Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic condition characterized by the inflammation and breakdown of joint cartilage and bone. The knee is the largest joint in the body and is susceptible to osteoarthritis. Even mild cases of knee osteoarthritis can produce aggravating and potentially life-altering pain. In order to treat pain caused by osteoarthritis, orthopedic specialists use a variety of nonsurgical treatment options.
Activity Modification for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Slowing down or stopping activities that cause knee pain gives osteoarthritis-related inflammation a chance to calm down. As the knee heals and returns to a normal less inflamed state, pain decreases and patients are able to gradually return to normal activities. In many cases, activity modification will be coupled with bracing, icing, and elevation. Patients who adhere to their orthopedic specialist’s activity modification recommendations can expect favorable results.
Medications for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
The group of medications that are most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis-related knee pain are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter and prescription strength NSAIDs are available in oral, topical, and injectable forms. The most common and well-known NSAIDs include the following:
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Diclofenac (Voltaren)
When NSAIDs are taken consistently and exactly as they are prescribed, they decrease inflammation, pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with knee osteoarthritis. Patients who are interested in taking NSAIDs should discuss this treatment option with their orthopedic specialist.
Physical Therapy for for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Physical therapists are highly educated and specially trained medical professionals. While working closely with orthopedic specialists, physical therapists create and implement treatment regiments consisting of the appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises as well as manual therapy (massage and mobilization). Physical therapists also spend a great deal of time teaching patients how to deal with pain and how to prevent injuries. Working with a highly skilled physical therapist, patients who are suffering from osteoarthritis-related knee pain can expect significant and long-lasting results.
Seeking Treatment for for Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Activity modification, medications, and physical therapy may be prescribed alone or in combination with each other. The choice regarding how the treatment options are prescribed is always left up to the orthopedic surgeon treating the condition. If you suffer from knee arthritis and haven’t found a solution, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in either Mahwah and Clifton, NJ to arrange an appointment. We will provide you with the solution you’ve been looking for and with the right treatment program, a reduction in pain and improvement in mobility is entirely possible.
Dr. Nicholas Alexander is the founder of Mahwah Valley Orthopedic Associates and a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in both the surgical and non-surgical treatment of hip and knee conditions. Dr. Alexander completed his Fellowship in Adult Reconstruction and Reconstructive Surgery of the Hip and Knee at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and has over two decades of experience. He also serves as the Chairman of the Valley Hospital Total Joint Center.