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About Knee Pain
Knee pain can range from mild to severe and can vary from a dull ache to a stabbing, searing pain. Whether your pain developed suddenly or gradually over time, below you’ll learn about the causes, along with some little things you can do to help reduce your knee pain before considering treatment.
COVID-19 has caused huge changes to our daily lives, impacted families and communities and disrupted access to the healthcare services we have come to rely on. Many procedures have been and continue to be deferred and hospital resources are diverted to address the pandemic.
At Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, supporting our patients and customers during this challenging time is our top priority especially as you are making difficult decisions about procedures and ongoing care.
On the following pages, you’ll find detailed information about various conditions, links to relevant patient support groups, medical societies and more, to guide and help you make informed decisions about your health.
Lack of movement during lock down might have made your knee pain worse. Here you'll find relevant information about the types of knee pain and the treatments available.
Knee Treatment Options
Due to the complexity of the knee joint and the fact that it is weight-bearing, it’s more likely to be injured than any other joint in the body.
What is the Cause of Knee Pain?
People of all ages can experience knee pain. And it may start suddenly, most times after an injury or exercise — or just as a mild discomfort that slowly gets worse. To manage your pain, you have to first find the cause.
What Can I Do to Help My Knee Pain?
Whether you’re having trouble going up and down stairs or you feel like you’re missing out on doing what you love, there are some changes you can make to help reduce your knee pain.
There are little changes in your lifestyle that can make a big difference, from maintaining a healthy weight to exercising regularly. Here are some tips:
- Manage your weight: Every extra pound you weigh adds four pounds of pressure on your knee joint. So, by staying healthy, you can avoid unnecessary stress on your joints.1
- Wear the right footwear: Avoid high heels, but if you do choose to go with one, go with a heel that’s one-half to three-quarters of an inch high.
- Exercise: Your doctor and physical therapist will recommend certain exercises for you to help strengthen the muscles that support your knee but be sure to perform them correctly so as to not strain any muscles.
- Be careful on stairs: Always hold the railing as you go up and down stairs to help alleviate some of the pressure on your knee.
Knee Pain Caused by Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis affects people of all ages, and anyone can suffer from the aches and pains associated with the disease. While all joints may be affected by osteoarthritis, it is often more painful in weight-bearing joints—such as the hip and knee.
Mild Stage of Osteoarthritis
The pain and discomfort of mild joint pain can be something you learn to deal with every day. For example, walking is tolerable but may be associated with discomfort. If you suffer from mild to moderate osteoarthritis pain, your doctor may recommend a nonprescription, over-the-counter medication for pain relief. Your doctor may recommend a group of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some of these medicines are available over the counter. However, they should still be taken with care. Check with your doctor before you take any of these medicines for relief of osteoarthritis. Prescription NSAIDs can also play an important role in the management of osteoarthritis. Doctors may prescribe NSAIDs for patients who have both pain and inflammation. While NSAIDs can reduce symptoms, they do not change the underlying condition of the disease.
Moderate Stage of Osteoarthritis
As your osteoarthritis advances, your doctor may recommend a change in your physical activities to help reduce the pain and inflammation in your joints. You may need to reduce your level of activity, or find different ways to carry out your daily activities that are less stressful to your joints. You may find that medication helps control pain and reduce inflammation.
Physical therapy is beneficial in helping to reduce the symptoms of moderate osteoarthritis and increase mobility. Physical therapy usually includes an exercise program, which studies show can improve aerobic capacity and alleviate depression and anxiety among osteoarthritis sufferers. Obesity aggravates the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Your doctor may recommend weight loss to relieve some of the stress on your joints and reduce pain and inflammation. Your doctor may also suggest prescription medications or injections with cortisone, or hyaluronic acid (HA) into the knee, to help alleviate the symptoms of your advancing osteoarthritis.
Advanced Stage of Osteoarthritis
In its advanced stage, osteoarthritis seriously affects your mobility. For example, you may need to take stronger pain medications, dramatically reduce your activity level, and possibly use a wheelchair or walker. When you can no longer manage the pain through nonsurgical treatments or deal with the loss of mobility caused by your severe osteoarthritis, surgery may offer some relief. Below are the two most common surgical interventions recommended to osteoarthritis sufferers. Your doctor can discuss your surgical options with you in more detail.
Important Safety Information
As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. The performance of knee replacements depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. There are potential risks, and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can determine if knee replacement is right for you.