Blog, Knees

Stop Knee Arthritis from Ruling Your Life: Holistic Tips for Long-Term Relief

By Dr. Joseph Tanti

By Dr. Joseph Tanti

October 11, 2023

Are you suffering from knee arthritis? Don't want to take medication or go through surgery? I can’t say I blame you! The good news is that you don't have to suffer in silence (or are you the not-so silent type?) any longer! There are holistic approaches to stop knee pain without drugs or surgery. 

In this blog, we will discuss how to use chiropractic orthopaedics, exercise, mindfulness, and other home care strategies to overcome arthritic knee pain in for long-term relief. Read on to learn how to reclaim control of your life and stop knee arthritis from ruling it!

Understanding Knee Arthritis 

Knee arthritis is a a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Roughly 

80% of the population over 65 years old in the United States has radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis (OA). The good news is that only 60% of the population over 65 years old OA have symptoms! 

Why is this good news? If osteoarathrits ALWAYS caused pain, then 100% people with it, would have pain. These statistics suggest that 2 out of 5 people with knee arthritis have no pain!

What can YOU do to get rid of the pain, even if you have knee arthritis?

Knee arthritis is characterized by inflammation and joint stiffness. This leads to pain and reduced mobility. This makes it more challenging to do everyday tasks. Walking the stairs, getting off the couch or kitchen chair. Even putting your socks on.

The most common form of arthritis in the knee is osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joint wears away over time. Have you ever been. Told that you are ‘bone-on-bone”? This can cause pain, discomfort, and reduced mobility.

If you have been diagnosed with knee arthritis, you may feel overwhelmed. “My life is over!”, “Only downhill from here”, “My body is falling apart” are all phrases I’ve heard people say. Most of the time, they are unaware of how to manage their symptoms. They believe surgery is the only option, other than ‘waiting until it gets worse’. 

The good news is that there are holistic approaches to address knee arthritis that can help you avoid surgery and injections. By implementing these strategies, you can regain control of your life and find long-term relief!

One important aspect of understanding knee arthritis is knowing that it is a chronic condition. This means that while there is no cure, there are ways to manage the symptoms and slow down its progression.By taking proactive steps to address knee arthritis, you can reduce pain and improve your quality of life.

Everything we do has risks. Surgery and injections have higher risks than anything we are going to discuss here. So consider alternative treatments such as chiropractic orthopaedics, exercise, mindfulness, and home care strategies. These approaches focus on addressing the causes of knee arthritis and promoting natural healing.

By understanding knee arthritis and exploring holistic options, you can take charge of your health and well-being. Keep reading to discover how these strategies can help you, providing you with the knowledge and tools you need to stop knee arthritis from ruling your life. Together, we can find effective and natural solutions for long-term relief.

Chiropractic Orthopaedics: A Non-Surgical Solution for Knee Arthritis

If you're looking for a non-surgical solution to treat your knee arthritis, chiropractic orthopaedics may be the answer you've been searching for. Once you’ve been diagnosed, the role of your chiropractor is to improve the mobility of the area’s of your body that are not moving as they should. They will address any functional limitations you have, as well as provide you with specific exercises and stretches to address any compensatory changes in your body movement that have occurred as a result of your knee arthritis. 

Chiropractic treatment can be highly effective in reducing pain and improving mobility your knee, ankles, hips and back. By addressing any movement restrictions within your spine, hips, knees and ankles, chiropractic adjustments can provide relief without the need for surgery or injections.

Chiropractic orthopaedics utilizes a hands-on approach to restore proper joint function and alleviate pain. Your chiropractor will assess your knee arthritis, and create a personalized treatment plan. This may include spinal adjustments, stretching, and strengthening exercises. It is critical that any functional deficits. That you have be addressed, as these are likely contributing to the progression of your arthritis. By restoring movement to your body, these adjustments can help reduce pressure on the knee joint, promoting natural healing and decreasing inflammation.

