Knee pain is a frequent problem affecting people of all ages. Most people will experience some form of knee pain throughout their lives, and there are many different causes, from sports injuries to medical conditions like arthritis. Pain can be felt in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage, and can range from mild to severe. If left untreated, the pain can worsen and become debilitating, affecting the quality of life. Additional symptoms can include stiffness, swelling, redness of the area, and difficulty walking or putting pressure on it.
If you’re suffering from pain that doesn’t respond to any form of treatment, it’s important to visit your doctor for a professional opinion. For those suffering from mild to moderate knee pain, there are many different things you can do to relieve it.
1. Cold Compress
Treating injuries with hot or cold therapy has been a popular choice of pain relief for years. It’s quick, effective and easily affordable, but there’s often confusion about whether to use heat or ice. Generally speaking, ice (or cold therapy) is used for an acute injury – one that’s happened in the past 48 hours, while heat is better for sore muscles or stiffness, which are typical symptoms of chronic injuries – an injury that has occurred through overuse of the body part, or an acute injury that hasn’t healed correctly.
Cold therapy is also known as cryotherapy, and it works by restricting blood flow to a particular area and temporarily reducing nerve activity, which can lessen pain. Cold therapy can be administered in a few different ways, like in the form of a frozen gel pack, coolant spray, ice massage or ice bath.
If you suffer from knee pain, applying something cold to the affected area will numb the pain, reduce inflammation and stop any bleeding. Ice packs or cold compresses can calm down the damaged tissue and constrict the blood vessels, which prevents swelling. To use a cold compress for knee pain, simply put some ice cubes into a plastic bag and wrap in a thin towel, then apply to the area. This can be done several times a day.
When using ice packs or a cold compress to treat pain, avoid applying it to the skin for longer than 20 minutes at a time. Though you may think the relief will last longer if the ice is on for longer, this is incorrect, and you can actually begin damaging the nerves.