Orthopedic injury and disease can have debilitating effects on our daily lives, and arthritis in the knees is no different — which is why you may be looking for the best arthritis knee reliefs. Arthritis is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease that causes symptoms like swelling, pain, decreased range of motion, and stiffness. The condition affects approximately 54 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's the leading cause of disability in the US, so you are not alone.
Depending on the severity, arthritis can prevent you from doing many daily activities. Arthritis in knees may impact your ability to walk, reach, and climb stairs, which could affect your health, work, and relationships. Other conditions make it difficult to handle eating utensils, write, clean your house, or turn a doorknob or a car key. It can even keep you from your favorite hobbies, like gardening.
How do you develop arthritis in the knee?
There are two predominant types of arthritis that affect people with knee ailments. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis affecting the knee, gets worse with age and is caused by regular wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is caused when the immune system begins attacking the joints, thinking they are foreign tissue. Since osteoarthritis develops as people age, a higher number of older people are affected by this condition. Rheumatoid arthritis, which is classified as an autoimmune disease, affects people of all ages.
Osteoarthritis develops from a wearing down of cartilage located in the center of the knee. Cartilage found in joints, classified as hyaline cartilage, is a low-friction, wear-resistant tissue that bears and distributes weight. It is rubbery and found in all of our joints. The wearing down of cartilage that leads to arthritis happens gradually, but it can be exacerbated by human behavior or injuries. Impact of physical activity, such as running, certain sports, arduous manual labor, and excessive weight can increase your odds of developing osteoarthritis.
What is the best arthritis knee treatment for pain relief?
A typical arthritis knee treatment consists of anti-inflammatory or pain medications. Like with most prescription medications, there are some side effects. Pain medications, specifically opioids, are highly addictive and can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and constipation. Due to these risks, natural remedies are becoming more popular for arthritis knee pain treatment.
Some alternative and safe arthritis in knee pain relief products come in the form of muscle stimulators and massagers, which help increase blood flow and release tension, and therefore, pain, in the body. Heat pads, ointments, gels, and knee braces also help soothe the pain. Consult your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Check out our recommendations for the best arthritis knee reliefs:
1. Arnica provides homeopathic pain relief.
There are effective homeopathic, non-habit-forming medicines on the market that are safe and certified. Genexa Arnica Pain Relief, for example, is made of organic ingredients and comes with a money back guarantee. Genexa is physician-formulated, certified organic, and produced in the US. These chewable tablets effectively treat back pain, joint pain, muscle pain, as well as soreness and stiffness, using compounds that assist our bodies to naturally promote healing.
Where to Buy: $15.99, Amazon
2. Curcumin's anti-inflammatory properties assist joint health.
Some alternative treatments call for a diet that's rich in anti-inflammatory foods, like fish and olive oil, that assist joint health. Turmeric has traditionally been used for anti-inflammatory purposes in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. The herb contains curcumin, which helps reduce pain and improve joint function. While you can sprinkle turmeric in your food, pure turmeric powder only contains 3.14 percent of curcumin by weight. That's where supplements come in.
NatureWise Organic Curcumin can be added to a diet to aid arthritis relief. The supplement contains organic compounds that boost joint health, alleviating many symptoms attributed to arthritis. Each capsule contains 750 milligrams of organic curcumin and black pepper extract, which increases the absorption of curcumin's positive benefits.
Where to Buy: $23.99, Amazon
3. Yoga is great for low-impact activity.
In addition to using natural or prescription medications, if you have arthritis in your knees, you need to eliminate any contributing activities or behaviors that prevent more damage or pain. For instance, high-impact exercise, like running, should be avoided. If you are overweight, contact your doctor to discuss healthy ways of losing weight, as well as low-impact exercises that won't aggravate your condition.
Many people with arthritis in their knees also exercise and use stretching techniques at home to help relieve pain and stiffness. Researchers found that eight weeks of yoga significantly improved sedentary patients' physical and mental health, increasing flexibility and energy, while reducing aches and pains. The video, Yoga for the Rest of Us: Easy Yoga for Arthritis, provides instruction and demonstration of effective techniques that can be incorporated to relieve arthritic pain. Not only will you get the exercise you need, but you can do it on your schedule and in the comfort of your own home. With this video, you will find an entertaining and convenient way to alleviate your pain through proven stretching techniques.
Where to Buy: $13.36, Amazon
Some alternative and safe arthritis in knee pain relief products come in the form of muscle stimulators and massagers, which help increase blood flow and release tension, and therefore, pain, in the body. Heat pads, ointments, gels, and knee braces also help soothe the pain. Check out our recommendations for the best arthritis knee reliefs.
