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.
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.
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