For serious knee injuries, dealing with knee pain will involve surgery and long periods of rest. There are other things, however, that one can do to alleviate soreness and help speed up recovery. Not only are there prescribed medications one can take, but there are other remedies that help as well. Let’s start with what your doctor can do for you.
Of course, the most uncomfortable thing about a knee problem is the pain. Sometimes, your physician will merely chalk up your problem to joint stress, and in this case an ibuprofen prescription will help. This drug can reduce swelling and in the process eliminate pain as well. For more serious conditions like bursitis, arthritis, and tendonitis, a cortisone shot can do wonders. This is a very strong anti-inflammatory chemical that reduces the pressure that leads to pain. Due to near instant reduction of inflammation, relief is felt almost at once. If there is no swelling, one can simply take Tylenol. Also, while not advisable, narcotics like morphine are prescribed when the pain veers out of control.
Along with these drugs, your doctor will advise you to undergo physical therapy. This involves a variety of exercises that strengthen the muscles around the knee, thereby supporting it more. You may already know a few quadriceps and hamstring exercises, but if injury is serious, supervision of a physical therapist is highly advisable. Some say that practicing yoga can help ease knee pain, but this is something you should do as a preventative measure instead of during recovery. Other preventive measures include cross training to avoid overuse, massage therapy, running on softer surfaces (but not sand) and stretching the surrounding muscles. One should also shift to running on the balls of one’s feet, and avoid landing on the heels. New research suggests landing on the heels, no matter how good your shoes, is a major contributor to knee problems.
As for supplements, glucosamine and chondroitin have received a lot of attention due to their efficacy in improving the cartilage supporting the knee. People with meniscus and osteoarthritis problems should definitely give it a shot. A lot of research has been poured into these supplements, and the chitin shellfish by-product produced impressive results. Based on one study, even Navy Seals stand by them. So far, no other knee supplement gives this much relief in 3 months or more of consistent use. Just be aware that these aren’t miracle drugs. If the pain is telling you to stop running, then do so. Walking or running off the pain is a huge misconception.
Other than drugs and supplements, there are home remedies that can also be applied to the knee. This is not limited to hot and cold compress treatment, which actually works when applied correctly. Rather, this also involves using turmeric, goat’s milk or butter, and castor oil all mixed together for joint relief. More effective is the use of Rhus tox, Arnica, Berberis, and Dulcamara, all of which help with the swelling in the knee.