This woman has had pain in her knee joint for two months now. She noticed that after sitting with either her legs crossed or her knees bent, she couldn’t put any weight on her knee once she stood up. Now it’s painful to walk up and down stairs – it feels like the muscle is being pulled. Actually, every step is uncomfortable. After a bit of a prod, her GP said that the muscle connecting her shin to her knee is inflamed. He put her on a course of Diclofenac (an NSAID), which worked. However, now the tablets are finished, and the muscle pain hasn’t decreased. What alternative treatments can she use to manage the pain and heal the muscle? The Diclofenac will treat the inflammation and numb the pain, but may interfere with healing the cause. Instead, a massage therapist recommends birch or wintergreen essential oil. Rub a drop or two into the inflamed area, repeating every 15 minutes until the pain subsides (then use on an as-needed basis). These oils are anti-inflammatory and analgesic and work well with muscle and bone inflammation. For tight muscles around the knee, lavender essential oil will work as well – it relaxes the muscle fibres. For knots, juniper essential oil is best, as it is detoxifying. All therapeutic-grade essential oils will continue to work for 6 to 8 hours after application. Other natural remedies include MSM (a naturally occurring sulphur compound) and high doses of turmeric. You should also see a sports therapist, physiotherapist – or possibly a podiatrist – as knee problems as sometimes caused by faulty biomechanics. Readers also recommend going to a massage therapist, osteopath, or chiropractor. Your pain may result from tightness in the quadriceps muscles, all of which form into one tendon (the patella tendon), which goes under the kneecap and attaches to the shin bone. It sounds like you need a series of good stretches. Alternatively, it could be a problem caused by the kneecap tracking incorrectly (across the tendon) due to a muscle imbalance in the quadriceps. Finally, your shin muscle could be inflamed, but this is unlikely to cause knee pain.