Knee Pain
Natural Remedies

Effective Natural Remedies for Knee Pain Relief

| Modified on Apr 11, 2024
Apple Cider Vinegar

Knee pain, a common ailment affecting people of various ages, can be attributed to multiple causes. Often, natural remedies offer effective pain relief and can potentially prevent the need for invasive surgeries.

Understanding the Root Causes of Knee Pain

  • Arthritis: This condition leads to knee joint degeneration, increasing friction and pain, often accompanied by inflammation.
  • Bursitis: Inflammation of the knee's fluid-filled sacs (bursae), leading to increased pressure and pain.
  • Bone Spurs: Calcium deposits forming painful spurs due to nutritional imbalances or deficiencies.
  • Strain and Overuse: Jobs or activities involving repetitive knee stress, such as carpet installation or running, contribute to knee deterioration.
  • Excess Weight: Additional body weight places extra strain on knee joints.
  • Improper Footwear: Shoes that misalign the legs, like high heels, or conditions like flat feet, can cause musculoskeletal imbalances leading to knee pain.

Natural Remedies for Knee Pain

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, the most popular remedy on Earth Clinic for knee pain, can be taken in water as a tonic and can help resolve pain from various sources. Apple cider vinegar helps to alkalize the body and reduce inflammation, reducing pain. Apple cider vinegar can also be part of a healthy weight loss program, as the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can help reduce fat cells.1

Apple cider vinegar is also appropriate for topical use for knee pain. It can reduce pain and swelling, especially when an injury or sprain causes knee pain. Apply apple cider vinegar to a cloth and wrap the affected knee. Cover this cloth with plastic wrap and an ace bandage. Change the bandage after 6-8 hours, allowing the skin to breathe between your apple cider vinegar applications.


A diluted solution of borax can reduce arthritis. Over time, it can dissolve bone spurs, as the boron in borax promotes proper calcium and magnesium balance. (Calcium-magnesium imbalance can cause bone spurs.)

Castor Oil

Castor oil can be massaged into the knees for natural pain relief. You can make a castor oil pack for acute knee pain and apply it to your knee with a heating pain.

  1. Prepare the Cloth: Immerse a cotton or wool cloth in castor oil until it is saturated but not dripping. Alternatively, you can use an old white T-shirt folded into multiple layers for added thickness.
  2. Apply the Wrap: Gently wrap the oil-soaked cloth around your affected knee.
  3. Secure the Wrap: Cover the cloth with plastic wrap to hold it in place. Secure everything with an ace bandage to keep the wrap on your knee.
  4. Leave Overnight: It's safe and effective to leave the wrap on your knee throughout the night.
  5. Store for Reuse: In the morning, remove the wrap and store the castor oil cloth in a bag for future use. This wrap can be reused every night for several weeks. Refresh it with more castor oil as needed.
  6. Prevent Stains: Since castor oil can stain, it's advisable to wear old pajamas and place a towel under your knee while sleeping. This precaution helps in case the wrap leaks, protecting your clothes and bedding.

Additionally, and less commonly known, castor oil can be used as an internal remedy for knee pain, particularly when the knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis. A study that compared the use or oral castor oil (.9 mL capsules thrice daily for four weeks) with diclofenac sodium (a non-steroid anti-inflammatory) found each to bring measurable relief to osteoarthritis in the knee, but the castor oil did so without side effects.2

Cabbage Wrap

A topical remedy particularly effective for knee pain caused by injury, swelling, or arthritis. To learn how to make a cabbage wrap, see this page.

Collagen Supplements

Promotes joint health and may reduce pain and stiffness.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

Found in fish oil supplements, these can reduce joint inflammation.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin 

Commonly used to support joint health and alleviate arthritis symptoms.


The active component in turmeric, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) 

Helps reduce joint pain and improve flexibility.

Foods to Include in your Diet to Reduce Knee Pain

Often, knee pain is simply caused by nutritional deficiencies. Lack of nutrients makes many body systems work poorly. To improve the overall health of your body, include plenty of foods in your diet that are high in nutrients. Additionally, reduce refined products and sugar.

Some foods with particular benefits to the joints are:

  • Gelatin
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Tart Cherries or Tart Cherry Juice
  • Foods high in Omega 3’s like sardines, tuna, salmon, flax seeds, chia seeds
  • Quality oils like coconut oil and olive oil

Knee Pain Smoothie

Jumpstart your day with a delicious and nourishing smoothie designed to support your joint health, especially your knees. This easy-to-make recipe combines ingredients known for their beneficial properties for joints.


