Home treatments for knee pain include taking a rest, applying ice, using compression, elevating the affected area and taking over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen, according to Mayo Clinic. Depending on the cause of knee pain, doctors may also recommend prescription medications, therapy, injections or surgery.
Rest for one to two days to avoid straining the knee and to prevent severe damage following a minor knee injury, suggests Mayo Clinic. Relieve pain and inflammation by placing a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack wrapped in a cloth over the affected area for up to 20 minutes. Use a light, self-adhesive compression bandage that isn’t too tight. Raise the injured leg on pillows to minimize swelling.
For knee pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, gout or another underlying condition, prescription medicines may be necessary to alleviate pain, states Mayo Clinic. Corticosteroid injections into the knee can help provide several months of relief from an arthritis flare, whereas supplemental lubrication can possibly decrease pain and improve mobility for six months or more.
Doctors may also recommend therapeutic exercises that aim to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee to improve stability and balance, as Mayo Clinic explains. Arch supports and braces can also decrease knee pain. Surgical options to treat certain injuries include arthroscopic surgery, partial knee replacement surgery and total knee replacement.