New Ways to Cope With Knee Pain

Until your family members and friends experience knee problems themselves, they may not understand why your knees hurt and swell, or how they limit your movement. Our knees are something we take for granted!

There are many reasons for knee pain:

  • Old injuries that led to damaged or worn-out cartilage
  • Current injuries
  • Overuse, such as in runner’s knee
  • Dislocation
  • Sprains and strains, including of the ankle
  • Arthritis or bursitis, both of which cause inflammation
  • Tendonitis of the patella (kneecap)
  • Foot pain

Do you have knee pain due to one of the reasons on this list? If so, you may be surprised to find out that there are solutions to knee pain from the natural healing field. Some of them may even make your knee feel so much better that you aren’t considering a knee replacement.

Over the years, I’ve found that there are three reasons why patients continue to have knee pain:

  • Their treating doctor or health practitioner neglected their nutrition.
  • Their health professional neglected what was happening in their feet.
  • Their health care team neglected their muscle strength.

Your joints are at the bottom of the priority list when it comes to getting blood supply and nutrients. This is simply a matter of the body’s engineering. What this means is that you have to make a concerted effort to get nutrients into the joints, and battle gravity along the way.

One way to bypass the limited blood supply that goes to the interior of the knee is to consider using an inversion table. Now you should know that these are not for everyone, but if you are able to walk, don’t have high blood pressure, and don’t have glaucoma or retinal detachment issues, a short 30-second session of inversion therapy – hanging upside down – on a controlled table will offer you amazing results on your knee.

Here’s an example of one of my neighbors who used my inversion table and got complete relief of her knee pain:

She has only mild arthritis of the knee, is about 40 pounds overweight, and had seriously limited her daily activities because of knee pain. Ibuprofen and physical therapy really weren’t helping much.

I suggested she try inversion therapy and only took her 75% of the way down to the vertical position for 15 seconds, then repeated it twice. (It sometimes takes a while to get used to it.) When she got off the inversion table, she had improved posture and her knee pain was gone. She continued this a few more times that week and her physical therapist said her knee was better, and she didn’t need treatment anymore.

Hanging upside down is a way to insure that the knee gets extra blood circulation, and it’s the blood circulation that brings in nutrients to the knee. Hanging upside down also “decompresses” the knees, taking off any gravitational forces on them. It’s a simple solution. Plus, it also stops overactive muscles from firing and contracting; however, if you have nutritional deficiencies that are contributing to joint breakdown, you’ll need more than extra blood circulation to stop your knee pain.

One of the most neglected nutrients for the knee and other joints is silica. In fact, some health experts don’t even call silica a nutrient needed for health. There’s no RDA for it. That’s peculiar, since silica is what gives strength to the bones and joints.

Levels of silica in the soil have fallen by a minimum of 34% in the last decade, and what I see is that just about everyone needs it. It nourishes the joints and can cause a cessation of knee pain within a few days or weeks, depending on the person’s condition.

Silica shouldn’t be purchased at the health food store but at the feed store in the form of USDA food grade amorphous silica or diatomaceous earth. There must be nothing in it at all, and it must not be the insecticide variety. Food grade means you can consume it; the other forms are totally non-edible and toxic. You can read about it at Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is purchased in 2-pound bags, 5-pound bags, or 50-pound bags, and its low cost is easily affordable.

Once you obtain the DE, add a heaping tablespoon to a glass of water, juice, yogurt, or kefir milk. Pineapple juice is a good beverage to flavor the DE, which has a mild taste. Take the DE twice daily and start reaping the benefits. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when all sorts of body aches and pains go away, including old injuries.

You can still feed your joints with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, but I believe you’ll get a lot more benefits with DE by itself. Many of my patients don’t need glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate anymore after a few weeks on DE.

Other nutrients the joints need include 1000 mg vitamin C, 500 mg pantothenic acid, your calcium, phosphorus and magnesium for the day, and vitamin D. For whatever reason, if your nutrition is ignored, your knee pain will continue. Once your nutritional needs are supplied over time, and continued, then you will know firsthand how nutrition affects your knees. The transformation is life changing in some situations.