  • 1 cup of your preferred milk (options include almond, rice, or dairy)
  • ½ of a frozen banana for a creamy texture
  • 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses, rich in nutrients
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds for an omega-3 boost
  • 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder, great for joint health
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon of turmeric, known for its anti-inflammatory properties
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil for healthy fats


  1. Combine Ingredients: Add all the ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend Until Smooth: Blend until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.
  3. Serve and Enjoy: This recipe makes a robust and healthful breakfast or an excellent alternative for a nutritious meal. Savor this smoothie once a day for joint health benefits. If it agrees with you, feel free to enjoy it twice daily.

Pro Tip:

For an extra treat, prepare a double batch in the morning and refrigerate the extra portion. It thickens nicely, turning into a spoonable snack perfect for later.

Correcting Skeletal Issues

Addressing underlying skeletal problems like flat feet or poor posture can significantly reduce knee pain. Resources like "Pain Free" by Peter Escoque offer guidance for self-correction.

Your Experiences

Continue reading below to learn which natural remedies have helped Earth Clinic readers with knee pain. We invite you to share your experiences with natural remedies for knee pain. Your feedback is valuable in assisting others to find relief.

Related Links:

Effective Natural Arthritis Remedies: Relief & Healing
Sports Injury Remedies
Ten Diet Tweaks to Lose Weight for Life!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Richard (Nevada) on 09/12/2014

A company from Isreal called CartiHeal has something called Agili-C. It is like scaffolds, for regenerating cartilage in knees. They just got 4 patents this month, clinical trials there in Israel though. Hope the AMA allows this to happen, as real cures are forbidden-

Ankle Weights

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ketomagic (Minnesota) on 07/24/2018

I just injured my knee and watched videos online about knee injuries. A holistic chiropractor said cortisone and NSAIDs destroy cartilage. He also said if you really had bone on bone, you can't walk and that cartilage can be regrown. He said to put 5 to 8 pound ankle weights on and swing your feet back and forth gently. Pulling the knee joint apart helps improve circulation and this better gets nutrients to the joint.

Apple Cider Vinegar

28 User Reviews
5 star (25) 
4 star (2) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Charlotte (Texas) on 05/02/2017

I made an ACV wrap for my painful arthritic knee, and it did help lessen some pain, however, it sure does smell! The strong odor bothers me at times...

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Bel1954 (New Mexico) on 04/10/2017 2 posts

I've been taking 1tbsp ACV in warm water for quite a few months now for my knee arthritis and feel great.. I want to add BS for added benefits... How much should I use?

Replied by Charlotte


Currently having chronic pain in right knee joint...was taking Aleve Liquid Gels, 2 to 3 per day...then doctor prescribed Celebrex(generic).. after 3 days, had swelling in legs...went back to Aleve. Have started ACV, 1 tsp. in 8 oz hot water with 1/2 tsp honey..3 days ago.....having severe pain in right knee now. Any thoughts? Thank!


I am experiencing knee joint pain such as swollen inflammation of the knee joint. Knee stiffness on bone to bone friction.

(Faithville, Us)

knit bone = comfrey or you could use castor oil packs on your knee. Knee problems could be coming from other parts of body out of alignment, John Bergman on youtube is the bone expert. If your gut health is off you won't absorb minerals for your bones. Phytic acid on grains and beans will take minerals out of your body. Dehydration is imbalance of water to correct mineral balance and can cause all kinds of pain and symptoms. Not sure why your knee hurts but hope you find the solution quickly. Blessings, charity

Replied by Orh
(Ten Mile, Tn)

TONEY,,,, ORH here, had the same problem some 12 years ago and was told I needed a knee replacement. Instead, I went to Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta and got an Ozone shot in my knee. Get a shot every 3 years or so and no pain.



What is an ozone shot?


GWEN,,,,,, ORH here, look up on the internet. Tn will not allow MD's to use, thus you will have to go to Ga. I was told 12 years ago that right knee was bone on bone and I needed a new knee. Instead, I got an ozone an ozone shot in Atlanta. Now I get one every 3 or 4 years from Dr. Adams in Ringgold, Ga. I have my own medical Ozone generator and can give my own shots now. I would not try in the spine nor neck because of nerves.