4. Massagers relieve pain and promote muscle growth.
Stimulators and massagers, which are used regularly as a part of physical therapy, are now available to consumers at reasonable prices. Used and recommended by doctors and physical therapists, the Tech Care Massager works by sending low-voltage pulses to the skin, stimulating nerve fibers and relieving arthritis knee pain. The system works by stimulating muscles around the affected area, causing contractions that not only relieve pain but also promote muscle growth, which assists in the long-term relief of symptoms.
Where to Buy: $38.95, Amazon
5. Heat pads help relax muscles.
Arthritis knee heat pads are another safe form of arthritis knee pain relief. Applying heat to sore and stiff muscles helps by increasing pain threshold. Heat also helps relax muscles, which is often a source of pain. The iVOLCONN Knee Wrap Massager with Heated and Vibration Massage Therapy combines the benefits of a traditional heating pad with a massager. With this device, two forms of therapy can complement each other at the same time.
Where to Buy: $105.99, Amazon
6. Ointments and gels provide fast and effective pain relief.
Ointments and gels are often used by physical therapists and physicians for relief — and for good reason. For instance, Penetrex Pain Relief Cream is a fast and effective product that can be used on many aching or sore areas of the body for a variety of conditions. Penetrex is made up of high-quality ingredients that have been clinically proven to help alleviate osteoarthritic pain, including arnica, glucosamine, and Boswellia serrata. It incorporates the most recent advancements in skin penetration and emulsification technology to ensure that the ingredients are effectively absorbed by the outer layer of the skin and delivered to the affected area.
Where to Buy: $19.95, Amazon
Also highly recommended, Biofreeze Pain Relief Gel is the number one clinically-recommended pain relief gel on the market and has been used by physical therapists and massage therapist for years. When Biofreeze is applied, one of the active ingredients, menthol, binds to temperature-sensitive receptors in the skin. Activating these receptors reduces pain through the body’s natural pain-relieving systems. It works very similar to ice, but it can be applied at any time and is much more convenient.
Where to Buy: $48.76, Amazon
7. Arthritis knee pain braces support the knees, providing comfort and stability.
The Shock Doctor Ultra Knee Supporter with Bilateral Hinges places the force on the outside of the knee, but allows for moderate impact. This is a more attractive option for those leading active lifestyles. This brace carries all of the pain-relieving benefits of traditional knee braces, supporting ligament alignment and soft tissue while delivering warmth. It is very well constructed and has Velcro straps to ensure it remains in place during moderate activity.
Where to Buy: $47.59 - $140.61, Amazon
For those ailing from arthritis in the kneecap or arthritis under the kneecap, a cutout will stabilize the kneecap, allowing for increased movement and exercise. The TechWare Pro Knee Brace has a cutout and alternating velcro straps, which provides comfortable, stability, and relief. This brace is small enough to be worn under clothes without being seen, making it ideal for any occasion or lifestyle.
Where to Buy: $23.99, Amazon
An arthritis knee compression sleeve, like the PowerLix Compression Knee Sleeve, provides warmth and compression that relieves pain. This is closer to a traditional knee brace, but it's more affordable. PowerLix's version is also very lightweight and popular with runners and cross trainers. This brace fits easily in a gym bag and can be worn for any occasion, which makes life easier.
Where to Buy: $14.99, Amazon
A cold compressions sleeve, such as the Freeze Sleeve Cold Therapy Compression Sleeve, uses advanced technology to provide the right amount of cold to the affected joints, relieving inflammation and pain. The Freeze Sleeve conforms to your body and provides 360 degrees of compression therapy for the doctor recommended 15 to 20 minutes of cold therapy treatment. Stick it in the freezer for two hours, and it's ready to wear.
Where to Buy: $59, Amazon
So, how do arthritis knee pain braces work, exactly?
Arthritis knee pain braces can substantially relieve pain in the joint. The knee brace functions in several ways. It pushes the knee back into normal alignment, putting the forces on the knee on the outside rather than on the damaged interior. Braces can also relieve kneecap pain caused by damaged cartilage by keeping the bone in place. Importantly, a knee brace will boost the confidence of the wearer by giving him or her a feeling of support. There are many options available for knee braces on the market today, and they're often quite affordable.
Arthritic pain can be chronic and debilitating, but it doesn’t have to destroy your quality of life. With a number of treatment options available, you don’t have to stop doing what you love to do or burden friends and loved ones for help with everyday activities. Ease some of your joint pain and stiffness with one of these treatments and lead the healthy, happy, active life you deserve.
This post was written by Dustin Araujo. See more of our best product recommendations.