If you are struggling with a painful knee due to osteoarthritis, you may be searching for non-surgical knee osteoarthritis treatment options. Your rheumatologist may be able to provide insight into your options, though the most simple and common treatment options are as follows.
It is no secret that many forms of exercise can be hard on your knees. Anything that jolts your knees when you move can compress your cartilage and cause you additional pain. Exercises like running, sports, and dancing can be extremely hard on already sore joints. You may want to try a more low-impact exercise such as swimming, yoga, walking, or stationary cycling. Even individuals with arthritis need daily exercise, you may just need to be creative.
Wearing a knee brace may be able to provide you with enough support to decrease any pain you experience daily. You might be able to buy a knee brace at a medical supply store, or your physician might provide you with one (which should be covered by insurance).
A simple over-the-counter medication may be able to take the edge off whatever pain you feel daily. If you have an advanced case of osteoarthritis, you may need a prescription for something a little more intense or even an intravenous medication. Your physician will likely take x-rays and do ultrasounds to figure out exactly how much damage you are dealing with. The more osteoarthritis you have, the more pain you are likely to experience. Talk to your rheumatologist about which medications will work best for you. It is possible to build up a tolerance to some over-the-counter medications, though your physician may be able to help you get something to meet your needs.
An ultrasound-guided steroid injection is often used when arthritis pain gets intense. Your physician may be able to provide you with a steroid injection in-office though some will require that you make an appointment with a pain specialist. Steroid injections are usually used in tandem with a numbing agent such as lidocaine. It is a little uncomfortable to get the numbing agent injected, but the overall procedure will likely hurt less than you anticipate. Steroid injections can help to negate your pain for up to 6 months.
In conclusion, surgery is not absolutely necessary to treat your osteoarthritis. Make an appointment with your rheumatologist today to implement one of these non-surgical options.