The Best Non-Surgical Alternatives For Chronic Knee Pain

Many People Use Walking Aids Like Canes to Manage Knee Pain Taking pressure off your knee can go a long way toward reducing knee pain. Walking… Aisha Abdullah - March 8, 2023

Many People Use Walking Aids Like Canes to Manage Knee Pain

Taking pressure off your knee can go a long way toward reducing knee pain. Walking aids are designed to help you do just that by allowing you to transfer your weight away from your knees. There are many different types of walking aids; it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. Canes are probably the most common mobility aid, for a good reason. They are affordable, can be purchased in most pharmacies, and don’t require a learning curve to use.

Canes come in many different styles and may have additional feet for added stability. A crutch may be helpful when you’re dealing with a flare-up of knee pain. The devices prevent you from putting too much weight on your knee but can be uncomfortable to use long-term. Walkers provide the most support and stability of any walking aid. You can even buy walkers with seats so you can rest if you’ve been on your feet too long.

Getty Images

Braces and Orthotics Take Pressure Off Your Knees

Supporting your knees with braces or orthotics (shoe inserts) can help reduce pain and stiffness. Braces wrap around the knee and keep your knee steady and aligned without putting too much pressure on the joint. Braces may be inexpensive compression sleeves that also help reduce swelling or a more expensive unloader brace that allow you to shift weight to the healthier side of your knee.

Orthotics are shoes or shoe inserts that help take pressure off of your joints. They can provide relief if you’re experiencing milder knee pain or want to avoid further damage. Just switching to shoes with better support can do wonders for your knees.


Supplements Help Support Healthy, Pain-free Joints

Your doctor may recommend that you take dietary supplements in addition to other treatments to help manage knee pain. The most common supplement for osteoarthritis is glucosamine and chondroitin, which are two components of cartilage. A large study found that glucosamine supplements slightly improved knee pain and mobility compared to placebo. Another study found that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin was effective at alleviating knee pain, inflammation, and stiffness, at least as effective as the prescription NSAID celecoxib.

The anti-inflammation supplement SAM-e has also been found to be as effective as over-the-counter NSAIDs at reducing pain from osteoarthritis. Although supplements typically have fewer supplements than other treatments, it’s important to speak to your doctor before starting any supplement plan.

Getty Images

Diet Changes Can Help Reduce Knee Inflammation

Your diet impacts every aspect of your health, including the health of your joints. Because knee pain is often caused by inflammation, eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help you manage your symptoms. The best foods for reducing inflammation are fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, and sardines, that are packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

Nuts and seeds are also good sources of fat. Fresh fruit and vegetables, especially leafy greens, lean protein, healthy oils, and whole grains are important parts of an anti-inflammatory diet. Foods to avoid processed junk foods like potato chips, foods high in added sugar and cholesterol, and red meat.

Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Knee Replacement Alternatives to Consider | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery – Are They Really Effective?

5 options for knee arthritis pain – Mayo Clinic Health System

Knee Replacement Alternative Relieves Pain, Retains Mobility.

6 alternatives to knee replacement surgery | TRIA blog

Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery

Non-surgical Treatment Options for Knee Pain | Phelps Health