Many people experience knee pain. This is especially common in older individuals whose knees are becoming more degenerated. In extreme cases they might need to have their knees replaced. People may temporarily take medication to relieve pain but it might not address the cause.
Dr. Gwo Bin Wu is the director of the Xinyitang Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic, Taiwan. He has a unique knowledge in treating pain in joints. Four self-rehabilitation techniques for knee joints were shared by Dr. Wu. These exercises can help our knee joints last for two decades more, Dr. Wu said. Here are some highlights from our interview with Dr. Wu. Wu.
Common Causes of Knee Pain
Degenerative knee arthritis is the most frequent cause of pain in the knees, aside from accidental injuries.
According to Dr. Wu’s medical observation, knee pain that occurs simultaneously in both the left and right leg is commonly attributed to a medical condition. However, pain in the one side of the body can be caused either by pelvic obliqueness, or a femoral head displacement.
A poor posture may cause the pelvis or femoral heads to become oblique. This can lead to the knee joints on the one side of the leg being squeezed more slowly, causing pain. To reduce pain, unconsciously the opposite leg exerts more force and the knee joint of the second leg becomes injured.
The Key to Reducing Knee Joint Pain
In reality, treatment for knee pain must not only focus on the joint, but also the entire structure. This means that acupuncture and localized medications will not have the desired results.
Imagine a person experiencing discomfort in their ankle. This causes them to walk with a slight limp, so that they don’t put too much pressure on the joint. The knee joint can become compressed over time, which causes pain due to incorrect force pulling. The problem with the ankle is what caused the knee pain in this instance. This problem must be resolved before the problem can become a problem.
All joints prefer warmth and not cold so ice packs can be harmful. Traditional Chinese medicine states that “if there’s pain it indicates blood not circulating.” Therefore, it is best to improve blood circulation in order to relieve joint pain.
Method 1: Massaging Capsules
Press the nodules that are clustered in the popliteal fossa.
Some patients with painful knees can’t even sit down. In severe cases, the joint capsules of those with painful knees can have swelling, water accumulation and inflammation.
Usually in the center of such patients’ popliteal fossa (a diamond-shaped space behind the knee), which is called Weizhong point (BL-40) in traditional Chinese medicine, there are adhesion points of tendons. These clustered nodules can be painful when pressed.
People with pain in the knee joints should seek self-treatment from the popliteal fossa.
This method is simple. Rub the nodules clustered at the Weizhong points to release them. The knee joint pressure will decrease and your knee joint flexibility will increase. This will slow down the process of degeneration in the knee joint.
Method2: Clasp your Knee Joint
Between femur, tibia and meniscus is cartilage tissue. The transparent synovial membrane structure known as medial plica is located in front of medial meniscus.
If the knee joint becomes severely compressed, the medial pila may get inflamed, which can cause localized pain.
In this instance, rub your knee medial lightly. To relax the medial part of the plica, you can use your hands to gently clasp the knee joint.
Method3: These are 3 simple leg movements
Strengthening muscles and ligaments surrounding the knee joint can also be beneficial in healing it. These three easy exercises will help you achieve your desired results:
- Foot hooking: strengthens the quadriceps
1 Straighten your leg, lift it up, and hook the foot back for about 10 seconds, then put the leg down.
2 Gently massage the knee.
3 Repeat step 1 for 10 to 20 times.
- Leg pressing – loosens clustered nodules within the popliteal fossa
1 Lift your leg straighten and then place your leg on a chair.
2 Press the knee with both hands for 30 seconds and then release.
3 Gently massage the kneecap and then repeat step 1.
- Leg Tucking: Relaxes tight knee joints
If the knee joints feel tight we can relax them by doing the following:
1 Tuck your leg in, press the ankle inward with your hands, and hold for 30 seconds.
2 Gently massage the kneecap and then repeat step 1.
Method4: These Stretches
People suffering from knee pain should strengthen their bones and tendons by stretching. There are many ways to stretch, but which one is best for you?
The traditional way to stretch your leg is to bend one side and straighten the other. This is not recommended for those with spinal problems.
Dr. Wu believes that the most effective stretching technique is the “muscle stretch bench”, which was developed by Dr. Tseng Choung Chu, an internationally renowned doctor in Hong Kong. This method doesn’t cause the spine to bend and won’t result in any injury.
- The muscle stretching method using a bench:
1 Lay on your back on a flat surface with columns. Lift one leg and place it on the column. The other leg should hang down naturally, and then bend inwardly.
2 Move both your arms forwards. You will feel your tendons stretching from the inner side of your legs. )
3 Hold the stretching position for 10 minutes.
When you are done, move to the next leg and continue with steps 1 through 3.
If you do not have a bed that has columns, place two to three chairs near the door so you can lie down on them. You can get the same result by placing one leg on top of the door frame, and the other outside the door.
Dr. Wu has a couple in their 70s as his patients. Both experienced pain and soreness in the lower backs and sciatica symptoms that sent pain down their legs. They both had tight back muscles and a slight hunchback. They learned the muscle stretching bench technique from Dr. Wu and purchased a bench to use at home.
Gradually they felt more relaxed, energized and were able to walk faster. Their hunchback problems also significantly improved, surprisingly.
They used to go to Dr. Wu at least three times per week. However, since they began stretching, their visits have decreased gradually to once to twice weekly. They now only have to visit the clinic for routine checks once per month.
Epoch Health articles are for informational purposes and are not a substitute for individualized medical advice. For personal advice and diagnosis, as well as treatment, please consult your trusted practitioner. Have a question? Email us at [email protected]