Hands up anyone who has experienced a stiff knee or two? At this time of year when it can be damp and cold, it may vary between a slight twinge to distinct discomfort, it may even interfere with your ease of movement. Knee pain is not reserved for the 'elderly' it can hit at any age.
I walked the Camino de Santiago a few years ago and seriously damaged my knee, here are some tips that have kept surgery at bay and me moving ...
Hairbrush tap the entire knee area and then 'brush off' with the palms of your hands, down, off the lower legs and toes - not sure what hairbrush tapping is? Here's a link to show you how. the whole point of doing it around the knee is to break up congested energy which in turn will allow space for fresh, healing energy to enter the area.
I then, with a little oil (I'll share one of my mixes in a minute), stretch out the entire knee area, paying special attention to all the muscles that come into the area. Wherever there is pain there will be 'congested' energy flow, stretching out the muscles and fascia around the knee will help disperse that congestion and with it will come a reduction in pain.
Around the medial knee area lymph can build up causing stiffness or tenderness, to disperse this, try body brushing in long soft strokes up the leg into the groin area. https://www.madisonking.com/post/lymph-on-the-move explains the benefits of getting your lymph on the move.
The acupuncture point Stomach 36 is one of the most energising points for the whole body and also helps reduce knee pain so extend your knee massage to just below the knee. Hook your thumb under the knee and the palm falls over the front of the leg, roughly where the little finger lands, feel around for a slight 'dip', it may be tender, this is the point, or at least the area you need to be massaging, with some firmness on both legs.
Around the kneecap are some potent acupressure points, there are a number of meridians that run through the knee. Massage, but gently this time, around the entire kneecap for a couple of minutes. For example, the Crooked Spring acupressure point relieves swelling and pain in the knee. It's located on inside the fold of the knee, at the end, when you bend it. Explore your knees, let your fingers be your guide, if they find tender places, gently massage or hold to disperse congestion and bring blood to the area, blood that will carry healing nutrients.
If I have been walking over rough terrain, my knee can become sore and after I have massaged around the area I have a small home ULTRASOUND machine that I use (with some conductive gel) for about 10 minutes over the entire knee area. I use REVITIVE Personal Ultrasound Therapy (about £146), it's an investment that I find worthwhile, although there are cheaper versions on the market.
Depending upon the type of injury/problem you have, you may find a knee support useful when walking over rough terrain for any distance.
When I'm walking in the hills, I use my Swedish walking sticks which can relieve a lot of pressure on the knees, especially walking downhill.
Did you know that for every pound of excess weight you carry, your knee feels the pressure of 4lbs - now that's a lot of pressure, so it makes sense that if you can 'lighten the load' literally on your knee you will feel the benefit.
CPD Oil balm - I use this some nights - massaging into my knees before I go to bed, I then wrap in clingfilm, which inevitably comes off during the night, but stays on long enough to create heat to aid absorption.
Quercetin and Bromalin are both natural anti-inflammatories and the synergistic effect of using them both together can be powerful. I always have in capsule form and then break open 3 capsules, mix with a little carrier oil such as Sweet Almond - although some olive oil from the kitchen will do. Mix into a paste and massage over the knee area and then cover with clingfilm to create the heat to help absorption.
Cooling balm such as Tiger's Balm over a specific 'hot spot' can bring relief and if I've walked too far, for too long and my knee feels inflamed I will ice it for a few minutes too (well, frozen peas in a tea towel).
Warming lotion - I love the old fashioned WINTERGREEN lotion that the footballers used to use - and I suspect still do. But, a word of warning: do NOT touch your face, especially your eyes after rubbing in Wintergreen - it will sting.
One of my favourite oil mixes: In a carrier oil such as Sweet Almond (say 10mil) I add 5 drops of Sweet Marjoram - 5 drops of Black Pepper + 5 drops of Lavender
Lavender Essential Oil has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities. This is the reason why it helps with numbing the pain and reducing swelling of the knee muscles. Black Pepper warms the area and Sweet Marjoram is a muscle relaxant and pain reliever.
Arthritis suffers might like to add THYME the essential oil is able to penetrate the skin surface. So knee pain due to friction between joints can be reduced by massaging it.
Tracing Figure 8 patterns over the knee for a few minutes, can help. It's the sign of infinity, a Tibetan healing symbol that can gentle help release the pain and stiffness and repair the knee.
Hold your hand over your knee and slowly start tracing anticlockwise circles over the area, starting very close to the skin and slowly moving out - imagine you are drawing out the pain and then shake off your hands.
Kidney governs the bones of the body. Behind the knee you'll find the 10th point on the kidney meridian and this can affect the entire knee, so massage K10 for an extra few seconds, or even hold that point on both knees for a minute while saying a statement such as: "My knees are strong and flexible, pain free and mobile - all is well".