• Liyan Lu

Knee Pain

Updated: Oct 2

Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Knee pain may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — including arthritis, gout, and infections — also can cause knee pain.

Many types of minor knee pain respond well to self-care measures. Physical therapy and knee braces also can help relieve knee pain. In some cases, however, your knee may require surgical repair. (source: Mayo clinic)

Healthyping's suggestions:

Apply ice to your knee; reduce at least 50% of your activities that cause pain; wear a brace, an elastic or neoprene sleeve, or a band with a hole for the kneecap that holds the kneecap in place to help ease pain during activity. Stretch the front and back of your thigh muscles when they are warm after exercise.

50% Epsom salt solution to reduce skin/joint inflammation and pain: make a paste using the same amount of Epsom salt and water, mix well; it is a 50% Epsom salt solution. Put the solution on a paper towel and place it on swelled area, then cover with a food wrap for 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a day.

Herbal Alcohol relieves the pain and swelling in joints, our formula, and is very effective.

The heating bag reduces chronic local inflammation. Ice bag only is used within the first 72 hours after acute injury and inflammation.

Eat food as medicine.

Ginger is a powerful natural painkiller. It contains anti-inflammatory fighting substances. The compounds giving ginger a strong flavor have anti-inflammatory properties to reduce joint swelling and pain. Ginger also helps digestion illnesses.

Papaya contains several unique papaya proteinases, vitamin C, and beta-carotene to lower inflammation, improve healing and alleviate knee pain.

Pineapple has a group of enzymes that break down protein to help digestion and inflammation. Those enzymes like bromelain have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory effects comparable to NSAIDs.

Tart cherry has anthocyanins, plant pigments, which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins are in red and purple fruits, including raspberries and blueberries, but tart cherries contain more than others. Boston University Medical Center researchers found that eating at least ten cherries a day protected people with existing gout from recurrent attacks. Cherry intake was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of gout flares over 48 hours.


Papaya and Pineapple enzymes help with digestion, reduce inflammations and stop joint pain.

Alternative medicine practitioners praise Boswellia for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. This herb may block leukotrienes, which can attack healthy joints in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Boswellia is available in tablet form, as well as topical creams.

Turmeric is a yellow powder used in cooking to make curry. It also works best with fighting joint pain when taken orally. Lab studies on rats have found that this herb may slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

Glucosamine slows deterioration of cartilage, relieves osteoarthritis (OA) pain, and improves joint mobility. Glucosamine produced in the body provides natural building blocks for the growth, repair, and maintenance of cartilage. Like chondroitin, glucosamine may lubricate joints, help cartilage retain water, prevent its breakdown and ease osteoarthritis symptoms.

Calcium Try to get as much calcium through your diet as you can (http://nof.org/articles/886 has a guide to calcium-rich foods) and ask your doctor before taking a calcium supplement. Suggestion: Calcium citrate 250 mg with Vitamin D3 400 IU once to twice a day if the knee pain subsided after taking calcium supplements.

Note: In 2012, researchers found that taking calcium supplements increases the risk of a heart attack because it spikes the calcium levels in the blood versus the gradual rise when taking calcium from food. However, millions of people depend on calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis, especially people with rheumatoid arthritis and corticosteroid users at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. The benefit of calcium supplementation might outweigh the potential heart risk.

Vitamin C The reasons you need vitamin C supplement: 1) Vitamin C is essential for synthesizing collagen to keep healthy cartilage, tendons, joints, blood vessels, gums, teeth, and immune system. 2) Vitamin C is consumed while it is assembling collagen in the tissues. Suggestion: take vitamin C 500mg a day, 5 or 6 days a week.


Halfway squats bring more blood flow into the knees and help to strengthen muscles and build up the cartilage in the knees. Squat halfway down and hold for 1 to 5 minutes, twice a day. The Halfway is the best way to prevent knee problems, strengthen and stretch the leg muscles, especially those in the front and back of the thigh (quadriceps and hamstrings).

Yoga or Tai chi: are slow stretching movements. They help improve joint flexibility and range of motion in some people with arthritis.

Treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Ping's Meridians Massage relaxes muscles, tendons and improves flexibility.

Acupuncture promotes energy flow, improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and relieves pain. Especially eight acupoints around the kneecap are very effective in treating knee pain. Most of our patients with knee issues alleviated the pain after 2-3 acupuncture treatments.

Multi-purpose herbal bag relieves knee pain effectively. For acute knee pain, at the first 72 hours, use the herbal bag as an ice bag to reduce inflammation; after 72 hours, use it as a heating pad to speed up the natural healing process. For chronic knee pain, use it as a heating bag.


Unless you are pain-free, you should avoid bending the knee too deep, repeatedly squatting, running downhill, and wearing high-heeled shoes.

Wear shoes with suitable arch supports. Replace running shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

Case-1, a 45-year-old male patient, had been suffering from acute pain and severe knee swelling in his right knee since he frequently needed to bend the knee for his daily job. He was a carpet installer working with his knees for long hours every day. His right knee was red, warm, swelling, and showing acute inflammation. He couldn't bend the knee due to pain. We did Ping's meridian massage on his bladder meridian first, then placed six needles around the right kneecap and inserted two needles behind the knee on each side; added electric stimulation on the needles for 25 minutes with a heating lamp. Afterward, we gave him 50% Empson salt to paste on the right knee 1-2 times a day, 30 minutes each time. One week later, his knee had no swelling, and his pain was 80% down when he came back for the second treatment.

Case-2, an 80-year-old female patient, had acute sharp pain in the inner knees for a half-day, left knee pain more than right since the last night she bent her knees to clip the toenails. We did Ping's meridian massage on the bladder meridian first, then placed six needles around the inner knee pain area on each leg; added electric stimulation on the needles under a heating lamp for 25 minutes. Afterward, she felt her pain 50% gone. The next day her daughter called, her mom's knee pain was gone away.

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