A swollen knee is the result of the accumulation of fluid in or around the knee joint. It is commonly referred to as a ‘knee joint effusion’ or ‘water on the knee.’ Knee swelling can come on suddenly or gradually, can be mild or severe and can limit the movement of the leg. It often causes pain and can make walking very uncomfortable. The swelling can be both unilateral (affecting one knee) and bilateral (affecting both knees). Homeopathic medicines for swollen knee treat the condition in a gradual, safe and natural way.
The most common cause of a swollen knee is an injury, but in some cases, it may develop due to an underlying problem in the knee joint. The structure of the knee joint is as follows: The knee joint has a capsule, which is like a sac surrounding the whole joint. This capsule contains the synovial fluid which nourishes and lubricates the joint, enabling it to smoothly carry out movements of the body. The joint capsule acts as a container, keeping the fluid within the knee joint. Sometimes it may happen that the joint becomes overworked, or twisted. In case the joint gets irritated, it responds by producing more fluid in order to protect and heal itself. This is how the term ‘water on the knee’ has come about.
Homeopathic Medicines for Swollen Knee
There are various forms of conventional treatment for a swollen knee depending upon the cause for it. For a swollen knee caused by an infection, antibiotics are given to treat the underlying infection. In inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are usually prescribed. The above mentioned conventional treatment can, however, have adverse side effects on the body, the scope of which is totally emitted in Homeopathy. Both acute and chronic conditions respond well to Homeopathy. Apis Mellifica, Arnica Montana, Bryonia Alba, Benzoic Acid, Rhus Tox, Sticta Pulmonaria, Benzoicum Acidum, Silicea, and Kali Iodatum are the top remedies for a swollen knee.
1. Apis Mellifica – Where Pain Worsens Under Pressure
Apis Mellifica, also known as the Poison of the Honey Bee, is a medicine derived from dried honeybees commonly found in the Western region and Europe. Apis Mellifica is an effective remedy with a sphere of action revolving around the urinary system, gastrointestinal system and the skin with characteristic burning stinging pains as that from the bite of a bee.
It is used to treat a swollen knee that is accompanied by intense, stinging, and shooting pain in the knees. The pain worsens under pressure. The knee may appear shiny, sore, and sensitive to the touch. In the case of housemaid’s knee, it is indicated when the knee is highly swollen, sore and sensitive to touch. In some cases, the knee pain is of burning, stinging nature. Slight touch and pressure can worsen the pain.
2. Arnica Montana – For Swelling Due to Injury
Arnica Montana is used to treat a swollen knee that develops as a result of an injury or trauma. Arnica is also known as Leopard’s Bane, which is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe. It belongs to the family Compositae. Its main sphere of action is around the muscles and the cellular tissues of the body by acting through the cerebrospinal system. Other symptoms include soreness, bruising and pain. A sensation of dislocation with a tenderness of the knee joint may also be present.
3. Bryonia Alba – For Swelling Due to Rheumatic Joint
Bryonia Alba is a medicine used to treat swelling in the knees due to a rheumatic joint complaint. It is also known as White Bryony and belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. This is a perennial climbing herb found in Europe and Northern Iran. The knee joint is red, hot and swollen. Along with swelling, a sharp, tearing, stitching pain may also be present. The slightest movement of the knee can worsen the pain. Through the cerebrospinal nervous system, no other remedy affects the mucous membranes as Bryonia does.
Other Significant Remedies
4. Benzoic Acid – For Swollen Knee due to Gout
Benzoic Acid is a medicine used to treat a swollen knee due to gout. Along with swelling, painful nodes on the knee joint may be present. Drawing pain in the knees, a cracking sound upon movement and aggravation of the symptoms might indicate the need for this medicine.
5. Rhus Tox – For Swelling with Stiffness
Rhus Tox is used to treat a swollen knee with stiffness. The knee feels hot, painful, heavy and tense. Massage and movement help ease the pain.
6. Sticta Pulmonaria – Swelling due to Bursitis
Sticta Pulmonaria is one of the best medicines for a swollen knee that occurs due to bursitis. The main symptom that indicates the need for this medicine is a red, hot, intensely swollen knee. This is due to the collection of a significant amount of fluid in the patellar bursa. Stretching the leg or moving about often brings relief. For housemaid’s knee, the primary guiding symptom for using this medicine is severe shooting pain in the affected knee. The knee is also highly inflammed with marked redness and heat.
7. Benzoicum Acidum – For Gout affecting Knee Joint
Benzoicum Acidum is a remedy for gout that affects the knee joint. The joint is swollen and painful with a cracking sound on movement. In some cases, nodes from the deposits of urate crystals may be present on the knees.
4. Silicea – For Tearing Knee Pain
Silicea is a natural medicine for housemaid’s knee and swelling when knee pains are tearing in nature. Pressure and exercise worsen the pain over the knee. The knee is also highly swollen and shining.
5. Kali Iodatum – Swelling Aggravated at Night
The main feature to use Kali Iodatum is the pain over knee worse from lying on the affected side. Other symptoms indicating Kali Iodatum use are swelling over knee aggravated at night time.
Risk Factors that lead to a Swollen Knee
Following are some risk factors that can predispose a person to a condition like swollen knee:
1. Age: The risk of developing diseases which lead to knee effusion, like arthritis, increases with age. This makes older adults more vulnerable to develop a condition like a swollen knee.
2. Sports: People who are actively involved in sports that involve twisting the knee, such as basketball, are more likely to experience knee injuries that cause swelling.
3. Obesity: Excess weight puts added stress on the knee joint, thus contributing to the tissue and joint overload and knee degeneration that can lead to a swollen knee. Obesity increases the risk of osteoarthritis, one of the more frequent causes of knee swelling.
4. Occupation: Occupations that including sitting on the knees for hours together or hobbies like gardening, increase the pressure on the knees thus causing a knee effusion presenting itself as a swelling.
Symptoms of Swollen Knee
The symptoms corresponding to the condition are swelling and redness of the affected area along with tenderness and a warm feeling on the joint.
Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations
‘We are what we eat’ and hence diet plays an important role in every disease condition. While some foods can make things worse, there are plenty of anti-inflammatory foods that can ease the swollen knee joints.
1. Choose fish over red meat as red meat is rich in cholesterol and salt, thereby contributing to inflammation. Cooking in olive oil (rich in omega-9 fatty acid) can help reduce inflammation. Other useful food items are nuts like walnuts, almond, and hazelnuts along with garlic, onion, beans and lots of high fiber rich food and fruits.
2. To reduce inflammation, avoid processed foods such as packaged meats, cookies, chips, and other snacks. These are often high in unhealthy fats, salts, and sugars, which are linked to inflammation. Limiting your alcohol intake is also important, especially when taking certain medications.
Some lifestyle changes that can help prevent and manage a swollen knee include wearing proper shoes while walking, avoiding high heels for extended periods of time, warming up before an intense physical activity, performing light exercise to avoid a sedentary lifestyle, keeping a check on the weight since being overweight can put extra stress on the bones and joints, always maintaining the correct posture (especially while while at work, sitting or driving), lifting weight with care and consuming appropriate quantities of calcium and Vitamin D.