the affected area will help reduce the swelling.
The Heat Effect: In case it is an old injury that seems to have resurfaced or any kind of muscle pain (due to exertion) you can try applying warm sesame oil or mustard oil with a pinch of turmeric onto the joint.
Natural Painkillers: Some of the most common ingredients stacked in our kitchen cabinets have magical properties to cure many ailments with most of them being capable of driving chronic body aches away. Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath, suggests some common ingredients that can help relieve knee pain.
- Consuming seeds, rich in calcium can help. These will include flaxseeds, walnuts, and sesame seeds. Amla is also good for joints and bone health.
- You can also consume giloy.Giloystems can be chewed as is or powdered and mixed with lukewarm water. You also get giloy tablets in market.
- Turmeric is antiseptic and has healing properties. When teamed with warm milk, it acts on treating joint pains as well as facilities the healing process.
- Many people experience knee pain during winters, for them, methi (fenugreek seeds) can be soaked overnight and consumed to relieve pain.
- Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties; hence topical application of ginger oil as well as drinking ginger tea regularly can also help. You can also have ginger along with milk for effective results.
- Tulsi or holy basil is known as an anti-rheumatic (joint pains) and antispasmodic (muscle spasms) agent. It can be used externally to treat joint related ailments. Tulsi also works in relieving joint pain and pain associated with arthritis.
A recent study conducted by Texas Woman's University has established that daily intake of grapes can help get relief from knee pain, especially the ones triggered due to symptomatic osteoarthritis. Grapes are high on antioxidants, most important and beneficial one being polyphenols which help in improving the flexibility and mobility of joints.
Apart from these, there are also few more points that must be kept in mind if one is experiencing knee pain. Keeping your leg elevated and giving rest to your body is extremely important. Any activity that would result in exerting the joint or the associated muscles should be avoided. You can seek physiotherapy and professional exercises that can prove beneficial in tackling the pain. And for the future, make sure you keep the following in mind to keep your bones and muscles healthy and to avoid the pain from resurfacing.
- Wear proper shoes
- Avoid wearing heels for long
- Do not indulge in an intense physical activity all of a sudden
- Keep active, say no to a sedentary lifestyle
- Keep a check on weight. Obesity puts extra stress on your bones and joints
- Check your posture (while at work, sitting or driving)
- Do not sit for long hours, take short breaks. Stretch, walk, climb stairs.
- Be watchful while lifting weights
- Eat calcium and Vitamin D rich foods
- Keep stress at bay, avoid smoking