Knee pain can be attributed to a variety of factors, many of which may be relieved with some basic home treatment and care. The different options have specific uses in the relief of irritation and pain. Knowing and understanding the availability and effects of each, will allow you to make the best choice for your problem.
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Your knee is a joint that is susceptible to injury and pain. It is involved in walking, running, squatting, climbing stairs and other basic activities. Impact or twisting during any of these, or other activities such as jumping, can produce an injury to the ligaments, cartilage, tendons or muscles surrounding your knee. The constant wear and tear can lead to overuse injuries. Home exercise and treatment can decrease inflammation and swelling, and increase flexibility and strength to find relief.
Basic home treatments include cold therapy, heat therapy, and exercise including stretches and strengthening. Cold therapy can include cold packs applied for 15 to 20 minutes, ice massage and ice slush, which are 10-minute treatments. Heat therapy may be dry or moist. Heat is normally applied for 15 to 20 minutes and can be in the form of a heating pad, hot water bottle or warm water. A whirlpool or hot tub adds a massaging effect to the treatment. Stretches and strengthening that can benefit your knee include stretching your thigh, buttocks and calf.
Gaining relief from pain at home can increase your ability to maintain your normal daily activities. Pain can have an adverse effect on every aspect of your life, including sleep. Whether your pain is short or long term, home treatment can benefit your health and well-being.
When choosing your method of treatment relief, you must be aware of what your goal is. Cold therapy slows blood flow and is used to treat inflammation and swelling. It can be used before and after activity. Cold treatment should always be your treatment of choice in the first 48 to 72 hours after an acute injury. Heat therapy increases blood flow, warming the tissue and allowing for improved healing. Heat is often a good choice for before activity, or in the case of chronic conditions, such as arthritis. Stretching can alleviate pain before, during and after exercise. Supportive and proper footwear for your activity is also crucial. A variety of knee braces are available to alleviate your knee symptoms, and to suit your individual needs.
Home pain relief should not replace medical care. Obtaining the correct diagnosis will allow you to pinpoint the source of pain, which allows for more effective results. If your knee joint pain increases during exercise, decrease the intensity or discontinue the exercise.
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