Knee Pain – The Enemy Within

Are you experiencing knee pain? Join the club. Pain in the knee has many causes. If not treated, pain can lead to more symptoms, like knee swelling and stiffness. Non-prescription or prescription painkillers are conventional treatments.

Safer relief is often obtainable from the use of natural supplements.

The knees are hinge joints with a wide range of motion. They form the body’s primary weight-bearing platform. They are among the joints most commonly affected by pain that demands relief attention.

Pain is the body's warning system. It should not be ignored.

Knee arthritis is one of the most prevalent causes of knee pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common of over 100 different types of arthritis.

Knee pain causes

The main causes of knee pain include:

  1. Recent or previous injuries--a new trauma to the knee is obvious, but an old trauma increases the risk of osteoarthritis forming there.

  2. Repetitive overuse--the great American pastime, running/jogging is the biggest contributor to knee pain. Jumping and participation in certain sports are also factors. Occupations requiring heavy lifting or climbing poles, stairs or ladders leads to repeated joint stress over long periods of time.

  3. Weight--overweight and obese people have a higher incidence of developing pain of the knees due to increased loads their weight places on knee joints.

  4. Heredity--some people inherit a defective gene responsible for cartilage production, which can increase their susceptibility to pain and to developing osteoarthritis of the knee.

  5. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis--usually, osteoarthritis of the knee comes on slowly. In fact, only one-third of people whose x-rays shows evidence of osteoarthritis report pain or other symptoms. Often pain symptoms aren’t noticed as much until age 45 and older. However, rheumatoid arthritis. a systemic autoimmune disease, is often characterized by advanced pain symptoms.

Knee arthritis pain symptoms

While pain in most knee arthritis develops gradually, sudden onset is also possible. More pain may become an issue as the

disease progresses. If arthritis symptoms are not treated, osteoarthritis of the knee can lead to disability.

The knee pain signs of arthritis include:

  1. Steady or intermittent pain in a joint, especially upon movement
  2. Aching combined with stiffness of the knee after getting up in the morning, or after driving or sitting for a long time
  3. Pain associated with getting in and out of the bathtub
  4. Pain and difficulty when going up and down stairs
  5. Tenderness accompanied by a swollen knee, making it both painful and difficult to bend or straighten the knee
  6. Knee locking, buckling, or catching, usually causing stabbing, temporary pain. A painful crunching feeling, or the sound of bone rubbing on bone
  7. Pain and weakened thigh muscles
  8. An increase in degree of pain caused by changes in the weather
  9. Redness and a feeling of hot or tenderness. This is probably not osteoarthritis. Check with your doctor about other causes, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

2018 study: 15% of Americans exceed maximum daily dose of NSAIDS

Americans are in pain. They love to pop an Advil, Aleve or Celebrex for relief. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, often referred to as NSAIDS, are assumed to be well tolerated and are widely used as an initial therapy for common knee pain and other inflammation.  But these pain drugs are designed for short term safety for one or two weeks, not for prolonged daily use.

These types of drugs range from over the counter aspirin and ibuprofen to a whole host of prescription brands for pain relief. These pharmaceutical agents constitute one of the most widely used class of drugs, with more than 70 million prescriptions and more than 30 billion over-the counter tablets sold annually in the United States alone.

Now, for the first time, researchers have found that 15 percent of adult ibuprofen users exceed the maximum recommended dose of ibuprofen or other NSAIDs in a one-week period.

These drugs can have serious side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding, stomach pain, ulcers, other potentially deadly GI problems, and sometimes heart attacks. They are often taken without medical oversight because many are available over-the-counter.

Mild knee pain is typically treated first by using one or more of these familiar over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, including acetaminophen (Tylenol). If the pain is not successfully managed by non-prescription drugs, most doctors will prescribe a prescription painkiller for moderate to severe pain, such as celecoxib (Celebrex) or a generic combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone.

2016 study: 62.5 percent of arthritis patients use dietary supplements

Knee pain is often associated with arthritis. Research shows increasing numbers of Americans in record numbers are successfully using natural arthritis pain remedies for their daily lifestyle and overall health. These patients often choose self-managed natural pain relief supplements when side effects from conventional drug therapies are of concern or have not provided acceptable results.

One 2016 study, using a nationally-represented sample of 4,606 participants from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), showed that 62.5 percent of adults with arthritis reported taking at least one dietary supplement within the past 30 days. This compared to 49.0 percent of adults without arthritis who used supplements.

Among 721 arthritis participants that included knee arthritis were taking at least one supplement, 15.1 percent indicated at least one of their supplements was 'for healthy joints, arthritis', compared to only 7.7 percent of participants without arthritis. Glucosamine and/or chondroitin were the most common types of supplements used to improve joint health and reduce knee pain in arthritis.

Study conclusions: Given that more than three out of five individuals with arthritis regularly use dietary supplements, health practitioners should be prepared to discuss potential benefits and risks of supplementation for the management of pain and function in arthritis. The research, Dietary Supplementation is More Prevalent Among Adults With Arthritis in the United States, was authored by Patrick Wilson and published December 2016 in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Natural dietary supplements control pain with minimal side effects

Natural supplements used in treatment of knee pain have the same objectives doctors have with drugs—controlling the pain, maintaining patients’ functional independence and improving their quality of life.