One of the major benefits of chiropractic care for knee arthritis is that it is non-invasive and drug-free. This means you can avoid the risks and potential side effects associated with surgery, injections, and medication.  Instead, chiropractic orthopaedics focuses on addressing the contributing factors that are leading to your knee arthritis progressing, and providing long-term relief.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, your chiropractor will recommend lifestyle modifications and home care strategies to assist in your treatment. I always tell my patients, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, your going to keep getting what you’ve got. Things need to change! That means at home too.

These modifications may include exercises to improve knee strength and flexibility, as well as mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and promote relaxation. By taking a holistic approach, chiropractic orthopaedics can provide comprehensive care for your knee arthritis. Its time that you regain control of your life and stop knee arthritis from ruling it.

Exercise for Knee Arthritis: Keep Moving to Reduce Pain

Regular exercise is a key component in managing knee arthritis and reducing pain. Canadian guidelines recommend a minimum of 150minutes a week of moderate activity (https://csepguidelines.ca/guidelines/adults-65/ ). 

While initially it may seem counterintuitive to move more when your knees are already hurting, it is crucial for your recovery!

Lack of movement actually increases the rate of developing osteoarthritis! And exercise can strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint, improve flexibility, and increase overall joint function. Every single one of my patients with arthritis that incorporates an exercise program into their routine does astronomically better than those who don’t! By incorporating regular physical activity into your routine, you can alleviate discomfort and regain mobility. This happens gradually over time! But with persistence, you will get there.

When it comes to exercise for knee arthritis, it's important to choose activities that are low-impact and gentle on your joints. Walking, swimming, cycling, and yoga are all excellent options. These activities help improve your cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength, and promote flexibility without placing excessive strain on your knees.

I always recommend that you start slow. Over time, gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise routine. Listen to your body and avoid overexertion. This can make the knee pain worse (for a period of time). Be sure to warm up before each session and cool down afterward to prevent muscle stiffness and reduce the risk of injuring yourself.

In addition to low-impact activities, targeted exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee can provide significant relief. Quadriceps and hamstring strengthening exercises, such as leg raises and hamstring curls, can help to stabilize the knee joint and reduce stress on the affected area.

Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional (such as your doctor, or friendly neighbourhood chiropractor) before starting a new exercise regimen. We -they?- can provide you with some guidance to help create a customized plan that suits your specific needs and abilities.

Mindfulness Meditation: Calm Your Mind and Your Knees

Mindfulness meditation is not only a powerful tool for calming your mind, but it can also provide pain relief for your arthritic knees. By incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine, you can change your life.

Some think that mindfulness and meditation is about “learning to live with it”. But it is not.

Incorporating this into your day, you may find that you have LESS pain, LESS discomfort, and possibly not what so ever! This can clearly be a huge benefit for you, helping you avoid the need for surgery or injections.

When you engage in mindfulness meditation, you bring your attention to the present moment and cultivate a non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations. This practice allows you to develop a deeper understanding of your body and its needs, including your knees. By tuning into the sensations in your knees and observing them with curiosity and compassion, intensity of the pain will often subside.

One of the key benefits of mindfulness meditation is its ability to decrease stress and anxiety, which are often heightened in individuals with knee arthritis. Stress can exacerbate pain and lead to increased inflammation in the body, making symptoms of knee arthritis even more unbearable. Additionally, stress can lower your pain threshold. This makes pain more easily elicited. 

By practicing mindfulness, you can stimulate your body's relaxation response - your parasympathetic nervous system - which leads to calming your mind and reducing stress and pain levels.

In addition to stress reduction, mindfulness meditation can also improve your overall well-being. It may lead to improved sleep quality, enhance mood, and help you not look like a hot mess (Okay, I may have made that last point up).

By focusing on the present moment and cultivating a sense of gratitude and acceptance, it can shift your perspective. Find joy in the small moments of life, despite the challenges.

Incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily routine is simple.

1) Start by finding a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit or lie down. 

2) Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath, observing the inhalation and exhalation. 

3) If your mind wanders, gently guide your focus back to the breath. Note: This is VERY difficult for many people. Stick with it!

4) As you become more comfortable with this practice, you can expand your awareness to include the sensations in your knees. Notice any areas of discomfort or tension and send your breath to those areas, allowing them to relax.

