Knee pain caused by osteoarthritis is the most common cause of loss of freedom of movements in the elderly patients. We often take this freedom of movement for granted, until it becomes restricted. Besides osteoarthritis, knee pain can also occur due to rheumatism.
While osteoarthritis causes knee pain due to the wear and tear of the cartilage between the bones resulting in friction, rheumatism affects the knee joint in a little less straightforward manner. It is an autoimmune disorder, which causes inflammation of the soft tissues that protect the joints resulting in the bone loss.
Irrespective of the pathogenesis involved in the development of these diseases, the knee pain caused by them can affect the quality of life of patients to a great extent.
Natural Home Remedies for Knee Pain
There are a few natural home remedies to get rid of knee pain and improve the mobility of the joint as given below:
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is a strong natural anti-inflammatory agent. It can help reduce the knee pain caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. It helps to protect the joint from further degeneration or wear and tear and thus, preserves the functions and range of motion of the joint. Turmeric also lowers the levels of enzymes responsible for causing inflammation. (1)
Turmeric can be easily included in the diet by adding it as a spice to any dish. It can also be consumed directly by mixing a spoonful of it in a glass of warm water along with a teaspoon of honey.
The consistency of olive oil makes it a perfect home remedy for the patients with knee pain. It lubricates the knee joint and reduces the friction between the ends of the bones thereby easing the pain. Oleocanthal, one of the ingredients present in extra virgin olive oil, inhibits the inflammatory enzymes called COX-1 and COX-2, thereby reducing pain. The patient can warm 2 to 3 tablespoon of this oil and use it to massage the joint area.
Dandelion Leaves, are incredibly high in vitamin A and vitamin C, which provide this herb the ability to repair the damaged tissue. It also helps the body to get rid of the toxins thus protecting the knee joint against any form of damage.
The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb can be attributed to the presence of linoleic and linoleic acid present in them. Linoleic regulates the immune response of the body and suppresses inflammation. It is particularly beneficial for the patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which occurs due to an abnormal reaction of the immune system. Patients can add dandelion leaves to a salad or a sandwich, or brew tea using them.
The extract of Willow bark is highly beneficial to treat knee pain. It also reduces heat, swelling and inflammation of the knee joint and improves the joint mobility. (2)
It acts as a natural aspirin and is beneficial for the treatment of other painful disorders like a headache, menstrual cramps, and back pain.
Peppermint & Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus and Peppermint oils have analgesic properties, which help in providing relief from the joint pains. The soothing action produced by these oils can override the discomfort, and create a cooling sensation that can ease the arthritic pain.
All patients need to do is mix 5 to 10 drops of peppermint and eucalyptus oil into 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil. This blend can be stored in a dark bottle and used to massage the joint whenever needed.
Juniper berries are highly beneficial in the management of knee pain. These berries contain a component called terpinen-4-ol, which suppresses monocytes. Monocytes are a type of white blood cells and a part of the immune system that responds to the signals of inflammation.
In the patients with rheumatoid arthritis, Juniper berries can reduce knee pain by controlling the inflammation thanks to the terpene present in it. The best way to consume Juniper berries is to prepare tea by adding boiling water to 1 tablespoon of dried berries. The mug should be kept closed for about 5 minutes. Then, the liquid is strained and consumed to obtain relief from the joint pains.
Ginger is the most common spice used in several cuisines. It acts as a natural painkiller and reduces inflammation in the joint. It also reduces restriction of movements and improves the quality of life of patients. It can be included in the regular diet by adding it to any dish or consumed as an herbal tea prepared by brewing grated ginger in a cup of boiling water for a few minutes. (3)
These simple home remedies are highly effective in reducing knee pain caused due to osteoarthritis and rheumatism. Regular use of these home remedies can preserve the integrity of the joint and improve its longevity.