Tips for Easing Chronic Knee Pain
If you suffer from chronic knee pain, you're not alone. Here are some easy steps to follow to help ease your pain:
- Eat healthier. Although diet can't cure osteoarthritis, certain foods can help relieve pain and inflammation and boost bone and muscle strength. Antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamins C, D and E may slow disease progression of osteoarthritis. Also, anthocyanins – flavonoids found in red cherries – may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. In addition, omega 3 fatty acids, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, olive oil and oily fish such as salmon, may also be helpful for joint pain
- Eat less. Losing even a few pounds can have a significant impact on your joints. Each pound you lose reduces knee pressure.
- Exercise more. It seems counterintuitive, but movement is great arthritis medicine. It eases pain by keeping joints flexible (not exercising makes them stiffer) and strengthening leg muscles that act as shock absorbers for knee joints.
- Choose low-impact workouts. Try 30 minutes a day of biking, walking, swimming or yoga. Consistency is key. Avoid the weekend warrior syndrome; this leads to injury. And stay away from high-impact, strenuous aerobics.
- See an orthopedic specialist. There are several treatment options available to you that are less invasive than traditional surgery. Cartilage resurfacing, for example, is ideal for patients younger than 50 with isolated cartilage damage from a fall or injury. Think of a pot hole in the road that can be patched with new cartilage.
- New surgical techniques. If you should reach a point of needing surgery, there are innovative techniques available to you. Take ACL surgery, for example. Dr. Brian McCarty performs what’s called Double Bundle ACL surgery, which is an anatomically correct placement of the new ACL exactly where the old one was, eliminating the need to shave the bone. This greatly reduces the chance of arthritis in the years following surgery.
For More Information
Learn about orthopedic care at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare or find an orthopedic doctor.