There are several options when it comes to pain relief for arthritis in the knees. These include the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and prescription medications. Many of these are oral, while others can be injected or applied to the skin. In general, such medications are safe, though they may cause side effects for some people with specific medical conditions. The active ingredients in these products are NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can reduce inflammation and thereby reduce pain.
Another option is unloader braces, which are braces that take pressure off a portion of the joint. These braces may be helpful for people who are suffering from arthritis in one or both knees. Other options include turmeric and supplements. Depending on your pain level, these options may help you avoid surgery.
Some people may use acetaminophen as an over-the-counter pain reliever. This type of medication is safe for children and adults, but it is not recommended for pregnant women. It should be used under the guidance of a physician and be taken for no more than two weeks. If your arthritis is severe, doctors may recommend surgery.
Exercise is also an option for arthritis sufferers. Different types of exercise can help reduce pain. Low-impact aerobic exercise and strengthening exercises may help you reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis in the knees. Tai chi is another form of exercise that can reduce pain. It is important to discuss any exercise regimen with your healthcare provider and physical therapist before starting any exercise routine.