It doesn’t matter if you recently suffered a knee injury or if you have had a problem knee for a long time; swelling in and around the knee causes a fair amount of pain and discomfort. Chances are that every time it flares up you are asking yourself “how do I relieve knee swelling”. That may seem like a tricky question on the surface, but the truth is that there are effective remedies that can help.
Though it may sound rather obvious, the quickest way to get some relief is to take your weight off your knee. Extra pressure and strain aren’t going to do anything but make the problem worse. Resting your leg doesn’t always cure the swelling, but it doesn’t hurt either. So go ahead and sit or lie down and relax and take a load off your knees. The longer you can stay off your knee the better; a full day would be ideal.
Now that you are resting your knee, you should elevate your legs. Use pillows, the arm of a comfy couch, or even a stack of books to get your legs as high as you comfortably can. This draws blood away from the inflamed area and helps to reduce swelling.
Put an ice pack (or bag of frozen vegetables) on the knee right after swelling begins. Do 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for 1 to 2 hours. You need to take the ice off for a while to prevent frostbite. The cold will help to reduce swelling and will also numb the area so it’s more comfortable. However, do not apply heat. You may think heat would feel good, but heat is a big no-no because it potentially leads to even worse problems; therefore it’s best to only apply cold to your swollen knee.
Anti-inflammatory medications can help to bring the swelling down. Aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as other products, can be purchased at the store. You can also check with your doctor to see if they are able to prescribe a good medication to reduce the inflammation.
Once you are back on your feet, you should do what you can to support your knee and keep some of your weight off of it. Winding a stretchy fabric bandage around will help. Also, using crutches or a cane, if the swelling and pain are moderate to severe, will put less strain on your knee.
There is a centuries-old answer to the question of how do I relieve knee swelling, and that is Epsom salts. Applying a wet towel that has been soaked in Epsom salts or taking a bath in them can help because they contain a fair amount of magnesium; thereby reducing swelling. Another benefit is that the salts can help to soothe your stress as well.
Regardless of which methods you use, it is very important that you see your doctor if the swelling doesn’t go away, or if it’s a recurring problem. Either way, there are things you can do to relieve knee swelling.