Natural Ayurvedic Home Remedies For Knee Pain
Most people at some point in time, suffer from moderate to severe pain in the knees. A debilitating condition, this afflicts millions of people across the globe. Given the modern active lifestyle, its little wonder that the knees undergo a lot of wear and tear. Contrary to popular belief that only the elderly people suffer from knee pain owing to arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, most youngsters and children also suffer from this condition due to a number of other reasons.
Anatomy of the Knee
The primary function of the knee, which happens to be the strongest joint in the body, is to perform various activities. Two discs known as menisci separate the upper and lower bones of the knee. The ligaments, tendons and muscle intersect the upper leg bone known as the femur and the lower called the tibia and the fibula. Moreover, the articular cartilage, which plays the chief role of a shock absorber sheaths the bone’s surface within the knee joint, thus enabling flexibility of joints and mobility helping to perform day to day activities like standing, sitting, walking and running.
Causes Of Knee Pain
Knee pain occurs due to several factors. However, the most common cause being injury. All the same, there are also other possibilities that often lead to this painful condition that depends solely upon the afflicted persons nature of job, type of physical activities, age or as a result of other medical conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis. Here are a few of the causes.
Knee injuries often occur with most people being oblivious of the fact that they have been hurt. Often this leads to prolonged periods of nagging pain.
Ligaments are tough band of tissue that connect the bones to each other. Any kind of injury or tear in the ligaments cause pain resulting in an inability to support body weight along with a popping sound during movement of the legs.
Bursae sacs are fluid filled that helps protect the knees. Inflammatory conditions occurring in the bursa sac which exists in the knee produce pain.
There are many instances of bone degeneration/ cartilage or injury that cause broken chips of bone/cartilage to float within the knee space. These normally do not create any problems, until the floating chips hinder the movement and flexibility of the knee joints.
Knee dislocation takes place when the patella or the triangular bone that covers the front knee slips out of place on the outside of the knees. In some cases the knee remains displaced and becomes clearly visible.
Osteoarthritis occurs due to advancing years as when the cartilage deteriorates due to overuse.
An autoimmune condition, rheumatoid arthritis affects all major joints in the body.
Gout is a condition where there is an excessive build up of uric acid in the knees.
Function Of The Knees
Therefore, with the support of ligaments, bones, cartilage and tendons, the knee joints enable bodily movements for performing day to day activities by straightening, bending, twisting and rotating. In doing so, these undergo a lot of pressure and strain, owing to the fact that they bear the entire body weight these put them at a risk of developing knee related problems.
Different Types Of Knee Pain
Knee pain are of two types that may be classified as acute or chronic.
Acute knee pain exists for a very short while. This generally happens owing to sudden injury or fall.
Chronic knee pain is recurrent and in most cases suggestive of an underlying medical problem. Obesity or excessive body weight may also be another cause for chronic pain which lasts for prolonged periods. These recurrent bouts nevertheless becomes evident gradually over a period of time.
Symptoms Of Knee Pain
The symptoms of knee pain vary depending upon the gravity of the condition, location and type of pain. Nevertheless, there are a few common symptoms irrelevant of the type of pain. They are as follows…
- Swelling and stiffness of the knee
- Inability to straighten the knees
- Popping sounds
- Instability and weakness of the leg
- Redness and warmth on the knees
Location Of Pain
Generally related to problems concerning the knee cap.
Probable causes of fluid collection on the knee, known as bakers cyst
Pain on the Inside (Medial side) or outside (lateral) knee may be due to arthritis or a tear in the lateral meniscus which cushions the inner and outer side of the knee.
Doshas in Ayurveda
According to the Ayurvedic principles, a balance of the three humors or doshas as they are called is crucial for enjoying optimum health. They are the Vata(air) Pitta(fire) and Kapha (Phlegm) that exist within the human body. Any imbalances, by way of increase or decrease, in these doshas, results in the risk of developing ailments.
Knee Pain- An Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurveda refers to the knee joint pain as sandhi vata. In Sanskrit sandhi means joints and excessive vata in the body, which dries up the kapha, the lubricating synovial fluid in the joints is Sandhi vata. These imbalances mainly arise due to accumulation of toxins caused by undigested juice known as ama rasa. This interferes with the three doshas and cause imbalances resulting in knee and joint pain in general.
Natural Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Knee Pain
One of the most effective treatments for knee pain is garlic with high anti inflammatory properties. Therefore, taxing six raw garlic cloves everyday first thing in the morning provides relief. Read more health benefits of garlic.
Another excellent remedy for knee pain is ginger. The anti-inflammatory substance is scientifically proven to ease pain related to osteoarthritis. Hence, ayurveda recommends regular consumption of ginger tea preferably at bedtime for imbibing its goodness. Another option is to prepare a ginger honey concoction by boiling few pieces of ginger. Consume with a dash of honey. Apart from this, using ginger in dishes or taking ginger candies also prove effective.
