How will your osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain be treated?

For people who have osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain, the first and best advice any friend, loved one, or physician can give you (and which we will tell you, too) is this:

If you want to control your OA knee pain and improve the movement of your shock-absorbing leg joint, the first thing you should do is achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and lifestyle.You’ve heard it before from doctors, news programs, family members, websites… everywhere! Get healthy and lose weight. Quit smoking. Eat right. Exercise. Stay active. We know it sounds cliché, but that’s the bulk of what you can do to help yourself.1


Of course, there are medications and therapies you can try, too. Your doctor will recommend or prescribe these based on the amount of pain you’re feeling, the amount of damage to your knee bones and cartilage, and any other diseases or conditions you may have.1,2

But the one thing that is somewhat in your control is to eliminate any extra, unnecessary weight on your knees. That said, most successful treatment programs involve a combination of approaches tailored to the patient’s needs, lifestyle, and health.1

If and when the pain advances despite these therapies,
medications may be added to the plan.

Most programs recommend exercise, weight control, regular activity, rest and relief from stress on joints, and pain relief techniques. If and when the pain advances despite these therapies, medications may be added to the plan. First, over-the-counter (OTC) oral and/or topical pain relievers may be taken as needed; then, if symptoms continue, daily OTC or prescription medications are another option. If pain is still uncontrolled or starts getting worse, your doctor may consider injectable medications, as well as alternative therapies and surgery.1-3

References: 1. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Handout on Health: Osteoarthritis. NIH Publication 15-4617. Published April 2015. Accessed October 11, 2016. 2. Manek NJ, Lane NE. Osteoarthritis: current concepts in diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(6):1795-1804. 3. Srikulmontree T. Osteoarthritis. American College of Rheumatology website.
/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Osteoarthritis. Updated February 2012. Accessed October 11, 2016.

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Whether you think you have OA of the knee or have already been diagnosed, there’s more to know.

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