Knee pain can have many different causes. Addressing the source of your knee pain with natural remedies is often easier than you might think and it may spare you from expensive and painful surgeries in the future.
Causes of Knee Pain
Arthritis causes degeneration in the knee joint. As the cushioning in the knee joint is reduced, friction increases and so does pain. Accompanying inflammation also causes pain.
The knee, as other joints, has sacks of fluid (called bursae) that can become inflamed. This increases pressure and pain in the knee.
Calcium deposits in the knee can form into spurs that cause pain, inflammation and pressure in the knee. Bone spurs are often caused by nutritional imbalance or deficiencies.
Certain types of work cause repeated stress on the knee joint. Carpet installers or those who stand on concrete all day can wear out their knee joints faster than the average employee. Running will also cause repeated stress to the knees.
If you are carrying excess weight your knees will have extra work, which over time can wear them out.
Some shoes will cause your legs to be improperly aligned, causing your muscles and joints to be in the wrong position. High heeled shoes are quite stressful to the knees. If you have flat feet or fallen arches you can also experience imbalances in your skeletal system, resulting in pain.
Resolving your knee pain may mean making modifications in your work, recreation, or foot wear. It may mean a weight loss program. Some simple dietary changes or supplements may also be the solution to your knee pain. Depending on the cause of your knee pain, you may need to make several adjustments. Reducing pain and avoiding surgery can be good motivators for making positive changes!
The ABC’s of Knee Pain Reduction
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, taken in water as a tonic can help to resolve knee pain from a variety of sources. Apple cider vinegar helps to alkalize the body and reduce inflammation, both of which can reduce pain. Apple cider vinegar can also be part of a healthy weight loss program as the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help reduce fat cells.1
Apple cider vinegar is also appropriate for topical use for knee pain. It can reduce pain and swelling especially when the knee pain is cause by an injury or sprain. Apply apple cider vinegar to a cloth and wrap the affected knee. Cover this cloth with plastic wrap and an ace bandage. Change the bandage after 6-8 hours, allowing time for the skin to breathe between your apple cider vinegar applications.
A diluted solution of borax can reduce arthritis. Taken over time it can dissolve bone spurs, as the boron in borax promotes proper calcium and magnesium balance. (Calcium-magnesium imbalance can cause bone spurs.)
Castor oil can be massaged into the knees for natural pain relief. For acute knee pain you can make a castor oil pack and apply it to your knee with a heating pain.
To make a castor oil wrap for your knee:
- Soak a cotton or wool cloth with castor oil (not to the point of dripping. You can also use an old white t shirt folded into layers.)
- Wrap your afflicted knee.
- Cover the castor oil cloth with plastic wrap and attach this to your knee with an ace bandage.
- You can use the wrap overnight.
- In the morning, save your castor oil cloth in a bag.
- You can reuse this nightly for several weeks.
- Add more castor oil if needed.
- It is recommended that you wear old pajamas and put a towel under your knee while you sleep in the event that the wrap should leak, as castor oil can be difficult to get out of clothes and bedding.
Additionally and less commonly known is that castor oil can be used as an internal remedy for knee pain, particularly when the knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis. A study that compared the use or oral castor oil (.9 mL capsules thrice daily for 4 weeks) with diclofenac sodium (a non-steroid anti-inflammatory) found each to bring measurable relief to osteoarthritis in the knee, but the castor oil did so without side effects.2
A cabbage wrap is another topical remedy for knee pain. It can relieve pain in the knee that is caused by injury, swelling or arthritis. To learn how to make a cabbage wrap, see this page.
Foods to Include in your Diet to Reduce Knee Pain
Oftentimes knee pain is simply caused by nutritional deficiencies. Lack of nutrients makes many body systems work poorly. To improve the overall health of your body, include plenty of foods in your diet that are high in nutrients. Additionally, reduce refined products and sugar.
Some foods with particular benefit to the joints are:
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Cayenne Pepper
- Tart Cherries or Tart Cherry Juice
- Foods high in Omega 3’s like sardines, tuna, salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds
- Quality oils like coconut oil and olive oil
Knee Pain Smoothie
Here is a recipe that includes a number of beneficial foods for your joints, including your knees.
- 1 cup milk (almond, rice, or dairy)
- ½ frozen banana
- 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 Tablespoon gelatin powder
- ½ – 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Blend all of these ingredients together in a blender. This makes a powerhouse of a breakfast or a tasty and nutritious meal substitute. Enjoy this drink once daily. If it suits you well, you may enjoy it twice a day! If you make a double batch in the morning and refrigerate half, it will thicken up enough to be a snack you can eat with a spoon later in the day.
Correct Skeletal Problems
If your knee pain is caused by flat feet or poor posture you will be surprised at how much better you feel if you correct these issues. A good resource for self correcting your skeletal problems is “Pain Free” by Peter Escoque.
Do you have a natural remedy for knee pain? We would love to hear about it! Please send us some feedback.
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