Lifestyle changes, physical therapy, assistive devices, home remedies and medications all work to soothe pain in an arthritic knee. Arthritis does not have a known cure, but these treatments limit the disability and pain that arthritis can cause, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Changes to lifestyle involve minimizing the tasks that irritate the knee, such as jogging or climbing up and down stairs. Substituting exercises such as cycling, swimming and working out on an elliptical machine place less stress on the knee. Losing weight is another lifestyle change that reduces pain, as a lighter body puts less impact on the joint, as stated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Physical therapy involves exercises that are designed to boost the flexibility and range of motion within the knee and strengthen the muscles in the legs that support the knee. Patients receive individualized therapy plans from their physicians or physical therapists. Canes, shock-absorbing inserts and shoes, and sleeves and braces for the knee are the most common assistive devices that take stress from the knee joint, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Home remedies include applying ice or heat according to doctor's instructions. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines are one of the first therapeutic choices, although it is important to discuss potential interactions between the pain medications and other prescriptions before taking them for pain, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.