Surgery-free pain relief for hips and knees

Joint pain can be debilitating but there are things to try before surgery.

hip pain

Joint pain, particularly in the hips and knees, can stop you taking part in many of the activities that you love and rob you of your mobility. While surgery can rectify the problem, there are things to try before resorting to an operation.

All surgery presents a certain level of risk and a recent Danish study suggested that people in their 50s who had arthroscopic surgery for knee pain showed no lasting benefits.

Here are four things to try before taking the surgery option.

Therapeutic exercise

Strengthening the muscles around your damaged knee or hip can help to reduce the level of stress that you are placing on the joint. Your hips won’t have to do as much work to support your body weight if your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and abdominal muscles are strong. Strong quadriceps muscles can also take on the shock-absorbing work of the meniscus or cartilage in the knees, the area most responsible for pain. Having strong muscles around the joints allows them to be held in the most functional and least painful positions. Flexibility exercises can also help to improve joint function.

Weight loss

About 98 per cent of people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee or hip are overweight or obese, according to Professor David Hunter a rheumatologist at the University of Sydney.

"It's probably the most important risk factor, particularly for knee OA, and accounts for about 50 per cent of the reason why people develop OA in the first place," he says.

"Once they get OA it further compounds the problem by making the pain more severe and accelerates the likelihood of requiring more intervention.

"The effects of losing weight will be close to double what you would get from taking an anti-inflammatory medication, which typically improves symptoms by about 20 to 30 per cent," he says.

"Losing weight also has the additional benefits of reducing the overall risk of death, the need for joint replacement surgery as well as improving function in the long-term," he adds.

Gait retraining

The way people stand, run or walk can have a major influence on joint pain, but the problem can take many years to present. A good physical therapist will be able to analyse your gait and make suggestions to help you walk in a less painful manner to reduce stress on your joints. Changing the way you have walked can take time to rectify and feel quite strange. But if you are willing to persevere and keep practising, eventually it will become more comfortable and natural. A therapist may suggest changing shoes to help improve your gait, or you may also be able to use inserts to achieve better alignment.

Medicine (traditional and alternative)

Ibuprofen is great for joint pain relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will aid in relieving joint swelling and stiffness, and prescribed muscle relaxants can help in reducing muscle spasms. Aside from the standard pain-relief medications, there is evidence that fish oil and krill oil, both of which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, are also helpful in reducing inflammation and joint pain.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    25th Jul 2017
    The exercise in this youtube video resolved an injury to my knee, damaged 47 years ago!
    Believe me it works.
    25th Jul 2017
    Unfortunately taking drugs such as ibuprofen long-term will have unwanted side-effects.
    I recommend a natural, nutrigenomic product that is proven to upregulate our body's own anti-inflammatory system. I know of many users of this product who no longer need pain meds for their problematic knees and hips. For more info email me:
    25th Jul 2017
    Why can't you share the good news here? I suspect you are a marketing agent and wanting to get hold of people's email addresses.

