7 Natural Ways to Make A Sore Knee Feel Better

Knee Pain can drive you to your knees!
Knee Pain can drive you to your knees! | Source

Back in our younger days (before we passed the '60' mark anyhow) we considered traveling as a great joyful adventure-- we planned out our itineraries to take in the recommended sights and shows. We generally didn't consider-- or not consciously-- the possibility of injury or illness getting in the way of having a fun time. When an opportunity to see our grandkids and their parents in very Far North Alberta came up we just loaded our luggage with warm clothes, gifts for the girlies, and a few eccentric edibles that we doubted we would find in the sole store, The Northern, in the isolated, fly-in community of Fort Chipewayan, pop. 1200+. My half-marathon-running husband (I call him the "Half-Marathon Man") planned to take a break from any running training while we coddled the delicious granddaughters, time with them made so precious by how rarely we see them. He wore a pair of hiking boots on the plane-- there was no need for runners since no running would be done.

Towards the latter part of our 11-day sojourn, he went for a brisk 14 km walk in sub-zero weather along a highway shoulder that sloped sharply towards the ditch. While he walked back to our son's home for the last 7 km he found his left foot and leg began to feel the strain of the uneven gait. Within a couple of km of his destination he suddenly felt a twinge in his left knee that grew increasingly more painful as he continued to walk. By the time he reached home base he was limping in agony. There had been no cracking feeling or noise, no falls, no sudden slips that would signify a twist or a break.

So, being the tough, stoic and practical Real Man that he is, my husband thought that a self-administered massage after a loll in a hot tub would do the trick to make the (now-)throbbing knee feel better. While these two interventions helped considerably to calm the throbbing pain to a "flat" pain, the knee was still presenting issues. Carrying the younger granddaughter back from a walk to the store was out of the question.

7 Natural Methods for Treating A Sore Knee

Here are some of the ways-- 7 of them-- that we used to manage and to turn down the inflammation and pain in the knee. No pharmacy prescriptions. No visits to the Emergency Room (where 5 years ago he went after a spill from his bike with a pain in his elbow and was sent home, only to find out a month later that he had broken his elbow). But since neither of us are 'medically trained or certified' we strongly suggest that you consult with your own health and wellness professionals before trying any of the 7 methods that work for us.

  1. Prayer- Like most people who believe in, and have come to rely for sustenance upon, a Higher Power (in our case, God), prayer is a natural place to start in the healing process. We prayed for comfort, healing, and direction around what course to take. Should we go to a nurse-practitioner for counsel? Does God have some special words to share with us through that "small voice" that is the Holy Spirit speaking to us directly, through dreams, visions, or Nature, or in The Word (Holy Scripture)? Yes, the sore knee was a hindrance in some of our plans, but clearly it was not a serious injury and for that we were both grateful. "Have faith in God,"Jesus answered. "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and it will be yours." ~Mark 11:22, 24

Icing the Knee (ice frozen in yogurt container)
Icing the Knee (ice frozen in yogurt container)
  1. Hydrotherapy (Cryotherapy)-Hydrotherapy means treatment with water (liquid, steam, or ice). Cryotherapy refers directly to ice treatments, such as putting a bag of frozen peas on an injured body part. Many years ago we watched a demo by Phil Brewer from Silver Hills (lifestyle) Spa Resort in Lumby, BC. He showed how to use an ice chunk (water frozen in a paper cup is ideal) to reduce swelling (actually, inflammation) and create deep circulation, which actually indicates healing is taking place. The idea is to keep the ice chunk moving in small circular motions over the sore or aching area for about 7 minutes. Inflammation means there is friction/"heat". Ice is a natural agent in 'cooling' inflammation down. Setting the ice in one place for seven minutes could cause ice "burns" and hypothermia. The movement just creates a situation where blood circulation is stimulated and a reddening of the skin results as an indicator of this. The pain is also usually completely numbed. After seven minutes of the icing treatment, a warm washcloth is applied and lightly massages the skin to thaw it. If aching still results, then another seven minutes of icing is applied, and another warming cloth is applied at the end of the seven minutes. With improved circulation the body can be relied upon to begin healing itself.