I breath ozone bubbled through olive oil . You cannot breath ozone alone, least it will kill you. I do put it in my ears and nose. I put it up my fanny and drink ozonated water. I have an ozone suit that I wear in my sauna to get it in my body transdermally. Medical folks lie when they say you can not regrow joint cartilage, but they lie about lots of stuff to make $$$$.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Annon (Annon) on 02/08/2017

My co worker has been rubbing the apple cider on his knees a couple time a day and has had wonderful results. Doctor actually wanted to do surgery, because his knees hurt him so bad. He swears by this rubbing it on his knees.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Mike C. (Zephyrhills, Florida) on 02/04/2017

I just wanted to add my name to the list of apple cider vinegar users that have had remarkable results. I've been using ACV for the past 3 months twice a day. Within 5 days the swelling in both my knees went down. My only set back was when I walked too much. I was feeling so good I over did it. After three or four days rest ( no long walks) I have been able to increase my every other day distance to 3 miles with no swelling! This is helping me to lose a few pounds and should further reduce the pressure on my knees. I have two words of advice, #1 try it as if it was a prescribed medicine. Some people I spoke with were concerned of the taste, not me. #2 buy the organic mother type at the grocery store it's half the price of supplement stores. Best wishes to all!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Laura (Orange County, Ca) on 10/23/2015

Arthritis in Knee:

I put ACV in homemade organic chicken soup. After one bowl of it my knee stopped aching. ACV is amazing stuff.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Maria D (New York, Ny) on 06/04/2010

I started taking Organic Raw ACV just this week and already have noticed that my knee pain has gone away. Just last week I was holding on to the banister for support when going up the stairs and today I realized I didn't need support, that the knee pain was gone. As for weight loss, nothing yet to report, but it's only been 4 days and my monthly friend is due any day now, so kind of hard to tell. I have noticed though a decrease in appetite and getting full a lot quicker. As for the taste of ACV, well I was hooked on GT Dave's Raw Kombucha tea for a while so it wasn't much of a taste difference switching to ACV. I now prefer ACV with water because it is not carbonated and it is just way cheaper than Kombucha tea. I mix 2 TBSP of ACV in 8oz water with 2 TBSP of agave nectar first thing in the morning and again at bed time. I might sneak in another serving while at work. Anyway, I read from some reviews that the weight loss is a gradual process, so don't expect it to happen over night. I would just be happy to lose the belly bloat, to be honest, which I happen to think is slowly taking place.

Replied by Ian
(Sanford, Fl)

Hyaluronic Acid helps with knee pain. Has anyone tried this ? Maybe ACV with a Hyaluronic acid supplement might be the magic combo. Ian.

Replied by Sandy
(Naperville, Il)

I have been taking Apple Cider Vinegar for my knee pain for the past 7 years, my knee pain did not come back till recently. I lost lot of weight and people are telling me that I am looking much older than my age. My knee pain is back though I am continuing to take acv. Now I want to stop taking acv. Need help, since I am unable to go for my walks. Sometimes it pains sometime I am able to walk.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Sandy,

Well I say, “Boo, ” to those who say you look older having lost weight. They are probably just jealous. Weight loss, unless it's too much, should help your knees to have less stress.
some things to try for your knee pain...

You can get a special knee pillow to keep the knees aligned while you sleep, which should reduce stress on them.
you could try “Stoppain” a roll on menthol pain reliever. I love it and use it on my neck with much relief. Don't buy generic. It has much less menthol.

You could try rubbing castor oil into you knee at bedtime.

Finally. Beware of sugar. I find that sugar really aggravates pain for me.

Hope you find something to help so you can walk. It's so good for you when you can do it!


~Mama to Many~

Replied by Gertjr

Mama to Many, I second your comment on sugar causing pain. It also triggers hot flashes.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rhall7339 (Warner Robins, Georgia, Usa) on 05/25/2010

Hello, I visited the website two days ago and used the ACV soaked towel remedy to help with a sore knee. The pain went away, but the swelling persisted and I ended up having to take ibuprofen anyway. I began using a knee brace the next day, and when I took it off last night I had little red bumps all over my knee. I thought the bumps were irritation caused by the brace, but this evening they have reappeared, and I have not used the brace today. Does anyone know if ACV can cause a rash as a side effect? I certainly hope not, because I would like to continue using it for other things. I tried doing some research on ACV, but my searches keep coming up without helpful information. Thanks for your help!

