Living beyond knee pain

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

Knee joint pains are common in all groups, but it is more frequently found among the elderly. Damage to the knee joint and the cartilage is usually irreversible. The knee can be protected from further damage by certain lifestyle changes, which also help in reducing the pain to a great extent.

  1. Exercises:
    Joints are like screws. If you don’t use them, they will rust. Hence, it is very important to keep your joints in motion. Various stretching exercises improve the joint mobility in addition to building strength and resistance in the surrounding muscles, ligaments and cartilages.
  2. Weight Loss:
    Your knees bear the maximum brunt of your weight. For example, when you descend stairs, your knees sustain an impact of three to five times your body weight.
    Hence, it is very important to lose weight. The greater the loss, the greater the benefits will be.
  3. Physical Therapy:
    Getting your knees worked upon by a trained physiotherapist is extremely important. These further aid the positive effects of exercising.
  4. Heat/Cold Application:
    Warm application improves the surface temperature that aids in improved blood flow to the part and flushing out of the pain causing toxins. Alternatively, ice packs also help in relieving the pain.
  5. Mechanical Aids:
    Several mechanical aids like splinters, braces, orthopaedic shoes are available that help in handling the pain better.

Alternative Medicine:
Along with medicines and exercises, alternative forms of healing like acupressure, massage therapy and Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation help in short term pain relief.

“Our bodies are like an old car. You have to do the maintenance to keep them running."

- Stella Ross, on living with osteoarthritis of the knee.