5) As you are focusing on these various areas, you are improving your mind-body connection. This can help alleviate pain, and bring more awareness, relaxation, and reduce stress.

Remember, mindfulness meditation is not a quick fix. It can be a part of your daily routine to assist in helping your situation. The more you engage in this practice, the more benefits you will experience.

It can be difficult at first, especially if this is new to you. But by incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you may be able to  avoid knee surgery and injections. And lets not forget,  help regain control of your life - not letting knee arthritis have control.

So take a few moments each day to calm your mind. Your knees will thank you!

Hot and Cold Therapy: DIY Home Care Strategies

If you're looking for simple, at-home remedies to manage your knee arthritis, hot and cold therapy may be the solution you've been searching for. This DIY strategy can provide immediate relief and help reduce inflammation in your knee joints. Best of all, it's a natural, drug-free approach.

Hot therapy involves applying heat to your knee, which can help relax muscles and increase blood flow to the area. You can use a heating pad, warm towel, or even take a warm bath to soothe your knee arthritis. 

Be sure to apply the heat for around 15-20 minutes at a time and avoid placing heat directly on the skin to prevent burns. Hot therapy is especially beneficial before engaging in exercises or activities, as it can help warm up the joint and reduce stiffness.

Cold therapy involves applying cold packs or ice to your knee to numb the area and reduce inflammation. This can be particularly effective after exercising or when experiencing a flare-up of pain. Cold therapy can also help alleviate swelling and decrease sensitivity in the knee joint. 

Remember to never apply ice directly to the skin; instead, wrap the ice pack in a towel and apply it to the affected area for around 10-15 minutes at a time.

To get the most out of hot and cold therapy, you can alternate between the two. Start with hot therapy to relax and loosen the muscles, then follow up with cold therapy to reduce inflammation. This contrast therapy can be highly effective in managing knee arthritis symptoms and promoting natural healing.

Hot and cold therapy is a simple and cost-effective way to find relief from knee arthritis. People always ask which is better. I suggest trying both. See which you find better. Remember ,there are essentially no risks to using either of these options when done appropriately. So give them both a fair try, and see what works best for you!

Take control of your knee arthritis and start implementing hot and cold therapy today. Your knees will thank you!

Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Fuel Your Body to Reduce Inflammation

When it comes to managing knee arthritis, what you put into your body can have a big impact on your symptoms. Afteall, yo are what you eat! An anti-inflammatory diet can help fuel your body and reduce inflammation. This will allow you to find relief without resorting to surgery or injections.

So, what exactly is an anti-inflammatory diet? It involves consuming foods that are known to reduce inflammation in the body. These foods are typically rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutrients that can help combat inflammation. On the flip side, an inflammatory diet includes foods that can trigger inflammation, such as processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats.

To adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, focus on incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables into your meals. These colorful foods are packed with antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation. Berries, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are all great choices. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon and sardines, as well as walnuts and chia seeds, can also help fight inflammation.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, make sure to include healthy fats in your diet. Olive oil, avocados, and nuts are all excellent sources of healthy fats that can help reduce inflammation. Limit or avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and refined carbohydrates, as these can contribute to inflammation.

By adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, you can fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to reduce inflammation and manage your knee arthritis. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to dietary changes, so aim to make these healthy choices a regular part of your routine. With time, you may start to notice a reduction in knee pain and an improvement in your overall well-being.

I have seen several patients whom you would think would have terrible amount of pain. However, because their diet is ‘on point’, they have minimal pain, if any. Those who include an anti-inflammatory diet into their lives typically do much better than those who do not.

Remember not to over think this. You know what you should, and should not be eating. The difficulty is in the actual ‘doing’ part. You’ve got this!

Vitamin and Herbal Supplements: Safe and Effective Knee Arthritis Relief

Vitamin and herbal supplements can be a safe and effective way to manage knee arthritis and find relief without the need for surgery or injections. These natural remedies can provide additional support to your body's healing process, promoting joint health and reducing inflammation. If you're looking for alternative solutions to alleviate your knee pain, consider incorporating vitamin and herbal supplements into your daily routine.

