The menisci are cartilaginous tissue in the knee joint. It’s a strong and flexible tissue that helps to cushion the friction between the leg bones (the femur and the tibia). It’s important to know how to relieve meniscus pain because it’s very common and is a part of the body that can get injured easily.
In fact, it’s one of the main reasons people go to the doctor for pain. Normally, the pain is from a meniscus tear or tissue wear due to aging or certain diseases.
For some people who are affected by this pain, it may end up being disabling. That means it prevents them from walking or making normal movements with their knees. Therefore, in this article, we’ll explain the main causes of meniscus pain and how to relieve it.
What causes meniscus pain?
As we’ve already mentioned, the meniscus is a tissue found in both knees. It separates the femur from the tibia. Also, it’s an elastic tissue that helps to prevent the two bones from colliding when we move our legs.
Meniscus pain appears as a result of an injury to this area of our bodies. A blow or some sudden movement during physical activity can often cause a meniscus tear. In addition, according to an article published in 2020 by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, it’s a common issue in athletes and young people.
In addition, meniscus pain can also be the result of wear and tear. As we age, it’s common for the cartilaginous tissues in the body to gradually weaken. Normally, this occurs after the age of 40 and it can also cause a break.
In both cases, this type of pain can appear both suddenly or progressively. Depending on the degree of injury and the type, inflammation will also appear in the knee. This inflammation could be intense or very slight.
What other symptoms accompany this pain?
When a meniscus tear occurs, in addition to pain, you’ll experience other symptoms. For example, leg movements will likely be limited. It’ll be especially difficult to stretch or bend your leg.
In fact, when there’s a tear, you might hear slight clicking sounds when you move the joint. Also, in some cases, meniscus pain is accompanied by your knee suddenly giving out. When this happens, it’s as if you can’t hold yourself up and your knee will automatically bend.
How to relieve meniscus pain
The best thing to do to combat meniscus pain is to go and see your doctor. It’s important that they do some tests to locate the injury and check if there’s a break. Additionally, they’ll rule out other possible injuries in that area that may be causing the pain.
That said, researchers from American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explain that there are also actions that can help reduce the pain:
- Firstly, it’s best to keep your leg up and to apply ice to it.
- Ideally, put your knee in a special brace to keep your knee from getting too cold.
- You can do this several times a day, for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- In addition, it’s important to rest so you don’t overload the joint.
Generally, with prior medical approval, you’ll be advised to take anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen. These will help decrease the swelling and will also relieve meniscus pain. However, we don’t recommend taking them for too long.
Also, there’s a natural remedy that involves putting clay on the affected knee. This is supported by a study carried out by the researchers Rosario Arias and Lissy Sharina. The idea is to infuse yarrow and burdock and mix it with the clay to make a paste. As the application continues, it’ll help to relieve the knee pain. However, more research is needed to verify this method’s full effectiveness.
In addition, researchers are currently working to see if electrotherapy works to treat both meniscus pain and its causes. However, as we’ve already stressed, your doctor or physiotherapist should be the ones who prescribe this treatment.
See a specialist before performing any treatment
Meniscus pain is a common issue that usually affects young athletes. However, it also affects older people as a result of aging.
To help relieve the pain, you can use ice remedies, medications, or other measures. Remember, it’s always best to go to a specialist before starting any treatment. That way, they can advise you on the best option for your quick recovery.