Wrapped in 2 socks and bound with duct tape
Wrapped in 2 socks and bound with duct tape

2. Another Hydrotherapy technique that Phil Brewer uses involves wrapping the knee with first a cold, wet cotton strip and then covering that with a thick, dry wool strip. In my husband's case we opted for using his socks. First I thoroughly wet and wrung out a large men's cotton sports sock with a cuff long enough to be pinned securely (with large safety pins) around the knee. I put the sock in the freezer for a while (not long, maybe an hour). Next I pinned a thick men's wool work sock around the wet cotton sock. Lastly, I wrapped duct tape around both socks to keep the socks in place. He sleeps with this on. The icy cold sock stimulates circulation (the knee is cold-- the blood will be drawn to the aid of the muscle to warm it up: where there is circulation, there is healing initiated). The knee will warm and circulation will keep it that way during the night.

3. Hydrotherapy (Warm Baths with Aromatherapy)- My husband finds a nice warm (not quite hot) bath helps his knee to feel less painful and he usually takes about one a day. Adding about ten drops of Lemongrass essential oil to about a 1/4 Cup of Epsom Salts, and running hot water over this until it dissolves (before getting into the tub) is very soothing and apparently ramps up the immune system. An essential oil, like Lavender, can be used as well (or instead of Lemongrass) to relax and aid in healing. Several essential oils are useful in promoting the body's healing processes. Speak to someone in your local health store or google to find more information.

B40 Point for Knee Pain

4. Acupressure- this technique operates with the understanding that the energy flow (or chi in Chinese) flows through the body via a system of invisible meridians or pathways. The chi, or electrical current, has lowest resistance at several 'acupuncture points' that represent specific body parts and organs. An injury or dis-ease will cause a sort of "clog" in the energy system. Applying firm pressure to the appropriate points will release the energy and re-create the electrical flow that returns one to balance. Knee pain, including arthritis, responds well to simple acupressure. You may want to have acupressure performed on your knee by a spouse, friend or an acupunturist (who will be trained to use the classic needle technique that you would not want to try at home.) You might also want to acquire a portable acupressure machine to perform this technique on yourself. You can also learn and apply basic techniques through watching acupressure/acupuncture videos explained on youtube. The following points are the ones connected to knee pain, including arthritis in your knee:

  1. B60. Midway between the tip of the outer ankle bone and the front of the Achilles tendon
  2. GB34. Two fingers below the outside of the knee in front of and below the knobby head of the fibula bone.
  3. S36. Three fingers below the knee and one finger outside the sharp ridge of the shin bone.
  4. Xiyan. Two points, one in each of the hollows beside the wide tendon below the kneecap.
  5. He ding. Two fingers above the middle of the upper border of the knee cap.
  6. SP9. Two fingers below the inner knee joint in the middle of the smooth sloping surface of the tibia bone.
  7. B40. At the midpoint of the crease behind the knee.

5. Reflexology: 3 Points for Knee/Hip Pain

6. Juicing (Non-Inflammation Diet)

I imagine that this sounds rather strange as an intervention for Knee Pain, but an alkaline diet is considered optimal in fighting inflammation, the basis of most chronic pain and dis-ease. Fresh fruits and veggies are the backbone of a healing diet. People with high acid diets (example, heavy users of animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs) will be more prone to diseases such as arthritis and gout. Some tips for persons with arthritis include the following:

  • Eliminate the nightshade family such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant and tobacco. If your arthritis lessens, you might want to stick to this regimen.
  • Citrus is also thought to contribute to joint issues, such as sore knees and arthritis.
  • Avoid all refined foods such as white sugar, white flour, and processed foods. Wheat might also be something you want to try going without to see how you feel.
  • Ditch alcohol and sweets, or significantly decrease consumption.
  • Get tested for food allergies
  • Check to see if you have a hydrochloric acid deficiency (your doctor should be able to help in this regard).

