Lifestyle changes and home remedies, medications and the use of assistive devices can help control the pain of arthritis in the knee, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. If these conservative treatments are insufficient, surgical options are available.
Lifestyle changes include weight loss and gentle exercise, explains Mayo Clinic. Weight loss eases the strain on knee joints, while exercise strengthens and stabilizes the muscles around the joint.
Home treatments include the use of ice and heat to manage pain, as well as the use of topical treatments and some forms of complementary therapy, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Ice can numb pain and reduce the swelling and inflammation common with arthritis. Heat relaxes tight muscles and can reduce spasms. Topical creams can help block localized pain signals. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture may provide relief as well.
Prescription and non-prescription medications have a role to play in the control of arthritis pain, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be very effective in controlling mild to moderate arthritis pain. Stronger anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteroids and narcotic pain relievers are options when over-the-counter pain relievers are ineffective for pain control.
Assistive devices can support the knee, stabilize the gait and reduce pain, advises Mayo Clinic. They may include braces, wraps, canes or orthotics,