How do I get rid of stiffness in my knees?

Answered by John Hunt

There are several proven ways to relieve stiffness in your knees. Here are five effective strategies that you can try:

1. Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain in your knees. These medications work by blocking the production of certain chemicals in your body that cause inflammation. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

2. RICE Therapy: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) therapy is a common approach to treat knee stiffness. Resting your knee allows it to recover and heal. Applying ice to the affected area can help reduce swelling and numb the pain. Compression, such as wrapping a bandage around your knee, helps reduce fluid buildup and provides support. Elevating your leg above heart level can also help reduce swelling and improve blood circulation.

3. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy exercises can help improve knee mobility, strengthen the surrounding muscles, and reduce stiffness. A qualified physical therapist can create a personalized exercise program tailored to your specific needs and goals. These exercises may include stretching, strengthening, and low-impact activities like swimming or cycling. Regular physical therapy sessions combined with consistent at-home exercises can lead to significant improvements in knee stiffness over time.

4. Knee Braces: Wearing a knee brace or support can provide stability and alleviate stiffness in your knees. Knee braces come in various types, including sleeves, straps, and hinged braces. They can help reduce pain, improve alignment, and provide extra support during physical activities. It’s important to choose the right type of knee brace for your specific condition and consult with a healthcare professional or orthopedic specialist for proper fitting and guidance.

5. Injections: In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend injecting medications directly into your knee joint to relieve stiffness and pain. Corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are commonly used for knee osteoarthritis or other joint conditions. These injections can help reduce inflammation, lubricate the joint, and promote healing. However, the decision to undergo injections should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider, as they carry potential risks and side effects.

It’s important to note that these strategies may not completely eliminate knee stiffness, especially if it is caused by an underlying medical condition. If your symptoms persist or worsen despite trying these approaches, it’s essential to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional or orthopedic specialist. They can evaluate your specific situation and recommend further treatment options, such as surgery, if necessary. Remember to listen to your body, pace yourself during physical activities, and prioritize self-care to maintain healthy and flexible knees.