Joint swelling can cause extraordinary pain, especially when the affected joint is the knee. Frequently a knee surgeon or orthopaedic doctor will recommend medication to alleviate swelling, but very often relief can be found through natural methods.
Using ice will calm irritated knee tissue and reduce swelling. This treatment also provides additional pain relief as it numbs the area. When using ice, do not place it directly on the skin or use it for extended periods of time. Using a towel or cloth between the ice and your skin and applying it for short durations will keep the ice from damaging delicate skin tissue.
You may find a light wrap around the knee to be a useful way to keep swelling down. While drugstores carry a specialized type of support designed for knees, a typical elastic bandage works adequately. Wrap the knee lightly, being careful not to restrict blood flow. Wrapping can also provide reinforcement to a weakened knee.
A knee surgeon will likely prescribe plenty of rest for someone suffering knee swelling or pain. Use caution during activities and try not to overuse the joint. Allowing the knee to be temporarily stationary can give tissues time to calm and heal. Elevating the knee above your heart level while resting will provide further relief from swelling.
While it might be counter-intuitive to think that exercise will help reduce knee swelling, gentle activity and low impact exercise will keep the joint fluid and blood circulating properly. Water aerobics, swimming, yoga, and moderate stretching are exercises that are excellent for diminishing knee swelling. Avoid activities such as running, jogging, or hiking that would place added force on a troubled joint.
Supplements and Nutrition
Many dietary and herbal supplements have been shown to aid swollen joints. A few types widely available are Glucosamine, MSM, and Chondroitin, sometimes found combined in a joint-health formula. Dietary changes can also minimize swelling, particularly if you avoid sodium and increase your intake of foods high in vitamin C. This vitamin helps the body restore collagen, which in turn can help cartilage and joints. As always, check with your doctor or knee surgeon before taking any supplements or making dietary changes.
There are many methods to reduce knee swelling without ingesting questionable chemicals. Talk to your knee surgeon or orthopaedic doctor to determine the best way to handle a swollen knee.