Try a Juice Fast. You don't need a fancy juicer-- a blender and a nut mylk bag will work wonderfully. Here is a good starter Juice recipe:

Green Garden Juice: (Push the following through a Juicer or Blend together with some extra filtered water if too thick):

  • 3 Broccoli flowerets
  • 1 bruised Garlic clove
  • 4-5 chopped Carrots
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • Handful of Kale or Arugula

If you used a Blender, strain juice through a nut mylk bag. When drinking, to stimulate good digestion, make 'chewing motions' in your mouth. There are many excellent green smoothie and blended salad recipes that encourage the body to heal.

Jump into Wellness!
Jump into Wellness!

7. Rebounding

Exercising with a sore knee might sound counter-intuitive, but, as has been stated above, the more encouragement for the body to start healing itself, the better! A gentle "health bounce" for a couple of minutes every hour over the course of a few days will generally be all it takes to get the lymph moving and the healing started. As simple as rebounding seems (too simple), there are piles of testimonials online as to its efficacy. Rebounding builds strength, helps with weight loss, and promotes good circulation while it be-bops the lymph cells around. People with severe joint pain have achieved freedom from the agony and a healthier lifestyle than many have experienced, even in their pre-arthritis days. Word of caution: invest in a good rebounder that has the appropriate "give." There are lots of sterling models on the market.

7 Natural Ways to Heal Your Bum Knee

I hope that you will have found at least one or two natural techniques in this article that will help your knee to feel better quickly. If you try all of the methods and work the discipline into each day for a week or so I am sure you will notice a real improvement in your general health.

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Comments 37 comments

Clara Mae 4 years ago

Very informative. I would choose the prayer, ice, warm bath and juicing. I wonder about jarring the knee on the trampoline. I know when my back is out and paining, to jump on the trampoline would hurt, even just the gentle floating up and down. Dandy little juice recipe you have there.

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

My mother has this problem, for long time she massaged with herbal oils, but the pain did not pass away. Recently she started acupressure and acupuncture.

I believe, some of your tips will really help her.

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Wearmanyhats 4 years ago

Interesting thoughts here. The reflexology will help, but as a long time reflexologist, I encourage a complete massage, back adjustment, then a reflexology treatment to finalize the adjustment (to help save time) and then glucosomine (as long as a person isn't allergic to shellfish.) All the rest will help with pain and swelling, as will hot/cold packs, but without a body frame lineup, the knee may take forever to heal. This complete regimen is more likely to help that knee heal faster and more completely. Good ideas, but I would get more aggressive with an injury. Knees take FOREVER to heal, but heal they can with the proper treatment. Also, there's a new "jogger in a jug" recipie on the internet that really seems to help people loosen up if they have arthritis. Good luck.

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Clara Mae, thank you for stopping by! Yes, for sure a regular bounce on the rebounder would probably jar his knee, but he does the "health bounce" which is just a sort of bouncing gesture without actually lifting his feet off the rebounder. I appreciate your pointing out the possible misunderstanding that this might create-- I will go in and edit!

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hi Vinaya, nice to have you here to comment but I am sorry to hear about your mother's long-standing problem with a sore knee! I hope the acupressure and acupuncture do the trick! My husband is finding a lot of relief with the little reflexology treatment in the video-- it's simply done-- and if you look under your comment you will see where fellow Hubber Wearmanyhats suggests that a good "alignment" and massage are crucial to do before the reflexology... just some possibilities for your Mom too! All the best to your Mom!

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Wearmanyhats, thank you my friend, for adding some 'professional' pointers about getting a 'realignment' and back massage for the reflexology to be effective! I'm getting my husband to book some appointments right now since he has been talking about going to the chiropractor since we moved here (6 years ago)and it now seems to be "the time". Thanks again!

wearmanyhats 4 years ago

Also, if you need to do some long term rehab on that knee, I started a client with bad knees for six months on Supple, then graduated off to Osteoflex, then down to glucosomine for three days a week. Now she uses nothing because she's pain free. Good luck and let us know how you tackle this.

LivingFood profile image

LivingFood 4 years ago

This is a really good article! I've had knee problems all my life and have no idea why. For me a clean diet and hot baths work well, but now I have a few others to add to my list...the acupuncture and the foot massage. Thank you so much for the info!!