The advantage of a natural, plant-based formulation is the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients at the cellular level, which is not possible with drugs. Drugs, in most cases, simply mask the pain, but aren’t friendly to the body, especially the stomach, kidneys and liver.

In today’s market, there’s an increased consumer focus on alternative health answers to the seemingly endless side effects caused by traditional drug treatment for pain relief of many diseases. At the beginning of 2018, industry sources reported that the growth of the top performing products in the estimated $36 billion U.S. dietary supplement industry was rising at double digit rates.

Other treatment options for knee pain relief

In addition to drug and natural treatments referenced above, here are other options that may alleviate knee pain:

  1. Lifestyle modifications--losing weight for many people can reduce stress on weight-bearing joints, particularly the knees, for pain reduction.

  2. Exercise--exercises can reduce pain and increase range of motion and flexibility of the knee joints. Swimming or cycling exercises are preferred over running or jogging. Walking is an excellent low-impact exercise that helps tone the muscles of the leg, especially the quads, and can translate into reduced pain.

  3. Physical therapy--licensed physical therapists can help reduce pain through a systematic treatment program of physical therapy and manipulation.

  4. Supportive devices--walking aids, such as a cane, can reduce pain and disability, as can wedged shoe soles or inserts, knee braces and sleeves.

  5. Other methods--these include applications of heat or ice, liniments, or elastic bandages.

  6. Alternative therapies--includes the use of acupuncture and magnetic pulse therapy for knee pain relief. Many such forms of therapy are unproven by clinical trials, but some patients prefer to try anything other than continuous drug treatment.

How to find the best dietary supplement company

Years ago, once convinced my body cannot tolerate drug side effect, I began an earnest search to find the best dietary supplement manufacturer. I first prepared a list of 30 questions to measure the standards of excellence in different supplement manufacturers.

The answers led me to the #1 natural nutrition company in America, founded in 1956--a leader in the dietary supplement industry. The science behind each of their products is second to none.

They've invested more than $250 million in clinical testing, research and development on their own products and have over 100 published studies in peer-reviewed scientific journals--more than any other nutritional company! They voluntarily operate as if regulated the same as a pharmaceutical company, which I think is a testament to their integrity. They truly are a company with a conscience!

In 2003, they introduced a naturally safe pain relief program consisting of three natural products (two oral supplements for pain and one topical pain relief cream). We haven't found anything of better quality anywhere for knee pain relief.

Knee pain relief achieved totally naturally

My husband has had knee pain and osteoarthritis for many years from injuries occurring as early as age 25. In 1999 he had arthroscopic meniscus cartilage surgery on his left knee. Just prior to his surgery and for four years thereafter, I have seen his knees so swollen and stiff that he could barely get in and out of the car. He had problems getting up and down stairs and extreme stiffness after prolonged sitting.

His regimen for many years for control of knee swelling, stiffness, aching and sharp pain was Advil and sometimes acetaminophen (Tylenol).

At the time of his surgery, his doctor talked about the possibility of knee replacement in the not-too-distant future.

After he began using a pain trio of supplements daily in 2004, he had remarkable improvement on a gradual basis, continuing to play tennis three or more times a week until 2015, when a second meniscus knee injury finally resulted in total knee replacement. Three months later, he had a total knee replacement of the other knee. His surgeon said my husband had the two worst knees he'd seen and was amazed he was playing tennis regularly with them.

After the surgeries, he continued his daily regimen of the three pain products. Today, he continues playing tennis three to four times a week, without knee pain. His problem now is severe arthritis in his right shoulder, but he's able to play without pain even with that condition. He uses no drug therapy whatsoever for knee pain or shoulder pain.

Four featured knee pain relief supplements

His knee relief program consists of the following natural supplements (click the bold links for product information/prices):

  1. Build cartilage and promote flexibility. A combination of clinically-proven glucosamine hydrochloride and clinically-proven boswellia provides fast knee pain and symptom relief in as little as one week (dietary supplement).
  2. Pain relief tablets. A combination of patent-pending safflower extract and boswellia extracts provides knee pain relief and other overworked joints naturally (dietary supplement).
  3. Pain relief cream. A remarkably deep-penetrating combination of natural plant extracts with pain-relieving cool menthol for relief of pain associated with arthritis, backache, bruises, sprains and more with relief for up to four hours (analgesic).
  4. Joint health slow aging at the cellular level. Introduced in August, 2008 this multiple patented, extensively-studied resveratrol and muscadine-based liquid supplement is a proprietary, all natural blend of diverse polyphenols designed to help protect and repair DNA to slow aging and fight the diseases of aging at the cellular level. It supports joint health, heart and cardiovascular health, immune function, while promoting cellular longevity, energy, good health and overall well-being (dietary supplement).

You may want to try one or more of these completely natural supplements in an effort to get away from potentially harmful drugs. I highly recommend them from my husband’s personal experience.

Disclaimer: Health statements on this knee pain page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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