Research Evaluates Best Treatment For Knee Pain

Of the many medications designed to relieve the painful symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, which are most effective? When researchers compared 10 common options for effective pain relief, they found a clear winner.

 

The pain and stiffness of arthritic knees can make it challenging to get through the day. If you are 45 years old or older, there’s up to a 40 percent chance that you are experiencing the stiffness, inflammation, and limited motion that comes with knee osteoarthritis. After age 65, this knee condition becomes even more prevalent.

Presently, there is no cure for knee osteoarthritis and there are no proven prevention measures. However, a number of medical treatments are available to relieve knee pain. With many treatments to choose from, how do you know which option is best for you?

Researchers at Tufts Medical Center wanted to know which medications were most effective to relieve the pain of this knee condition. They evaluated 10 common options to see which options were most effective to ease pain. They studied the most commonly used over-the-counter medications, including ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen, as well as injections. The results? Among these treatments, there is a clear winner, and a clear loser.

  • The clear winner: injections. Cortico-steroid and hyaluronic acid injections deliver medicine directly into the joint. Researchers found that this treatment provided the most pain relief of any option they studied.
  • The clear loser: acetaminophen. Research results showed that acetaminophen was the least effective option. In fact, acetaminophen was the only treatment that did not show clinically significant improvement of pain.

Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and work with you to determine the treatment that is best for your individual condition. In addition to medical treatment, there are lifestyle steps you can take to control the pain of knee osteoarthritis—and to improve the effectiveness of any medications you may be taking. Patients who follow good habits (as nonsmokers and moderate drinkers), and maintain healthy weight with regular exercise are more likely to experience the best results from doctor-supervised medication.

When to seek treatment for your arthritis

Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of only two surgery centers nationally to receive The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.

Start your journey to healthier joints. Find your arthritis expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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