Replied by Spruce Moose
(Logan, Utah)

It is possible that ACV caused your rash. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Consider that rashes are very common during rapid detoxification. I have seen this many times. It is likely that the ACV caused rapid detox. Consider using less ACV to start, but I'd stick with it and give it some time. ACV is the 3rd most popular remedy on this site. Be sure to use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Replied by Sara
(New York)

Hello, ACV is acidic so it would cause the bumps on your skin. Try watering it down.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Diane (Irvington, Nj, Usa) on 05/20/2010

I suffer with knee pain. I tried rubbing vinegar on my right knee. The pain has gone away.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Mommy2 (Atlanta, Ga, USA) on 08/25/2009

My husband has been bothered with a nagging knee pain for years now. He knows he needs to have surgery, but keeps putting it off. He had the worst flare up, I've seen him have and we've been married for 12 yrs. The pain was so tremendous he could hardly walk and you could see the pain all over his face. I've been a believer in ACV for years now, but it takes more convincing for him. After he'd fallen asleep, I took a hand towel and saturated it in ACV, wrapped it around his knee and wrapped saran wrap around it to hold in place. He slept with it on all night and could not believe his knee was 99% better when he woke up. That's been about a month ago now and he hasn't had anymore flare ups!!!

I love this site and always refer to it for cures. I also make sure to tell friends and family too!!!

Replied by Julia
(Bryson City, Nc)

regarding the ACV putting it on the knees. Will this burn the skin in any way? thanks, julia

Replied by Talia
(Redondo Beach, California, Usa)

Hi Julia, Apple cider vinegar can cause a burn-like reaction on the face if you apply it straight (without diluting it) for more than 10 minutes because the face is delicate. But I've never had any problems when I have applied it to other parts of the body undiluted. However if you have a scab in the area, acv may irritate it.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Pat Spurgis (Melbourne, Florida) on 02/25/2008

Praise God This Works. Thank My GOD, And Thank You, I had a sence of tiredness and I have arthrits, an knee problems, bone on bone,(PAINFUL) I took 2tabs. ACV, 1.tesp.baking soda, plus I've been on lemon, [baking] soda (same dosage) and 1000uts of MSM I need some potassium, but it's much better.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Virgina (Highland Ranch, Colorado) on 09/29/2007

I had chronic cough for 6 years. I have been in Jewish Medical Center in Denver for many tests but the conclusion is nothing wrong with me. Every time I catch cold and it make me cough for three or four months. In August 17, 2007, I search for chronic cough remedy and stumble in to this site. I start taking ACV and honey the same day. The cough stopped the third days. I had surgery for my both knees, and the pain is constant. The ACV stop knee pain after the fourth day I take ACV. It's unbelievable. The cough does not go away completely. The ACV cure my cough about ninety percent. After suffer so many years, I am happy with the result. I still have to take ACV every day. Thank you for all of you who post your experience at the site.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jan (Willowick, OH) on 07/24/2007

I have been using ACV in a tonic called Jogging in a Jug and literally within 24 hrs my knee, hip and shoulder pain have completely disappeared! I have been struggling with my shoulder pain for 12 yrs due to a car accident and my knee and hip pain for the last 2 yrs. What a miracle. I have told everyone I know about this tonic and they are all giving it a try!

Here is the recipe:

1 c organic ACV
1 c organic white grape juice
2 c organic apple juice

Mix all together. Take 1-2 oz daily before a meal. Keep refrigerated.

I didn't care for the tast at first, but now I love it. I had to plug my nose for the few days but now I can drink it just fine. My energy levels are back and I am sleeping more soundly at night. I love this stuff!!

Good Luck!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Roger (Fairless Hills, Pa) on 07/07/2007

The ACV remedy using 1/2tsp of Baking Soda, 2 tbsp of ACV (_____s) and 4 oz of water does a great job of relieving the acid reflux I was suffering from. At first I was a little skeptical but it works...and works quickly. Additionally, when I can't use it, a Granny Smith apple helps relieve it but not as good. I was on Protonix for almost a year prior to trying ACV, this is a much better solution. I have recommended the site and remedy to many others. Side effect or coincidence? I noticed about 2 weeks after taking ACV that the pain I have had in my knees (had about 2yrs) was also relieved. I had been suffering with pain in my knees every evening to the point I had put a 'neck' pillow under them to help relieve it by slightly bending them...not any longer!:) Thanks Ted!!!