As we age, the cartilage in our knees can wear down, triggering osteoarthritis and knee pain that flares up when we’re walking and climbing stairs. Medications, such as anti-inflammatories and injections of corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid, are often prescribed to treat osteoarthritis knee pain.
But those aren’t your only options. Natural remedies can also be used to ease knee pain and improve your quality of life, often in combination with conventional treatments, says William Martin, MD, a rheumatologist at UCLA Health in Los Angeles. Try these 12 tips to help relieve knee pain — just be sure to talk to your doctor before you test them out.
Lose Weight (If You Need To)
“Every pound you lose is less stress on your knee joints,” Dr. Martin says. On level ground, every step you take puts pressure on your knees equal to one and a half times your body weight, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Add stairs, and the pressure on your knees increases to double or triple your body weight. That’s why it’s important to lose weight if you’re overweight, and to maintain a healthy weight once you get there. Losing weight also makes it easier to be active, and staying active is better for your knee joints than sitting still, Martin notes.