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Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Our knees are a critical part of our mobility. When we have pain in one or both knees, we can really struggle with everyday activity. To make matters worse, we may also alter our way of walking, creating undue strain on other joints like the hips, back, or the healthy knee.

You may have knee problems due to anything from an old sports injury to arthritis, but whatever the cause, you could be considering a full or partial knee replacement. These procedures can definitely bring an end to your pain, but sometimes they can create a new kind of agony: the financial cost of the surgery.

You are not alone if your insurance situation is such that you can’t afford surgery. There are many people in that exact situation. Whether it’s premiums that are too high or simply a lack of available plans, they are going without health care coverage.

Fortunately, many of them have found a solution. You can take a page out of their books and investigate some other ways to get coverage put together. Ideally, you’re at work on this process long before you need something as major as knee surgery, but if you do find yourself in need of this procedure without having insurance in place, there are some ways you can get by for a while.

Lose Weight

The heavier you are, the harder your knees work to support you. It’s very simple. If you’re developing knee problems, you will definitely benefit by taking some extra pounds off. Make changes in your diet such as eliminating late-night snacks or cutting out sugary drinks.

Of course, some physical activity will help. Obviously, the pain of a knee problem can interfere with your ability to exercise, so consider options like swimming that don’t have a high impact on your knees.

Get Nonsurgical Treatment

As you wait for the right situation to get your knee surgery done, investigate some less expensive choices for relieving the pain. Massage, yoga, and physical therapy can all help you reduce the pain associated with a bad knee. They aren’t a permanent solution, but they can definitely buy you time to get insurance or save up money.

Talk to your doctor about these options. He or she might suggest one of them, or you may even benefit from simply using a cane or crutch for a period of time.

Take It Easy

Movement is the enemy of a bad joint, so if you’re involved in too much demanding physical activity, your condition will get worse. Take a break from strenuous hobbies. Talk to your supervisor at work about a temporary break from tougher tasks in exchange for other changes in your workload.

Once again, this won’t cure your condition, but it will help you minimize your pain until your situation evolves to a point where you can get definitive repairs made to your knee.

Medication

One of the most obvious choices is simply to take medicine, but many people are reluctant to take this route because of the risk of opioid dependency. Fortunately, there are other pharmaceutical options that don’t carry this risk.

Anti-inflammatory drugs are a great option. Steroid and non-steroid options are available to reduce the swelling that could be the source of your pain. Follow your doctor’s orders carefully, and remember that your knee isn’t healed yet, it’s just hurting less. Sometimes reduced pain causes some people to do more than they should, exacerbating the condition.

No one likes to be slowed down by pain. When a knee has deteriorated or been injured, that slowdown is real and significant. If you’re in a situation with a knee problem and you lack adequate health care coverage, these steps can keep the problem at bay until your situation changes.