For example, I had a patient who had knee problems and hip problems. She was scheduled for a hip replacement surgery. She postponed her surgery and focused on nutrition. From her hair analysis and with her lab tests, we found many areas where her nutrition could be improved. Six months later, her doctor said she may not need the hip replacement surgery. In another three months, her hip felt so good she booked a trip to Italy, which involved a lot of walking. Nutrition works!

Neglected feet is the number two reason for knee pain. Your medical doctor is a wealth of information, but he can’t know everything. He may not have thought to look at what’s happening in your feet when you have knee pain.

Every part of your body is connected, and when it comes to your skeleton, the foundation of your entire body is your feet. How you’re standing and putting pressure on your feet is going to affect your knees, then your hip, and then your back.

Many people’s ankles fall inward when they put their weight on their feet and walk. This is called overpronation, and it’s commonly seen in those who have flat feet. You can do a little experiment and stand in front of a full-sized mirror barefoot. Now move your weight to the inside of your feet by turning your ankles inward. Notice what happens to your knees – they knock each other. Once this continues for several weeks, the cartilage in your knees will begin to wear away

The solution is to realign your feet and stop them from overpronating. This could be as simple as adding an orthotic to your shoes, but don’t go to your regular doctor for an orthotic — only go to one who is trained in feet and orthotics! A podiatrist or some chiropractors are the best choices, with the podiatrist as your top choice.

By correcting your feet, you remove the mechanical stress that is causing knee pain. When there is no more reason for the pain, you can begin to heal. In some cases, knee pain is relieved immediately when the correct orthotic is worn.

Neglected muscle strength is another top reason for knee pain. Very rarely will doctors evaluate your muscle strength to see if it’s contributing to your knee pain and requires a knee replacement. According to an expert in California I worked with extensively for a while, by simply balancing the strength of the muscles in the foot, leg, and thigh, you can totally eliminate the need for knee replacements.

I saw this work firsthand too. Like many of you reading this article, I have body issues that have led to some types of disabilities. I have had scoliosis since I was a child. My feet are flat as a pancake, and this contributes greatly to my knee and back pain.

After this expert worked with me, in an hour-long session of rebalancing the muscle strengths via simple but specific exercises, I was pain-free everywhere in my body. I continued the sessions for a while, and this made a huge impact on skeletal pain. One thing I noticed was that I didn’t even need the orthotics for propping up flat feet if the rest of the muscles were strong as they should be.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “what now?” When I write these articles, I write them from direct experiential knowledge of working with my own body and with my patients. Nothing is theoretical, and this way the information can benefit you the most.

Your knee pain won’t go away on its own. Painkiller medications will not bring healing. You have to do something else to kick-start your healing. The more you can do on your own, the greater the chances you will have of eliminating your knee pain.

The answers are pretty simple. You may not be able to find an expert who can help you balance your muscles at first. Some chiropractors have taken additional training in muscle re-balancing and would be your top choice of experts for this purpose; however, you will have to look hard to find one who has been using this type of training for several years.

Just about everyone can and should take extra measures to change their nutrition and try out DE. Food-grade DE is nontoxic to everyone except those who develop kidney stones that are made of silica, and this is rare. Again, you can learn more at

Just about everyone can and should see a qualified podiatrist to see if their feet need to be realigned with orthotics. Feet change over the years as the body changes. I know you can beat knee pain, and even before the scheduled date of your knee replacement surgery in most cases. Just get busy!



About Dr. Donna Schwontkowski:
Our nutrition expert, Peta Cohen, M.S., R.D., has been a clinical nutritionist and metabolic specialist since 1996. Peta specializes in examining the root causes of complex and chronic health issues, and helping clients prevent the diseases caused by lifestyle choices, environmental influences, epigenetics, and aging. With her extensive clinical and research experience, she's been invited to share her knowledge at seminars and conferences worldwide. In Peta's articles for the BoomSpot, the blog of the online store, she gives practical tips on how adults 50+ can improve their health right now. Learn more about Peta at
DISCLAIMER: The content of and BoomSpot is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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