If you’re searching the web for the best treatment for knee pain, chances are that your pain is persistent and frustrating.
First off, you should establish a diagnosis to better understand certain aspects of your injury. This includes activities or actions that may bother it and why it may be slow to recover.
If you haven’t seen your local health professional or you’d like a second opinion, our team has created a super helpful app for iOS or Android. It can diagnose injury accurately and even gives hints for rehab approaches. Best of all, it’s free and all with the convenience of never having to leave the couch.
Even before you’ve established your diagnosis, you can begin to formulate your rehab plan. Here’s our physiotherapy team’s tips of planning your best treatment options.
Natural remedies for knee pain
One of the more common requests from patients is to treat their knee pain while avoiding medication. Some want to avoid potential medication side effects, others prefer to stick to natural remedies. Whatever your reason, here’s our best natural remedies for knee pain.
- Strength exercises
- The original and still the best! Strength exercises boast even better results than surgery.
- Start with some simple bodyweight exercises, such as box squats, and progress with more depth (lower chair) or more loading.
- Avoid exercises that cause worsening pain, sharp pain or pain that affects your technique.
- Good footwear
- Good shoes will support the normal motion of the knee and help control it as your muscles fatigue
- Here’s a guide on the best running shoes for bad knees from our Physiotherapy team.
- General exercise
- As simple as it gets. Common examples are walking, cycling rowing.
- These exercises provide gentle repetitive movement and improve joint cartilage and mobility.
- Reduce the duration and intensity of this exercise if it causes worsening soreness during exercise, swelling or worsening pain after exercise or altered movement patterns due to pain.
- This refers to a tight, compressive brace or bandage.
- Compression can do something that meds can’t – it can reduce existing swelling such as a Baker’s Cyst. Meds can only help prevent new swelling being produced but don’t work on existing swelling.
- Correct firmness is being able to squeeze two fingers inside the compression. Any tighter than that and it’s probably too firm.
- Nature’s anti inflammatory. Ice has an anti inflammatory effect on swelling and an analgesic effect on pain.
- Apply the ice pack for 10min every 2 hours. For more detail on other forms of ice and clinical tips, see our post on ice here.
- You can apply ice to the front of the knee to reduce accumulating swelling, regardless of the location of the pain or injury. The front of the knee offers the greatest exposure to the fluid inside the knee and chills the whole knee.
Best medicine for knee pain
For anyone who is OK with pharmaceuticals, here’s the best medication for knee pain.
- Most popular trade name is Panadol.
- It’s a mild analgesic with some small anti inflammatory effect.
- Paracetamol quite safe with very few side effects.
- It’s worth noting that Paracetamol is in a number of different types of medication so accidental overdose is a concern.
- Ibuprofen or Diclofenac
- Meloxicam or Celecoxib
- This group of drugs are very strong anti inflammatories.
- They have an extensive side effect profile and require ongoing monitoring from your doctor.
- Despite being very effective at treating inflammation, prolonged use is actively avoided due to the significance of the long term negative effects of use (such as an effect on bone density and skin).