When joint pain flares up, it can truly derail your day. And unfortunately, when one joint acts up, it can often affect nearby joints as well. An aching hip can lead to achy knees and worse – so it’s important to understand how to relieve hip and knee pain.
How to relieve hip and knee pain may differ depending on the cause of your pain, but there are many remedies and treatments that are tried and tested across the board. In fact, there are a number of home remedies for knee pain and hip pain that can help you find relief without surgery.
Of course, some joint issues do require surgery, so it’s important to visit a health care professional for an official diagnosis and treatment plan. As long as surgery isn’t your only course of action, there are many ways to learn how to relieve hip and knee pain from home.
Today we will discuss effective ways to treat hip and knee pain without surgery, so you can find relief and get back on your feet. But first, let’s discuss some reasons you may be feeling pain in your joints in the first place.
Common causes for hip and knee pain
There are many causes for hip and knee pain, but the most common cause is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in your joints wears down and your bones begin to grind against each other.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to heal cartilage once it is damaged, so if your arthritis pain is severe, surgery may be recommended.
Why is cartilage slow to heal? Well, cartilage doesn’t contain a system of blood vessels like your muscles do, so there are very few pathways for delivering healing nutrients and new tissues. But that doesn’t mean cartilage is impossible to heal. We will discuss an effective home remedy for cartilage below.
Of course, osteoarthritis may not even be your issue. There are other conditions which can affect multiple joints, including rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, if you have structural damage (such as a torn ligament) in one of your joints, it can affect the health of your surrounding joints. Your body is an intricately connected machine, and when one piece stops functioning optimally, it can create a domino effect.
If you are limping or your pain is affecting your posture in any way, it can create more stress on surrounding joints, and cause pain in them as well. In that way, it is easy to see how hip and knee pain can be connected, since the joints are in such close proximity to each other.
If you have pain in your knee from bursitis or a Baker’s cyst, you might baby that knee and end up with more problems than you started with! So in order to prevent your issues from compounding, it’s important to understand how to relieve hip and knee pain.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to find relief for hip pain and knee pain.
How to relieve hip and knee pain without surgery
Not all joint issues require surgery. In fact, surgery is usually a last resort. As long as your doctor has given you the go-ahead to try non-surgical options, here are our top tips for how to relieve hip and knee pain:
One of the most effective home remedies for joint pain is the R.I.C.E. method. This stands for: Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate.
It is important to rest your aggravated joint(s) for a few days to give your body a chance to heal. During the first few days, you can also ice off and on to bring down inflammation and swelling.
You should ice for no longer than 20 minutes at a time, and always place a thin towel between the ice and your skin to prevent any damage to tissues from the cold.
Using a bandage or brace to compress your joint can also help with swelling. This is easier with your knee than it is with your hip. You can buy a simple knee brace to help stabilize your joint and reduce inflammation.
Lastly, during your few days of rest, you should try to keep your troublesome joint(s) above heart level whenever possible. This will help to drain any excess fluid and may help to speed up healing.
Going to physical therapy is one of the best ways to learn how to relieve hip and knee pain without surgery. A physical therapist will give you targeted exercises to strengthen and stabilize your joints and reduce your symptoms.
Physical therapists also have access to many machines, from radiotherapy machines to electric stimulation devices, that can help to reduce pain and inflammation in your joints.
Physical therapy has proven to be an effective knee and hip pain treatment, and even after you stop visiting your physical therapist, they can give you exercises to perform at home if your symptoms ever flare up.
If the pain in your knees and hips is coming from a structural imbalance, such as a tight IT band or hip flexor, stretching may help to relieve some of the strain and get your body back in proper balance and alignment.
It’s important to discuss stretches (and the proper form to do them in) with a doctor or physical therapist to ensure you don’t exacerbate your symptoms.
While rest is important for reducing inflammation and pain, it’s also important to get back on your feet as soon as possible. Staying immobile can cause your joints to stiffen up, and make it more difficult to recover in the long run.
Low impact exercises such as swimming, tai chi, or cycling can be great ways to learn how to relieve hip and knee pain. Speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine to ensure it is right for your case.
