Easing Knee Pain

Many people complain of pain in their knees. It’s often diagnosed as arthritis, but what is of more interest to me is what caused the pain to develop.

There are many possible reasons for knee problems, whether they manifest as arthritis, tendon problems or something else. The joints in the legs are connected with moving forward, changing directions, following your path. Are you doing what you love? Are you wavering over a big decision? Do you have fear of your future? What was going on in your life when your knees first started hurting?

Knees are also connected with the base chakra, and represent support and stability. Do you feel solid in your foundation? Do you feel safe? Do you feel confident of your place in the world?

While you’re considering these questions, ease the pain with a ginger compress. (Slice fresh ginger into a pot of water and simmer—not boil—10 minutes. Soak a towel in the hot water and wrap your painful joints. Replace when the towel cools.)

On a physical level, joint pain often originates from either arthritis or tendon trauma. There are two kinds of arthritis: osteo-arthritis where the joint is damaged and worn down, and rheumatoid arthritis where the joint is inflamed.

With rheumatoid arthritis (characterized by swelling and heat), I recommend checking for food sensitivities (especially wheat, dairy and citrus) and tired adrenal glands, both of which aggravate inflammation. For low-functioning adrenal glands I often recommend miso soup, found at Japanese restaurants and in packets in grocery stores. (Watch the sodium count if you are on a low-sodium diet.) Miso nourishes the adrenals. With rheumatoid arthritis, there can also be a viral component, so work to boost your immune system.

For osteoarthritis, I recommend taking supplements to increase the cartilage in the joint. For some people, glucosamine and chondroitin work really well. Others do better on SAM-e. Remember to drink lots of water.

Modern medicine is doing wonders with knee replacement and other techniques. Explore these options as necessary, just make sure you do the metaphysical work as well or your body will have to find other ways to get your attention. Also, don’t take surgery lightly. Any time the body is cut open, it requires time and help to recover. Please call me to discuss ways of helping your body get through surgery as easily as possible.

Pulled or tight tendons are often responsible for joint pain. Tendons are the muscle extensions that attach to the joints. With chronically tight muscles the joints can be pulled microscopically out of alignment, enough to cause wear and tear on the joint, possibly leading to arthritis. I had a client recently who said she didn’t feel tense. Yet when I led her through a visualization for her thigh muscles, her whole leg noticeably softened and her knee joint was able to relax into its normal position for the first time in ages. Chronic pain often leads to tight muscles as the body stiffens against the pain. At least once a day, lie down and do a progressive relaxation through your whole body.

Also, see a good bodyworker who can release this tightness from your tendons and ligaments.

If you get a new pain in a joint, consider first that it might be the tendons. Remember rest, ice, compression and elevation. Pull out an ACE bandage and a pack of frozen peas and loll on the couch.

Use this pain as guidance and make the necessary adjustments to your life. When in doubt, find a health pracititioner who can help you on your healing journey.

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