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

So welcome LivingFood! Knees are, it would seem, poorly engineered if they are creating problems from our childhood onwards-- that certainly was the case with our younger son. I hope that the acupuncture and foot massage are the only extra tools you will need in your knee-repair kit! Cheers!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

Thanks for your helpful advice, techygran. My mom used to have knee pain almost all the time. After she lost about 20 lbs (Yeah, she was quite overweight) and underwent a few reflexology treatments, her knees haven't been bothering her as much anymore.

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Very good point Om Paramapoonya-- the extra burden of over-weight can cause a lot of issues, and the poor knees are not exempt. Thank you for your pointer!

Emmanuel Kariuki profile image

Emmanuel Kariuki 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Very good information, now that my right knee is beginning to complain, especially after jogging. About the diet, they tell us tomatoes are good to ward off prostrate trouble later, so that's a nightshade I'll want to keep. I love wheat products too so I will retain them too. From your list above, I have enough options to at least contain the knee challenge and still have a life. voted up.

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Wearmanyhats 4 years ago

Although weight makes a huge difference, but even slim people can have knee issues. A persist pain probably needs medical diagnosis. If a knee is bugging you after jogging, make sure you are stretching enough to keep your calf muscles from tightening so much that it pulls on the knee and yanking it out. Stretching it out may really help.

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Yes, Emmanuel, you get to choose what works for your own knee's rehabilitation, and what doesn't... when you feel really good you will know you have come across the right remedy... otherwise, you might want to experiment with lessening some of the popular problematic items (wheat, for example) to see if that makes a difference. Thank you for reading and rating, and best wishes for a full knee recovery (keep the jogging!).

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Good pointers again Wearmanyhats! Thank you for sharing them here!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

My knees have just started to give me trouble. They popped all day today and they hurt. Will have to try some of your methods. Voted Up.

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

oh dear Moonlake, my sympathies on your knee-popping experience today! As Wearsmanyhats suggests, you will likely want to get a proper medical diagnosis. In the meantime, you might get some relief from trying some of the suggestions above. All the best!

Emmanuel Kariuki profile image

Emmanuel Kariuki 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Thanks Wearmanyhats.

I will try the stretching first since that is something I definitely do not do. I think my case is not 'medical' yet because if I don't jogg for any length of time, I have no problem. I want to run a half marathon in October so I have to get over the knee issue soon. Then, Techygran, if pain persists, I'll stop the wheat!

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hey Emmanuel, I hope that it all works out so you don't have to give up your wheat! My hubby is preparing for a half-marathon in June... it's killing him that he can't be out there training like a Trojan. He went for a long bike ride tonight... I believe that resting an injured or gimpy knee is a good idea along with the other ideas above. All the best!

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Wearmanyhats 4 years ago

And Emmanuel, don't forget that Ostiflex or glucosomine to build up that cartiledge!

Emmanuel Kariuki profile image

Emmanuel Kariuki 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Do I choose one or take both? I have seen Glucosomine in shop display windows but had the impression it was for arthritis.

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Wearmanyhats 4 years ago

As as explained to me by a pharmacist, glucosomine is what strengthens and rebuilds the cartiledge. Chondroitin is for inflammation, which isn't a bad idea when you have an injury. There are no conclusive research studies that show that you need one for the other to work, and that pharmacist recommended glucosomine alone for simple maintenance. I want to add here is that the nice part about getting a medical assessment is to address the proper problem. If you have arthritis, then running a marathon might worsen the condition. And no amount of glucomine will help. Sometimes they can use a minimally invasive technique to get out much of that arthritis that is causing the issue. The good news is that there are homeopathic remedies for arthritic conditions, too, to supplement whatever the doctors do. But they got the big guns to do assessment, and we are lucky to be able to have them here in the states. Good luck with your run.

Emmanuel Kariuki profile image

Emmanuel Kariuki 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Great,will try the glucosamin just to aid the repair. I am certain it is not arthritis, otherwise many more joints would be causing trouble. And since my last jog a week ago I have not problem (yet), I am willing to go slow and add some stretching exercises for a firm healing. I last ran a marathon six years ago, and its about time I reclaimed my glory on the track (before the biological clock says no). Can I get glucosamin naturally, say from soups made with bone-marrow?

