For years, Mary, a sales manager and mother of two, has been suffering from sciatica. Recently, she has also started to experience knee pain as well. The expansion of Mary’s pain symptoms is stressful and frustrating. She wonders if there is an underlying cause, linking the two health issues, that can be addressed.
“Mary” is a fictitious person, but this story describes the situation in which many people find themselves. This article explores potential points of connection for anyone who is suffering from these two health challenges, along with at-home knee treatment advice.
How knee pain and sciatica may be connected
Sciatica (technically a symptom and not a condition in its own right) describes pain, pins-and-needles, or lack of feeling in the legs caused by damage or pressure to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve extends from your toes all the way up to your lower back. Because this critical nerve travels through the back of your knee and controls the muscles in that area, problems with it (resulting in sciatica) often lead to knee pain.
Knee pain statistics & self-assessment
If you are experiencing knee pain, you are certainly not alone. Among adult American chronic pain patients, 1 in 5 (19.5 percent) report knee pain, making it the second most common pain condition to low back pain (28.1%).
To consider treatment, first, assess your pain’s severity. At-home strategies are often effective for mild to moderate joint pain. However, moderate to severe cases may require the care and expertise of medical professionals (see “Getting help” below).
Knee injury treatments
If your knee has been strained or sprained, the standard recommendation for immediate treatment is RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation).
Note that the components of RICE work as an integrated strategy. Rest so your knee has time to heal. Apply ice, a cold compress, or even a bag of frozen vegetables to bring down the inflammation. By wrapping the joint in a compression bandage, being careful that it is loose to maintain healthy circulation, you can also reduce the inflammation that may stimulate nerves and lead to pain. While you don’t want to cut off circulation with compression, it is helpful to elevate the injury so that less blood enters the region – lowering pain and swelling.
Natural dietary supplements for chronic knee pain
One of the most common at-home treatments for arthritis and other forms of chronic knee pain is dietary supplementation. Supplements that are typically recommended for treatment include fish oil; willow bark; ginger extract; and the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
Are you suffering from knee pain? Supplements may not be enough to facilitate your full recovery. At Flexogenix, we provide nonsurgical options for osteoarthritis, joint pain, and injuries. Qualify for a free consultation.