4 Non-Surgical Options for Treating Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

November 13th, 2017

Relieve your arthritis symptoms with effective, non-surgical treatment options.

Knee osteoarthritis, one of the most common causes of chronic knee pain among aging patients, can have debilitating effects on mobility and ability to enjoy life.

Unfortunately, arthritis in the knee is an extremely common condition. Approximately 10% of men and 13% of women over the age of 60 suffer from this condition.

The most common symptom of knee osteoarthritis is pain in and around the knee joint. While the type and severity of pain will vary between patients, typical symptoms include pain that is heightened after sleeping or sitting/resting, pain that flares following intense activity, and pain that induces a sense of weakness in the knees.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of these types, they likely are affected by knee osteoarthritis. To learn about options for addressing and relieving these painful symptoms, read our list of effective non-surgical treatment options featured below.

What Is Knee Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease) is the "wear and tear" type of arthritis; arthritic degradation occurs over time and can be worsened by prior injuries. The buffer of cartilage between bones breaks down, causing the bones to rub together and the joints to become inflamed. The pain from knee osteoarthritis can be severe and is often associated with:

  • Limited range of motion

  • Crackling sounds

  • Stiffness

  • Buckling or locking of the joint

  • Swelling / inflamed joints

Treatment Options for Knee Osteoarthritis Patients

The good news for those who are suffering from this condition? Numerous effective nonoperative treatments options are available for patients. The orthopaedic experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute have compiled the following overview of four top non-surgical treatment options.

  1. Changes to Lifestyle
    For active people, a moderation of activity may be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation. Those who take part in high-impact sports and activities (such as running, gymnastics, tennis, etc.) may simply need to reduce the intensity or duration of activity or switch to low-impact athletic activities (biking, swimming, etc.). In some cases, reducing intense, non-athletic activities (such as climbing stairs) may also be helpful. For inactive or overweight persons, losing weight and pursuing improved overall physical health may help to alleviate stress on your knees and reduce symptoms.

  2. Physical Therapy
    Physical therapy is likewise commonly prescribed - either alongside lifestyle modifications or as an independent treatment. Performing osteoarthritis knee exercises that improve flexibility, range of motion, and build muscle in the leg and knee is an effective means of relieving the effects of knee degradation and restoring strength and mobility to the knee.

  3. Braces and Assistive Devices
    Knee brace osteoarthritis devices and other instruments for physical support and assistance can help to reduce physical stress on your knees and relieve symptoms. There are numerous assistive devices that may be recommended for knee patients; these include shoe inserts, knee braces, and knee sleeves, as well as supportive devices such as crutches and canes.

  4. Medications
    Patients who wish to try medications for the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms have several options available. These include non-narcotic pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroid injections, which are injected into the affected joint and reduce pain and inflammation.

The first course of action for anyone suffering knee pain should be consulting with your doctor. For more specialized help, see a knee expert at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. Our physicians are some of the most experienced specialists in knee osteoarthritis treatment, and they offer comprehensive and caring treatment. You can rest assured, knowing that you will be guided each step of the way toward a healthier, less painful lifestyle.

Call Rothman Orthopaedic Institute today at 1-800-321-9999 or schedule your appointment online!

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