How to cope with mild knee pain

Published February 19, 2023

Share Article

Man holding knee

Knee pain is a very common condition affecting approximately 19% of the population.  Knee pain is slightly more prevalent in women with twenty percent of women affected and 15-20% of men presenting with knee pain. The incidence of knee pain increases steadily with age.

Your knee is made up of 3 bones, the tibia (shin bone), femur (thigh bone) and patella (the knee cap). These bones are held together by muscles, ligaments and tendons.  Knee pain can be a result of injury to any of these structures.

Common causes of knee pain

Knee pain can result from several conditions:

  • Ligament sprains & strains — A sprained or strained knee ligament or muscle is usually caused by a blow to the knee or a sudden twist of the knee. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and difficulty in walking.
  • Torn cartilage — Trauma to the knee can tear the menisci (pads of connective tissue that act as shock absorbers and also enhance stability). Cartilage tears can often occur with sprains.
  • Overuse — Inflammation of the tendons or bursa may result from overuse or during certain activities such as running, jumping, or cycling.
  • Osteoarthritis — Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that affects the knee. Osteoarthritis is where the cartilage in the joint gradually wears away. It often affects middle-age and older people. Osteoarthritis may be caused by excess stress on the joint such as repeated injury or being overweight. 

Lifestyle tips to reduce knee pain

Maintain a healthy body weight

Being overweight can lead to increased inflammation of the joints. The inactivity associated with being overweight can further exacerbate knee pain and lead to the development of conditions that impact knee health. Eating a Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to help promote healthy body weight and provide valuable antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods.

Low impact exercise

Low impact exercise strengthens muscular support around your joints, helps you avoid weight gain and helps maintain knee function. Research has shown low impact exercises like walking, tai chi and hydrotherapy have helped reduce knee pain levels. Aim for 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise a day.


Stretching exercises are important to help muscles, tendons, and ligaments retain strength and mobility. Gentle stretches you can do at home to help cope with knee pain include:

  • Quad stretch — Hold on to the back of a chair and step back with one foot. Knees should be bent and feet should be flat. Tuck your tailbone in under your hips to achieve a stretch in the back thigh and hip. Hold for a count of ten before repeating with your other leg.
  • Hamstring stretch — While seated, stretch one leg out before you straight, heel to the floor and toes pointing up. Your other foot should be flat on the floor, knee bent at a right angle. Lean forward gently without rounding your back, until you feel the stretch in the back of your straight leg. Hold for a count of ten before repeating with your other leg.
  • Calf raises — Holding on to the back of a chair, with feet hip-width apart, lift your heels from the floor until you are on your tip-toes. Hold for a few seconds, then gently lower. Complete a set of ten.

Nutrients to support the knee and joint health

Key nutrients can help you maintain healthy joints. These include:

  • Calcium — Calcium is needed for optimal bone formation when your younger and for maintenance of bone mineral density as you age. Sources of calcium include tofu, canned fish, yoghurt, milk and cheese.
  • Vitamin D — Vitamin D is needed for normal bone formation. Sources of vitamin D include safe exposure to sunlight, oily fish, liver, eggs and milk varieties fortified with vitamin D.
  • Protein — Protein provides amino acids and nitrogen for joint formation. Especially important are sulphur-containing amino acids such as cysteine. Sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish and seafood, eggs, nuts, legumes and dairy.
  • Vitamin C — Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis which you need for healthy joints. Sources of vitamin C include kiwifruit, strawberries, capsicum, grapefruit juice and broccoli.
  • Zinc — Zinc is important for connective tissue formation and to maintain bone health as you age. Sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and seafood.
  • Collagen — Healthy joints require collagenous materials in the diet. Collagen naturally occurs in foods animal foods containing gelatin.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids — Omega-3 fatty acids help produce compounds in the body that are naturally anti-inflammatory. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include seafood, nuts and seeds, plant oils and foods fortified with omega-3. Supplementation with Omega-3 fish oil or krill oil will also provide omega-3 fatty acids. Krill oil also contains Astaxanthin, a natural antioxidant that helps reduce free radical damage.
  • Glucosamine sulphate & chondroitin sulphate — Glucosamine and chondroitin are needed for the formation of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, compounds that serve as structural building blocks for joint cartilage.

Herbal medicines for joint support

  • Curcumin — Curcumin is a compound found naturally in turmeric which has been shown to have many health benefits including being a potent anti-inflammatory. To obtain a therapeutic amount of curcumin from turmeric alone you would need to eat large amounts. Supplements, where curcumin is bound to a fat, enhance the absorption of curcumin, so you do not need such large amounts. Studies using a proprietary Curcumin-phospholipid complex have been shown to reduce joint pain signs and symptoms as well as improve mobility and it has also been shown to decrease compounds linked to inflammation in the body.
  • Celery Seed — Celery seed is the seed of the celery plant. They contain essential fatty acids and many constituents that support joint and digestive health. Traditionally Celery seed has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a diuretic to remove uric acid. Celery seed is available in supplements. Speak to your healthcare practitioner to see if celery seed is suitable for you.

Knee pain is a common problem for men and women. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly can help you reduce your risk of knee pain. A Mediterranean diet can help you manage your weight and provide the nutrients to help support your joints. Should supplementation be of interest, Curcumin, provides anti-inflammatory support for joint health. Glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate help provide the nutrients needed for the building blocks of your joints.

Speak to your healthcare practitioner to see if supplementation is right for you.


Learn about which Nature's Own product may be appropriate for you.

Share Article
Share Article