Non-Surgical Knee Pain Treatment Options
Living With Osteoarthritis Knee Pain
Learning that you have osteoarthritis can be discouraging. There are many
treatment options that can help, and there are many things you can do
to lessen the impact arthritis has on your life. Consult with one of our
knee replacement specialists, who can prescribe treatments to help with
your knee pain. If your symptoms worsen or you are having a hard time
dealing with the pain, your doctor can work with you to develop a treatment
plan. The following are some of the most common non-surgical treatments
for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis.
If pain does not interfere with your daily routine, your doctor may first
recommend lifestyle changes to protect your joint and slow the disease’s progress.
Exercise. Low-impact, low-stress activities such as walking, cycling or swimming
can strengthen your knee without putting stress on your knee. Try to avoid
competitive sports and running, as well as other high-impact activities
that may put additional stress on your knee.
Weight loss. Obesity is one of the main risk factors for knee osteoarthritis. If you
are overweight, losing just a few pounds can reduce the stress placed
on your knee joint and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis progression.
Physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist may help improve your knee strength
and flexibility. Exercises can improve your range-of-motion and strengthen
the supporting muscles around your knee. A therapist can also help you
find new ways to do everyday activities to reduce the stress on your knees.
Supportive devices. Using knee braces, shoe inserts, and walking canes can help reduce knee
stress. Simple changes, like using a reacher to pick up low-lying items,
can also make a difference. Installing equipment at home, such as a shower
bench or handrails may make it easier to perform everyday activities.
Rest. Osteoarthritis can make you tired and the symptoms may be more noticeable
when you are fatigued. Try to find a balance between activity and rest.
Using ice packs and elevating your knee can relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Get a full night’s sleep and consider short naps from time to time
if they help.
One of our Knee Replacement Specialists may suggest medications if your
pain affects your daily routine, or is not relieved by initial methods.
Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any medication or supplements.
Acetaminophen. Mild pain may be relieved with acetaminophen, such as Tylenol®.
Anti-inflammatory medicines. Drugs like aspirin (Bayer® or Bufferin®) and ibuprofen (Advil®
or Motrin®) are intended to reduce pain and swelling.
Over-the-counter supplements. Your physician may recommend supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin
sulfate to maintain healthy joints.
Alternative medicine. Some alternative therapies may help with arthritic knee pain. Talk to
your physician before trying any alternative medicine, as it could interfere
with the plan recommended by your physician.
One of our Knee Replacement Specialists may suggest injection treatment
if your knee pain worsens.
Steroid injections. Cortisone is a steroidal medicine that is injected directly into your
knee joint intended to quickly relieve pain and inflammation. Because
repeated injections may result in further cartilage breakdown, your physician
may limit the number of injections you receive. The benefits may last
anywhere from a few days to many months.
Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring gel like substance that is injected
directly into your knee with the intention of lubricating the joint to
reduce irritation and inflammation. Relief may last anywhere from for
a few days to many months.