Osteoarthritis in the Knees: 10 Pain Relief Options
Do you suffer from osteoarthritis in the knees? If so, you know the pain and you know it well. Luckily, your suffering does not have to be constant or last for long. There are many ways to seek relief. Just ten of your options are outlined below. These particular options were selected due to ease and practicality; just about anyone can seek relief with these methods.
1 – Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
For osteoarthritis, most professionals recommend Tylenol or acetaminophen. With that said, there are many over-the-counter pain relievers available. Choose a brand that you can afford and one that provides you with relief. For example, if Aleve has worked to stop headache pain, try it for arthritis relief. You already know the formula works.
2 – Topical Arthritis Creams
For instant arthritis pain relief, it is best to go directly to the source. Topical arthritis creams enable you to do so. You apply the cream directly to the hurtful joints. At first, you may notice a slight tingle or sting but then comes the relief. This relief usually lasts as long as over-the-counter pain relief pills.
When examining the active ingredients in over-the-counter arthritis creams, you are likely to find capsaicin. This ingredient is also found in cayenne pepper. Many not only recommend a capsaicin cream but adding pepper spice to foods for flavor and health benefits.
3 – Prescribed Medication
Many times, physicians only write prescriptions for severe pain. This is pain that cannot be treated with over-the-counter products. Opioids are prescription pain relievers, but there is a risk of addiction or problems from improper use. If your doctor deems you a responsible and low-risk taker, codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone may be prescribed.
4 – Heat
For most, heat provides pain relief. So, give it a try. Draw a warm bath, use a warm washcloth, or purchase a heating pad. As always, caution is advised to prevent burns. Although most individuals benefit from heat, some do better with cold. Some medical professionals, according to Arthritis Today, recommended alternating between the two.
5 – Exercise
To reduce joint pain, strong muscle strength is needed. With strong muscles, you can rely on them and use them more. This puts less pressure on achy knees. Strong muscles give the joints extra protection and cushion. Therefore, exercise is advised. If it is painful to exercise, start slow with low-impact exercises. For some, stretching and light walking are enough. If still too painful, consider low-impact water exercises.
6 – Physical Therapy
As previously stated, some osteoarthritis patients may find it too painful to exercise. Your goal is to avoid and prevent pain, so why do something that causes it? Exercise has long-term health benefits. Not only does it promote an overall healthy body, but it does provide the joints protection through increased muscle strength. You can exercise at home, but physical therapy is good. In some cases, this gives you easy access to water exercises. You can also learn safe low-impact exercises to do at home.
7 – Weight Loss
Not all patients suffering from osteoarthritis are overweight, but those who are increasing the risk of pain. The more weight one carries around, the more pressure there is applied to the knees. If you can lose weight without compromising your health, do so. The best way to lose weight is to combine exercise with healthy eating.
8 – Knee Braces
Those who suffer from osteoarthritis in the knees are more likely to experience walking troubles. It can be painful to walk from one room to another, let alone leave the house. A knee brace can provide support and stability. A proper fitting knee brace not only makes it easier to walk but less painful too! Knee braces are available for sale at most health and drugstores but talk to your physician first.
9 – Walking Aids
Those with mild osteoarthritis in the knees can benefit from a cane. Those with severe osteoarthritis in the knees may need crutches. As previously stated, walking is difficult with arthritis in the knees. It is painful and there is an increased risk of falls, due to instability. Cane or crutches can provide support.
10 – A Strong Support System
Many arthritis patients believe they reach the point of no return. This is when the pain is so unbearable it seems as if nothing will work. Those individuals are more likely to suffer in silence than seek treatment. If you are one of those individuals or if you just need a push to lose weight or exercise, a strong support system is vital. For many, talking about their pain helps to ease it. Ensure you have someone at home to discuss your arthritis with or find local support groups.