Some Nonsurgical Knee Osteoarthritis Treatments To Ask Your Doctor About When You Have Knee Pain

Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage in your joint wears away due to use and age. If you are overweight, the excess weight might make you more susceptible to osteoarthritis. Sometimes, lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, can help reduce pain. Other times, you might need medical treatments. Here are some nonsurgical knee osteoarthritis treatments to discuss with your doctor when you're seeking pain relief.

Knee Injections

Knee injections can sometimes help with pain relief. Your doctor might inject an anti-inflammatory drug that reduces swelling so you can get some long-term pain relief. A different type of injection uses hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found in your knee joint normally. It keeps the joint lubricated so your knee can move without pain. Hyaluronic acid is lost when you have osteoarthritis, and your doctor can replace it by injecting more hyaluronic acid into your knee. This could bring about gradual pain relief that is long-lasting but eventually wears off.

PRP And Stem Cell Injections

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), contains growth factors that might repair tissue damage so you can enjoy relief from pain. The platelet-rich plasma is taken from your own blood, so the risk of side effects is low. The PRP is then injected into your knee. The growth factors may strengthen tendons and other tissues to help with pain relief, even though the cartilage may not be repaired. 

Stem cells are also taken from your own body. Your doctor can get the cells from your bone or fat. The stem cells can be injected into your knee to promote healing and reduce pain. Like PRP, stem cells may not regenerate cartilage, but they might strengthen other tissues that support your knee so you can get some relief from pain.

Exercise And Stretching

Physical therapy is still a good nonsurgical knee osteoarthritis treatment. Exercises strengthen your knee muscles and stabilize your knee. Stretches keep your knee flexible. Physical therapy may also be needed if your doctor prescribes a knee brace or other mobility device. A physical therapist can also help you adapt to limitations that your knee pain may cause.

Medications And Ice

Ice can be applied to your knee frequently, especially after you've been walking or standing for a long time. Ice can reduce the amount of swelling and pain you may experience from overexertion. Your doctor might also prescribe anti-inflammatory oral medications for you to take. By controlling inflammation, you can sometimes reduce pain. This helps you be more mobile, and staying mobile can help your osteoarthritis too.