Nonsurgical knee treatments include starting an exercise regimen to lose weight and thus reduce pressure on the affected knee and engaging in physical therapy to boost the body's cutaneous blood flow, reports Healthline. Doctors sometimes inject hyaluronic acid to lubricate a painful knee.
Shedding excess fat helps reduce pain by decreasing the amount of force applied on the knee, explains Healthline. For example, 10 pounds of extra weight increases the force on the knee by up to 60 pounds. Knee arthritis sufferers are likely to experience significantly better quality of life if they reduce their weight by 15 pounds. Exercise effectively helps a person maintain a healthy weight and decrease pain.
For better results, doctors advise consulting a physical therapist to follow a personalized regimen that targets key muscles affecting the knees, notes Healthline. A physical therapist guides patients in performing exercises properly and uses other pain-relieving techniques, such as ice or heat application, ultrasound imaging or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, for improved blood circulation.
Hyaluronic acid knee injections reduce pain and increase knee function by allowing the bone tissues and cartilage to slip more easily in the joint, explains Healthline. Potential negative side effects include swelling and increased pain. People with egg or poultry allergies may experience an allergic reaction.