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Wearmanyhats 4 years ago

I don't know about coming from bone marrow. I don't think so. I think it's a shellfish based thing because of the people who are allergic to seafood that can't take it. Good luck!

Insightful Tiger profile image

Insightful Tiger 3 years ago

I have an old injury in my left knee and my right knee has problems from overcompensating. Every once in a while the left knee pops out of place. My knees are fine right now, but if they act up; I'd like to use all of the tips in this hub. I'm bookmarking, up voting and pinning. Thanks for sharing!

techygran profile image

techygran 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hey Insightful Tiger-- I hope that any of these tips work for you to erase the discomfort of the old knee injury! Thank you for your kind comments and support-- on my way over to look at your articles!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Phenomenal hub here! I have recently been having trouble with my right knee due to my lower back being out of whack and then I was trying to adjust how I walked, which made the knee start hurting. I have been praying and I woke up just yesterday and it all just went away. Knee pain is no joke and so painful.

Bless you for sharing these wonderful natural remedies to help many, I am sure! I will keep all of these in mind if it flares up again.

Up and away


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA

My knees are sore from time to time, so I am eager to try your ideas to see if they work for me. I have tried ice and heat, but will have to try to change my diet to see if that helps.

techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thank you Millionaire Tips for stopping by and I hope very much that you have some good results by making some changes in your diet! Sore knees are no fun! All the best, Cynthia

Besarien profile image

Besarien 11 months ago

Have been a runner for fitness and pleasure since I can remember. Now at 49 I do not have any persistent knee problems yet, but certainly expect them later. I take glucosamine to try to stave off joint problems. I do get aches sometimes when I overdo, fall, or take a wrong step, particularly easy to do when running trails in the mountains here. Cold always seems to do me the most good even though I much prefer soaking the rest of me in a warm tub while applying an ice pack. I found this gel pack that you put in the freezer. It gets cold as ice but stays flexible. I also have found a lot of relief with Topricin. I have never gone for professional reflexology nor tried to self-use it. I am going to try these videos- or probably get my husband to do it for me- next time I have an ache in my knee. It makes perfect sense to me how pressure in one area can relieve pain in another. It is sort of the opposite of referred pain- where your brain tells you one area is hurting when the problem exists elsewhere. Thanks for a fascinating hub with lots of good advice about combatting knee pain and having a more healthy and pain free existence in general. I wish you and your knees many, many pleasant miles of trouble-free cooperation.

techygran profile image

techygran 11 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Besarien, thank you as always for your valuable feedback and the suggestions that you bring with you as a runner whose knees have taken a beating I'm sure. I admire your forethought, a plan for what to do when you do actually have knee pain. Since I wrote this article I have heard very good things about having the painful area 'taped' with a special kinesiology 'rock tape' (actually, cotton tape) and using creams with DMSO in them to alleviate the pain-- in British Columbia we have a cream made with DMSO and cannabinoids called "BC Bud Rub" that is somewhat controversial, but also effective for many.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 months ago from the short journey

Taking care of our knees is rather important business at any age but as we weaken with age it's crucial to know how to prevent and treat injuries. Thanks for these useful tips on helping to heal a bummed up knee.

techygran profile image

techygran 6 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hi there Roberta-- Thank you for dropping by and leaving comments. Hope you rarely have to apply any of these tips!

ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 5 months ago from New Delhi, India

This is very useful and informative hub! As we age knee pains become so frequent.

Normally I do some exercises suggested by physiotherapist and they need patience. Your tips seem to be very helpful.

Thanks for sharing!

techygran profile image

techygran 5 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hi there ChitrangadaSharan, I'm sure the physiotherapist's exercises are helpful, if you can do them exactly as they are set out and as often as you are directed to. I am pleased you find the tips on here are helpful. All the best! -Cynthia

jack 2 weeks ago

my mummy has a very sore knee cap and what should I do to help my mummy please reaply

techygran profile image

techygran 2 weeks ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Dear Jack, It would be a good idea for your mummy to see a doctor or someone who could see what is wrong with her kneecap and then you can have her come back to this site and try some of the suggestions that are on here! Thank you for caring for your mummy! ~Cynthia

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