Knee pain is a common ailment and can strike old and young people, alike. There are many causes of knee pain, which can range from a torn ligament or cartilage, an injury that has occurred recently or in the past, or various medical conditions like gout, arthritis and infections.
Knee pain can affect one's daily life and can be debilitating:
The pain can be accompanied by symptoms including instability and weakness, stiffness and swelling of the joints, popping noises and an inability to fully straighten the knee. Severe pain is often accompanied by symptoms like fever along with redness and substantial swelling of the knee, and inability to flex or bear any weight on the knee. A sufferer can sometimes even take a tumble due to the knee 'giving out' and refusing to function properly.
Factors that can increase one's risk of suffering from knee pain:
There are many risk factors of knee pain including age and gender. There are certain knee problems that affect youngsters, including patellar tendinitis and Osgood-Schlatter disease. Other knee ailments like gout, pseudogout and osteoarthritis affect older people. Dislocated kneecaps and ACL tears are more common in teenaged girls, while boys are more affected by patellar tendinitis and Osgood-Schlatter disease. There are also other risk factors that can increase one's chances of having knee problems, including lack of muscle strength, being overweight, suffering from structural abnormalities like misaligned knees and flat feet; and playing sports like basketball, sprinting and skiing.
Natural treatments for knee pain:
There are ways to greatly reduce knee pain and possibly even eliminate it. For people suffering from severe pain there are surgical options and medications that can be taken. However, for milder knee ailments there are several natural options for treatment, some remedies are available even at home. Some of these simple home remedies include routine exercise, weight loss and a balanced diet.
Low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, gentle weight training and aerobics can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the problematic knee and provide it with better support. A healthy diet and counting calories can reduce one's weight and help lessen the strain on the affected knee. Inflammation-reducing foods like garlic, onions, parsley, mustard, watercress, horseradish, celery, lemon and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (nuts and fish) should be included in one's daily diet.
Supplements rich in SAMe (s-adenosyl-L-methionine) and a natural vegetable extract called avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASUs) act as anti-inflammatory agents and could possibly slow progression of the ailment, if studies are to be believed. The pairing of chondroitin and glucosamine is believed to help repair damaged or torn cartilage.
Acupuncture, massage and spa therapy can also help in soothing the affected tendons and reducing the swelling while stimulating the flow of blood to the affected knee. However, arthritis-affected joints are ultra-sensitive and these therapies should only be performed by expert hands. Exercises like yoga and tai chi that focus on the body and mind can help in relaxing, stretching and strengthening the muscles while improving overall flexibility. Thermotherapy is a treatment that uses either cold or heat to relieve the pain caused by osteoarthritis. Heat improves circulation in the joint and helps in relaxing tensed muscles. Cold therapy can help in numbing the pain and reducing the inflammation by constricting the blood vessels in the affected area.
Medical treatments for knee pain:
Over-the-counter and prescription medications are known to reduce inflammation. There are also other procedures that are safe and have minimal or even nil side effects. These include the use of braces, electrical stimulation, corticosteroid injections into the knee joint, hyaluronic acid injections and botox injections into the knee joint.
Knee pain can be a source of frustration and great discomfort to the sufferer. But with a little patience and motivation, one can overcome the pain and potentially get rid of the ailment for good.

Author's Bio: 

John Wycliffe has been using different methods to treat an old sports injury to his knee. He enjoys sharing his experiences through blogging. For more information about knee pain, visit the link.