Knee pain and back disorders - causes and treatments

One of the perks of having a transferable job is that you get to live in diverse places, meet an array of people, learn about different customs and culture and grow as a person. In this whole process, you do meet some genuine people who make an impression on you which stay for life. One such person was Anil and I was glad to be back in the same town and society as him.

It has been a while since we had interacted and I was pleasantly surprised to see his transformation from being constantly riddled with pain and popping pain medication to someone who was always happy, had an easy smile and leads a healthy lifestyle.

I hadn’t had time to properly catch up with him yet. Today morning I bumped into him while jogging and since it was a Sunday, we both had some leisure time:-

Sameer: Anil, I am very happy to see that you are no longer on pain medication for the knee. What did you do man?

Anil: I finally got the right guidance about a year back. I was tired of going from doctor to doctor and taking pain medication. The meds worked while I was on them and when I would get off them, the pain would return.

Sameer: I see people of all ages afflicted with knee pain nowadays. I myself have started feeling it from time to time.

Anil: Having sore knees is common and isn’t necessarily a sign of anything serious. Knee pain can be a result of an injury like a simple muscle strain, ruptured ligament, tendonitis, torn cartilage etc. Certain medical conditions like Infections, gouts, arthritis also are a cause of knee pain. And sometimes a cause may not be found at all.

People who are overweight may struggle with knee pain more than others as their knee joints are put under a lot of pressure.

Modern conventional medicine focuses more on pain management and reduction of inflammation rather than a holistic approach.

Sameer: So I take it that you found alternative therapies to alleviate the pain.

Anil: Yes indeed I did. Knee pain can actually be managed with strengthening exercise, home remedies and ayurvedic pain relief oils and herb potlis.

Sameer: Do let me in on the remedies as it’s time that I took care of my knee pain and its health.

Anil: It is good that you are thinking proactively.

 

Price (Protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation)

Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation can take care of most of the light tissue injuries such as sprain which results in knee pains. Do not overdo rest as it can lead to stiffness. Do not apply ice on naked skin  for more than 20 min at a time.

Protection means to protect from further knee injuries by avoiding activities that caused it in the first place.

 

Hot and cold

  • Hot and cold packs can be effective in treating Joint Pain that result from Arthritis.
  • Hot pack relaxes muscles, leading to a reduction in stiffness.
  • Ice pack can reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
  • One can try using heat to improve mobility in the morning and cold to reduce swelling later in the day.

Hot and cold therapy

 

Weight loss and diet

A healthy well balanced diet will help you keep the weight off. It has to be high in fruits, vegetables and fibers and low in meat and all kinds of fats.

The joints have to do extra work if the body is overweight and the knees wear down much faster.

 

Physical activity

Cartilage tissue health is boosted by physical activity. Walking, cycling, swimming, yoga are all beneficial. In a nutshell, maintain an active lifestyle.

Physical activity good for health

 

Strengthening exercises

You can work with a physiotherapist to figure out what are the best exercises as per your need as they can help to identify the muscle group which needs strengthening.

 

Posture and support

Correct posture and support can help to minimize the strain on the knee. For example just simply ensuring that your bed, chairs and sofas are at the right height can help to reduce the strain from sitting or getting up from low seatings.

 

Massage

Thigh muscle massage has a beneficial effect on the knee. You can easily learn the correct way to Massage from the physio therapist and do it at home.

Thigh muscle massage

 

Pain relief oils

Extracts of certain herbs and spices like cinnamon and cloves are known to help the body fight the pain naturally. Regular use of warm ayurvedic oils for gentle massage can help to strengthen the skeletal structure of the body. The warm oil stimulates blood circulation and opens up glands for absorbing the oil brimming with nourishing and healing herbs.

 

Hot herb potli massage therapy

This therapy is known to be useful since ages for various types of joint and body pain. Hot potli massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the area of application, helping the body muscles to relax naturally. Most people above 30 years of age start to experience some form or the other. One should opt for this natural method to alleviate pain and strengthen the body.

Hot herb potli

 

Sameer: So what worked for you?

Anil: It was not one individual thing which worked for me. I took a multistep approach. Step 1 was to stop ingesting pain killers and start the use of pain relief oil and hot potli massage. Step 2 was to meet with my physiotherapist and figure out the exercises that I needed to strengthen the muscles. Step 3 was to include regular exercise into my routine.

I can’t say that the journey had been easy as initially the exercises felt difficult. But with perseverance, I have been able to sustain.

(Just then Sameer’s wife Meeta crossed us in a slow jog)

Sameer: I see that you have got Meeta also to turn to exercising.

Anil: Haha! You know how Meeta is. I could never convince her for exercise. However a few months back, she had started getting severe back aches. All investigations were done and thankfully it was not anything severe as a ruptured disk or osteoarthritis. The doc then eliminated injury due to lifting heavy weights. Well in her case, it turned out that it was her weight which was causing the trouble. It was putting pressure on her spine and also affecting her posture.

So she started her journey of healing by using pain relief oils and hot potli massage and then on to weight loss by exercising and watching what she ate.

Sameer: It’s been good catching up with you.

Anil: Just remember that if your pain or inflammation does not subside even after a few weeks, do seek out the doc. However most of the issues should be taken care of by the home remedies.

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