According to studies, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances that exist in turmeric alleviate inflammatory conditions like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and bursitis. The main reason behind this effect is owing to the presence of an active ingredient, cur cumin that acts as a natural killer. This ingredient eliminates the harmful toxins from the body, a precursor for knee pain. Therefore, taking a cup of warm milk combined with turmeric really helps. This helps reduce pain, inflammation with improved mobility.
Applying a paste made from a handful of roasted and crushed fenugreek seeds mixed with required amount of water works and leave it overnight. Another method is to chew the fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in water after draining them first thing in the morning.
Similar to fenugreek seeds taking carom seeds soaked overnight proves beneficial. Or taking carom seeds powder twice daily, both in the morning in the morning and night before food alleviates pain.
Indian gooseberry is yet another ingredient used in most alternative methods of treatment. Taking a fresh fruit first thing in the morning is said to be an amazing antidote for pain relief besides offering innumerable benefits for health. However, Ayurveda recommends that gooseberry powder ought to be consumed at night for pain relief and swelling. [Amla nutrition facts and health benefits]
Lemon and honey mixture is a time-tested remedy for curing a multitude of ailments. Drinking a glass of hot water combined with a teaspoon of honey and two tablespoons lime juice cures most type of pain in the joints including knee pain.
Cinnamon and honey combination, abundant with potent anti-inflammatory properties, ease knee pain. Combine half a teaspoon of cinnamon with two tablespoons of honey to form a paste. Use this for topical application on the knee without exerting too much pressure. Rinse after half an hour.
The banyan sap, that’s similar to latex rubber is a wonderful cure for joint pain relief. Topical applications and regular knee massage using this sap provides long term relief.
Rich in magnesium and being a natural anti inflammatory agent, daily consumption of Dandelion leaf tea helps restore damaged joints and makes them strong. To prepare this healthy drink, boiling water with a handful of dandelion leaves and consuming the tea with sugar and a dash of honey will do the trick.
Ashwagandha or winter as commonly known in the west is a powerful herb for treating various health concerns. A natural analgesic, this herb is effective for curing all kinds of pain including arthritic pain and other types of knee pain caused by various other factors. Consisting of naturally healthy constituents, combined with anti-inflammatory compounds, ashwagandha reduces inflammation and protects the cartilage from damage. For positive benefits take a glass of milk combined with a teaspoon of ashwagandha root powder every day until the pain subsides. Another method is to boil the leaves with some rock salt. Using this for fomentation also helps.
Alfalfa is one of the most recommended herbs in the alternative system of medicine for curing arthritis and other knee and joint related problems. This is because of the amino acid content that helps eliminate inflammation. Hence, taking alfalfa tea by steeping the leaves in boiling hot water regularly helps. Read here the benefits of alfalfa tea.
Natural Oils for Knee Pain
Massaging the knee with lukewarm coconut oil helps ease pain.
Rubbing lukewarm mustard oil heated with a garlic pod or carom seeds also helps.
Adding a few drops of Chamomile essential oil combined with almond or sesame oil to the bath and soaking the knee for a few minutes also reduces pain, inflammation and swelling.
Nevertheless, a gentle fingertip massage just above the painful spot for less than five minutes (only) offers a perfect solution.
Other Common Remedies for Knee Pain
Soaking the knees in a steamy bathtub or using a hot water bag to absorb the heat helps relieve pain.
Apply a few ice cubes wrapped in a towel, for about fifteen minutes. Apply them covering the entire knee to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Ensure that the application is only for the stipulated time to protect from nerve and skin damages.
Keeping the legs elevated by propping up a few cushions helps relieve swelling.
It is highly recommended to rest the knees and provide the required time for healing. Putting pressure on the legs can aggravate pain.
Include the following:
- Ayurveda recommends everything with a bitter taste. Hence, including bitter gourd, ginger, garlic, onions and drumsticks as part of a diet plan works really well.
- Increased intake of omega3 fatty acids in the form of salmon, mackerel, cold water fish prevent inflammatory conditions and inhibit the proteins that damage the knee cartilage.
- Consumption of Ground flaxseeds and walnuts too is helpful.
- According to Ayurvedic treatment options for knee pain, a high carbohydrate diet too helps ease the pain.
- A vegetarian diet is recommended
- Drinking plenty of water helps lubricate the joints and keeps waste away making them less prone to painful conditions.
Avoid the following…
- Sour foods must be avoided as these can increase the vata which in turn produces pain.
- Staying away from hard to digest foods such as pulses and protein-rich food prevents pain.
- Fried foods also have a tendency to aggravate the vata in the body resulting painful inflammatory conditions.
- Steering clear of milk, milk products and animal foods proves effective.
- Avoiding sugar and sweets too really helps.
- Ayurveda also recommends eliminating certain foods like citrus fruits, corn, soy and wheat from the diet for a few months and suggests observing any changes in pain, swelling and inflammatory conditions.
Last but not the least meditation, yoga and few other exercises can restore the strength of the legs improving mobility and overall active lifestyle.