Like any machine, over time our bodies wear down. Joints are especially susceptible to wear and tear because of the movement and pressure that are necessarily applied to them. Joints are where two bones meet. They are connected with ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to each other and the surrounding muscles.
The knee joint is the largest in the human body. It handles a tremendous amount of stress as it allows lower body mobility while supporting the upper body. Over time, the cartilage at the end of the bones that form the joint can deteriorate.
In addition, there are fluid sacs in the knee capsule to keep the joint lubricated. These bursae can become irritated or inflamed if injured, resulting in bursitis.
There are many potential causes for knee joint pain:
- Osteoarthritis – a chronic condition that occurs when the cartilage between bones breaks down
- Rheumatoid arthritis – an autoimmune disease that affects joints, causing swelling
- Bursitis – inflammation of fluid sacs either in front or directly behind the kneecap
- Immuno-inflammatory conditions
- Tendonitis – inflammation of tendons
- Gout – a form of arthritis in which uric acid accumulates and crystals of it settle in a joint
Fortunately for our knees, there are natural remedies to reduce inflammation and ease the pain.
DIY Knee Joint Pain Remedy
The following recipe is a knee joint pain relieving rub. It contains effective anti-inflammatories and analgesics. Let’s look at what’s in it.
Cayenne has been used by Native Americans for millennia for pain relief. Capsaicin is a phytochemical in this spicy pepper that relieves pain through a variety of mechanisms. First, capsaicin blocks chemical pain transmitter “substance P” from reaching the brain. Second, when applied topically, it penetrates the skin to defunctionalize fibers that respond to pain stimuli. Through the skin, capsaicin stops nerves fibers from feeling pain and transmitting it. Lastly, capsaicin prevents pain from spreading to other areas. One study of an 8% concentration of capsaicin patch applied for pain management found that a single 1-hour application was effective in reducing pain for up to 12 weeks. (1)
The capsaicin in cayenne is also effective for inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Cayenne works to relieve inflammation when taken internally as well.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Supremely beneficial for human health in a wide range of applications, ACV is a potent anti-inflammatory that can relieve joint stiffness. The acetic acid in ACV penetrates the skin and can help to break up acid crystals that can form in the joint. Acetic acid has also been found to provide effective relief for tendonitis and other joint inflammation. (2) Additionally, unfiltered ACV contains bone-supporting minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
3. Olive Oil
Anti-inflammatory and emollient, olive oil is a wonderful carrier oil.
A potent anti-inflammatory, the phytochemical gingerol inhibits excessive immune response that results in inflammation. A 2014 study of the daily topical application of ginger on joints of people with osteoarthritis (OA) resulted in pain relief within a week and continued for the 24-week duration of the study.
“Topical ginger treatments were found to improve the subdimensions of quality of life scores of physical function, pain, and health satisfaction and overall global effect of OA. The noninvasive nature of topical ginger avoids the risks of conventional medication and surgery and has the potential to delay and possibly negate the use of these more invasive treatments.” (3)
Natural Rub Recipe for Bone, Knee and Joint Pain
You can apply this paste on any joint to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. You may want to experiment with the recipe and mix half the amount of ACV with the olive oil; sometimes the rub can be quite strong and the olive oil will lessen heat and make the paste easier to apply.
All of these ingredients will also reduce inflammation if you eat them. Please note that cayenne can stain fabrics, so take care around adjacent clothing.
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper powder
- 1 cup raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar OR ½ cup extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, warmed
- ½ inch ginger, grated
- Add grated ginger and cayenne pepper to the apple cider vinegar or warm olive oil. Stir well until a paste forms.
- Apply the paste on the affected area twice a day and leave it for 20 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Give it a stir before application.
Sore joints are no joke. Age-old yet modern clinically-tested natural remedies can help manage and reverse the effects of time. Use the recipe above for knee joint pain and other painful conditions.