One supplement that has shown promise in relieving knee arthritis symptoms is glucosamine. Glucosamine is a compound naturally found in the body and plays a vital role in maintaining healthy cartilage. Unfortunately, as we age our glucosamine levels typically drop. This means we have difficulty maintaining as much water in our cartilage, so it ‘drys up’.

By taking glucosamine supplements, you can help support the repair and regeneration of cartilage in your knee joints. This can lead to reduced pain and improved mobility over time. Obviously results vary between people. I’ve met some people who swear by it. Other where it didn’t do a thing for them. Personally I think its worth a try.

Give it 3 months. If you don’t notice a change, stop taking it. If you are noticing improvements keep taking it.No need to make this more complicated than it needs to be!

Another supplement for knee arthritis is turmeric. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It can help decrease inflammation in your body, including your knees, alleviating the pain and stiffness. Pairing turmeric with black pepper can enhance its absorption in the body, making it even more effective.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, have also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body as well. These essential fatty acids can help support joint health and alleviate knee arthritis symptoms.

While vitamin and herbal supplements can provide relief, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements. They can help determine the right dosage and combination of supplements for your specific needs.

And remember, these supplements are just that. They supplement your diet. They don’t replace it. And they don’t make up for a poor diet. So get your diet right first, and you can supplement to gain the additional benefits!

Coping with Anxiety and Depression about the Future: Get Emotional Support

Living with knee arthritis can be emotionally challenging. Especially when you are faced with uncertainty of what the future holds.

Will you be able to walk normally again? Go on that vacation? Go to the mall or store without a walker? Not be left in the car because you can’t walk. These are all concerns I’ve heard from many different patients suffering from knee arthritis. 

Understand, that it is not uncommon to experience feelings of anxiety and depression as you navigate the daily struggles and limitations that come with knee arthritis. Really any persistent or chronic pain condition. However, it's important to remember that you don't have to face these emotions alone. And that there are solutions for you to improve your situation.

While I am not a psychologist, and I am not providing psychiatric advice. We all know that one way to cope with anxiety and depression about the future is to seek emotional support. Talking to someone who understands and empathizes with your struggles can make a world of difference. 

Reach out to family members, friends, or support groups who can provide a safe space for you to express your fears and frustrations.

If you need further help, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counsellor. They can offer guidance and coping strategies specific to your situation. Therapy can provide a safe and non-judgmental environment to explore your emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Everyone who I’ve spoken with that has seen one has found it immensely helpful.

Don't be afraid to ask your healthcare provider for recommendations or referrals. I make referrals all the time to psychologists. Everyone who has seen one that a I’ve spoken with has found it very beneficial.

In addition to emotional support, practicing self-care is crucial for managing anxiety and depression. Take time each day to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This could be reading a book, listening to music, practicing hobbies, or simply taking a walk in nature. Prioritizing your mental well-being will not only help you cope with anxiety and depression, but also contribute to your overall quality of life.

If you, or someone you know is dealing with mental health concern, or crisis there are resources available. Consider exploring these services provided by Alberta Health Services.

Stop Your Arthritic Knee Pain Today

You don't have to suffer from arthritic knee pain any longer. It's time to take back control of, and reclaim your life. You can avoid injections and surgery by implementing a holistic approach to treating your knee arthritis. This may include chiropractic orthopaedics, exercise, mindfulness, and home care techniques. You may find natural, long-term relief!

Say goodbye to the limitations and discomfort caused by your knee arthritis. Yell out, “Hello” to a life filled with joy, mobility and freedom! Don't let knee arthritis rule your life any longer – make an appointment today and avoid surgery and injections. You deserve it.

You may be thinking this is too good to be true. That your a lost cause. This won’t work for you. But let me was you this…what if I’m right?

Dr. Joseph Tanti

About the author

I am a husband, and father, love dogs AND cats, and I am a chiropractor. I help people recover from pain, and injuries and improve their overall health and well-being, and have fun doing it!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Schedule an appointment today, to feel your best tomorrow