There are millions of people walking around right now with arthritis in either one or both knees. Just because a person has arthritis does not mean pain will be present, but if it is bothersome, what are the best ways on how to treat arthritis in the knee?
Surgery for arthritis in the knee consisting of a joint replacement with an orthopedic surgeon is the last resort on how to treat arthritis in the knee. Artificial knee implants are not meant to last forever, and having one may last for 10 to 20 years before it needs a revision.
Here are five ways on how to treat arthritis in the knee nonoperatively which can help tremendously.
Activity Avoidance – When arthritis develops, significant stresses through the knee can be very painful either during the activity or for days afterward. For instance, if you have been an avid jogger for many years, there may come a time where it causes too much pain in your knee which will affect your ability to exercise and walk. If this is the case, the best approach on how to treat arthritis in the knee is to avoid jogging and to switch exercises to something less stressful on the knees such as swimming for biking. That way you continue to get the muscular and cardiovascular benefits of the activity but without the significant pounding stresses through the area of arthritis.
Over-The-Counter Pain Medications – These may become simply a fact of life for individuals with arthritis in the knee. When taken properly according to the manufacturer recommendations, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen along with Tylenol can give an exceptional result on how to treat arthritis in the knee. Narcotic medications for knee arthritis on a chronic basis is a bad idea.
Physical Therapy – One of the well-known methods that have been proven to work well in research studies on how to treat arthritis in the knee is physical therapy. This can strengthen the muscles around the arthritic knee and take some pressure off of the arthritic regions. This may allow patients the ability to walk more often and participate in more recreational activities.
Injections As A Solution On How To Treat Arthritis In The Knee – Injections of steroids medication do not fix arthritis, and there is some animal research which shows that it may make arthritis worse by deteriorating cartilage. But if a patient is heading towards a knee replacement anyway, then the injection may prolong the need for surgery and gives months of pain relief. This option of how to treat arthritis in the knee can be repeated every few months.
Offloader Bracing – Knee bracing can work well as a way out of the problem of how to treat arthritis in the knee. In the knee, arthritis is commonly affecting one compartment out of the three compartments of the knee. Because of this, the knee brace acts to offload that arthritic compartment and may be able to relieve a patient’s pain non-operatively. These braces can be a little bit cumbersome but if it can avoid the need for surgery than often these slight cumbersome nature of the brace is well tolerated compared with the pain relief that is achieved by them.
As mentioned, a knee replacement with an orthopedic surgeon for arthritis is a last resort on how to treat arthritis in the knee. Most of these surgeries have excellent outcomes, but they do not last forever so the surgery should be put off as much as possible with these types of treatments.
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