    25th Jul 2017
    Maggie ....I simply need a way to communicate with people who are interested in improving their quality of life and send them the relevant information.
    This product is not sold in stores because it needs explanation as to how it works. It is not a supplement it is a Nrf2 Activator, proven to reduce Oxidative Stress in every cell of the body. I send interested people a video which explains Nrf2 Activation and if they wish to gain the benefits to their health that this provides I can organise shipment of the product to them.
    Nothing sinister here ... just trying to help people!
    Star Trekker
    25th Jul 2017
    Just 2 days before my knee replacement, this shows up. I have been taking fish oil, anti-inflammatories & other supplements for years but still need the surgery. I have hyper-mobile joints and faulty collagen. I have injured my knee so many times it is amazing that I can still stand. This will be the third and hopefully final operation for this knee. Not all treatments help. Every one is different.
    25th Jul 2017
    To add a comment to Polly and Maggie: My partner and I use a product; no drugs, chemicals or supplements induced or ingested into the body but is simply a patch working with invisible light to communicate with the body's energy system for a near immediate and powerful positive effect. This is already a well proven and efficient method already used in hospitals and elsewhere overseas but still often misunderstood in countries like Australia where this advanced technology is not taught.
    We are also often travelling the world using this system. On a cruise we were on recently we assisted dozens of passengers with the patches. Many had knee problems and other pain issues and we had nearing 100% success with the patches. One lady, not enjoying her holiday at all, was due for a knee operation/replacement on her return to Australia. Her specialist did not want to do this procedure, considering it too risky for her and suggested she find any way possible to avoid the procedure and let him know how she went. So yes, we applied a couple of patches to her knee and within a few hours the pain had reduced to the point she could comfortable walk up and down the 14 levels of stairs on the ship. She left the ship with no pain or other issues with her knee.
    On our return to Australia another lady we had had helped some months ago contacted us looking for a couple more of these patches. During early February we had simple placed a patch on top of her foot to ease her chronic foot pain. It apparently worked very well to the point her Stem Cell therapy treatment on the foot had been cancelled. Once the doctor found out the patch had removed the pain the therapy was cancelled. The doctor was particularly pleased in not having to proceed with the risky, expensive, painful procedure that may have only had limited success.
    Personally we are assisting thousands of people in many countries with these patches and the above is just a small example. As suggested by Polly with her product, our patches also need some explanation of how these patches work. We also provide access to the patches and offer ongoing support worldwide with no charge to assist with the application and use of the patches toward the best result possible.
    So yes, there are simple products out there to allow the body itself to heal the body and the patches we use are already doing this around 80% faster than any other product/method known today and with NO harmful side effects ever – the patches are Non-Transdermal! In answer to Maggies’ comment, yes we do make some income. In our situation the patches we sell are around $5 each and less as a member of the company. We used two patches initially for the lady’s knee (She purchased extra later to help with other issues) and we only used a single patch on the other lady’s foot. Compare this cost to the two procedures mentioned above. It is unfortunate that if we give links here for contact we are often considered to be simply pushing something for our own benefit.
    Happy Wanderer
    25th Jul 2017
    Rob, I too would be interested in trying these patches. I will email you on the email you have provided.
    25th Jul 2017
    Rob, I would be interested to hear more. I do Pilates for my hip pain and have been given heat patches in the past by helpful folk for my knees. Please tell me more about yours.
    25th Jul 2017
    Hi Squirrel, our patches already have considerably studies showing pain and inflammation often eased in minutes, sometimes in seconds and certainly within a few hours. The studies are not just from what people or animals feel but are done with various actual readings at a cellular level, heart rate variability, thermal imaging and other later technology measurements. Like Acupuncture, but no needles and many times more effective and as easy to use as applying a band aide. Overall a very effective way to ease pain and so many other issues. As soon as the pain is eased this way the body is already in a state of accelerated repair.
    On the way back from our trip in Sydney we were asked to present at a health clinic. Before we started our presentation we were asked to attach the patches on lady who was being assisted by Pilates for her long term knee pain. We did and the lady left but returned 1/2 hour later in the middle of our presentation to tell everyone her knee pain had already near disappeared and was still improving. Because the patches work on the electrical communication throughout the body it is often like switching a light switch off and on. So quick, effective and very, very safe for ALL ages. You are welcome to contact us for further information. There are now hundreds of thousands of people around the world assisting others with these patches. Rob
    26th Jul 2017
    You need to be cleverer when advertising on an oldies site as we have seen all this mumbo jumbo before.
    If you want to convince people of a solution you need to acknowledge a genuine condition first.
    Arthritis is genuine, painful and for some is life long. It has been around in animals and humans for ever - before the obesity crisis.
    True - weight puts an added load on the joints but I have seen as many thin people in excruciating pain as obese.
    So present your blurb in a manner that shows some respect to the elderly and you may be listened to with interest.
    26th Jul 2017
    Yes Rosret, we would agree there can be questionable alternatives suggested at times but as you have done – ask and someone will generally respond in the positive if they can.
    We just noticed this posting you made while we were on a conference call to US and part of the discussion was on the benefits Dr Pierre Volckmann is finding in using these patches for people suffering with pain in major hospitals in Paris. This doctor is finding exceptional pain relief for patients when using the patches. We are not sure what credentials you are after to overcome the mumbo jumbo but believe this could be a start?
    • Dr. Pierre Volckmann is currently the Medical Director of a hospital system in France that includes over 75 institutions and 27 private hospitals.
    • Dr. Volckmann's professional credentials are extremely impressive, including having been the "pain-expert" for the French Agency for the Safety of Health Products (AFSSAPS), which is the French version of the United States FDA
    • He is a member of numerous professional medical societies, including being the former secretary general of the French Society for the Study and Treatment of Pain (SFETD)
    • Dr. Volckmann is a knight of the National Order of Merit—an honour bestowed by the President of the French Republic to people who have accomplished distinguished achievements.
    • His status as a leading expert in the field of pain management makes him uniquely qualified to evaluate new technologies and methods.
    If Dr Volckmann and his team of doctors in many hospitals and institutions can find the benefits of assisting patients with the patches why not everyone?
    The initial studies done by Dr Volckmann, by the way, were for assisting with Osteoarthritis and the patches were found to ease this with a 95% success rate.
    We are treating people from all ages to very elderly with the patches. One lady we attended to on recent cruise was having her 90th birthday on the cruise and enjoyed it so much more with the relief the patches gave her for several issues including pain. Hoping this explains a little for you?
    Oh, and I am one of those oldies (or getting there) aged 75 but with the patches I am having the best life possible and the blessing of assisting so many others. No physical handicaps, medication or procedures for me as all my health and pain issues are a thing of the past thanks to these patches. :) Rob

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