Knee pain is quite common among seniors of age 60 and above. However, it has no specific age category to have knee pain. Knee pain can be caused due to many reasons and at any age. Sore knees are common and may not be an acute problem. There could be many possible reasons for having painful knees, like ageing, nutritional deficiency, muscle strain or tendonitis, being overweight, sports injury or maybe arthritis. Moderate knee pain can often be treated at home.
How is your knee structured?
Did you know the knee is the largest joint in your body! Knee is made up of four important things: bones, ligaments, cartilage and tendons.
Bones: Three bones i.e. thigh bone or the femur, shinbone or tibia, kneecap or the patella makes up your knee.
Ligaments: Ligaments join bones to other bones like strong ropes to hold your bones together and keep your knee in place. There are four main ligaments in your knee for different functions.
Cartilage: cartilage has several roles, including improving bone resilience, ability to withstand compressive stress and give support in bony places where flexibility is required. The primary cell of cartilage is called chondrocyte.
Tendons : These are the fibrous connective tissue that connect muscles to bones.
Sprains, strains and tears are different types of knee injury. These can be caused by minor accidents, sports injuries, or sometimes due to sudden movements.
In tendonitis you have painful knees. In this condition a tendon swells up and becomes painful. Generally happens by injuries.
It is a common cause of knee pain in growing adolescents.
OsgoodSchlatter disease is caused by irritation of the bone growth plate.
Bones do not grow in the middle, but at the ends near the joint, in an area called the growth plate. While a child is still growing, these areas of growth are made of cartilage instead of bone.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome
This is a common knee problem that particularly affects children and young adults. In this condition the patient usually has pain behind or around the kneecap. Pain is felt while climbing, running, squatting, cycling, or sitting with folded legs. Exercise therapy or physiotherapy is often prescribed for this condition.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It can affect anyone of any age, although it is most common in people over the age of 50. If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you may have pain and stiffness at times. It could affect one or both knees.
Calcium and vitamin D are crucial nutrients for bone and joint health. There is evidence that a deficiency of these vitamins can lead to bone weakening, joint pain and swelling. Note that vitamin D is required for bone building and its overall health, therefore a deficiency of it can negatively affect your bones. Generally calcium and vitamin D are taken together because vitamin D helps in calcium absorption too.
Pain management and self management
Mild to moderate knee pain due to a sprain or arthritis can often be treated at home. Home remedies can help you by managing symptoms like swelling if any, and you feel better with reducing pain. Know easy and comfortable ways to manage knee pain by yourself at home. However, if the pain is severe, or if the symptoms persist or worsen, you should seek medical assistance for a thorough examination.
For a strain or sprain of your knee, you can try “RICE”:
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
Get off your feet and apply a cold compress or bag of ice to the knee. Well wrap your knee with a compression bandage to avoid swelling. While resting, keep your foot elevated.
Exercise and yoga
Daily exercise or yoga postures can help you keep your muscles strong and maintain mobility. It’s an essential tool for treating OA (Osteoarthritis) and other causes of knee pain.
You can also try low-impact activities, such as:
Water exercise or yoga
However, you may need to rest from exercise if you have an injury, severe pain or a flare-up.
Overweight can put additional pressure on your knees. There is a link between obesity and inflammation too. For example, people with a high body mass index (BMI) have a greater chance of developing osteoarthritis than those with a low BMI.
Weight management is going to help you get rid of many lifestyle diseases like cholesterol, diabetes, heart problems, fatty liver and also protect your joints and knees.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain gel
These are also called topical painkillers. You can buy such pain relief gel or balm over the counter, at pharmacies. It is unclear whether rub-on anti-inflammatory painkillers work better than tablets. Zeno pain gel is one of them with the power of sesame oil and linseed oil.
Heat and cold therapy
Heating pads can help relieve pain whilst resting your knee. Cold treatment can help reduce inflammation. In naturopathy treatment mustard plaster is used to treat knee pain which is an alternative treatment. You can also try this at home.
The pain-relieving effects of these ingredient can help relieve pain;
Ginger as in tea, or as a concoction can help reduce inflammation. One of the studies found that ginger helped reduce arthritis pain when people used it alongside a prescription treatment for arthritis in naturopathy.
Wear comfortable shoes and arch supports if you have flat feet. In the market you will find many foot-friendly shoes and slippers for all age groups and some specially designed for ortho-related concerns.
Knee pain can have an impact on your mood, especially if it lasts a long period, and feeling down might aggravate your discomfort.