Massage is not only relaxing, it can be healing! Studies have shown that massage therapy can reduce pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. So, if you are looking for how to relieve hip and knee pain without surgery, massage may be one answer.
You want to ensure that you see a masseuse who has experience with massage therapy or sports massage, and has a clear understanding of anatomy and physical ailments.
While studies are still being performed on exactly how acupuncture works, there have been promising results with acupuncture when it comes to pain relief. So, if you’re looking for how to relieve hip and knee pain without surgery, acupuncture may be something you would like to try.
Acupuncturists insert tiny needles at specific points in your body to improve blood flow, calm or reset your nervous system, and improve healing. One study has found that acupuncture can create an anti-inflammatory response in your body, which can help reduce joint pain.
It is important to remember that while acupuncture may help with how to relieve hip and knee pain in the short term, it’s still important to find a proper diagnosis with your doctor to prevent symptoms from returning or worsening.
Another option for how to relieve hip and knee pain swiftly are NSAIDs (which stand for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Some examples of NSAIDs include Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Naproxen.
NSAIDs are usually not the answer for long-term pain relief, but they can help you manage symptoms while you form the proper treatment plan for your joints. A health care professional can help you determine the proper dosage, and how long you can take NSAIDs for.
Pain relief creams
Topical pain relief creams and ointments are also an option for how to relieve hip and knee pain. Many of these topical treatments use tingling or numbing ingredients to distract you from the pain in your joints, but they don’t do anything to actually treat the issue.
Methyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen), menthol, and capsaicin are some of the popular ingredients used in pain relief creams. Make sure to read the label carefully before use, and to stop using the creams if you have any sort of adverse reaction to them.
Supplements for joint pain
Supplements are one of the best options for how to relieve hip and knee pain. Popular supplements for hip pain and knee pain include:
- Fish oil
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
- Vitamin D
- Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)
- & collagen
Collagen may just be the best supplement for joint pain. That’s because your cartilage, tendons, and ligaments are made up largely of collagen.
As we get older, our natural collagen production decreases, which makes it harder for our bodies to repair damaged connective tissues. This is why we get more aches and pains as we grow old, and we take longer to recover after injuries.
If you take a regular collagen supplement, you will give your body all the building blocks it needs to keep your cartilage and other tissues healthy.
In fact, collagen is one of the few supplements that can actually help to restore your body’s cartilage, which is why it is so popular as a treatment for hip cartilage repair without surgery.
Can collagen cure knee pain and hip pain? No. You need to treat the underlying cause of your symptoms as well. But collagen can help to improve the health of your joints and reduce pain and inflammation while it does so.
So now you have a few ideas for how to relieve hip and knee pain, but which is the most effective?
The best way to find relief for hip pain and knee pain
The most effective way to find relief for joint pain is by combining the strategies listed above for how to relieve hip and knee pain. These non-surgical treatment options work best in conjunction with each other – not on their own.
Some of the options for how to relieve hip and knee pain without surgery work faster than others. For quick relief, you might want to use the R.I.C.E methods, NSAIDs, and pain ointments.
But for more long-term, lasting relief for hip pain and knee pain, it’s better to heal your body and its symptoms instead of masking the pain. Physical therapy and daily collagen supplements can go a long way to providing the relief your body needs.
To ensure your collagen supplement is effective, you want to look for a hydrolyzed or nano-hydrolyzed collagen supplement. This is the best collagen for joints because it has been broken down into easy-to-digest pieces that your body can utilize.
If you try to get collagen in its whole form through your diet, a lot of it won’t get digested before it passes through your system, so it will be difficult to ensure its effectiveness.
You should also make sure your collagen supplement doesn’t contain any sugars or harmful additives. Sometimes, this can be tricky to determine, especially because most supplements are not FDA regulated, and don’t need to back up their claims.
To make sure your hydrolyzed collagen supplement is safe and trusted, you can look for a medical-grade collagen that is FDA regulated, and trusted for use in medical facilities.
By using a combination of targeted exercises and stretches, short-term pain relief options, and regular collagen supplementation, you should be able to find relief for your joint pain once and for all.