Best pain relief for arthritic knees

SoniaR Member Posts: 13
edited 22. Jan 2021, 11:32 in Living with arthritis

Hi all, I’m 63 and I’ve had knee pain for many years, and after xrays it showed OA in both knees and one hip. Had a hip replacement 4 years ago and all is well. At that point the knee replacement op’s criteria changed and because I am overweight they won’t do my knees, despite the hip replacement being a success. I was referred to a Pain Clinic and had a knee nerve block done on one knee. It made no difference whatsoever. The Pain Clinic said they would write to my doctor to advise appropriate pain killers, which they still haven’t done (I have chased it up by email but there is no option to speak to a member of staff). My doctor has prescribed Naproxen, but I’m still in pain. I wonder what pain relief you are on successfully? I cannot stand or walk without pain and now use a Mobility Scooter. Would love to hear your comments.



  • duffer
    duffer Member Posts: 24

    I've been advised not even to take 1 ibuprofen a day! GP said paracetamol was an alternative - well we all know it doesn't work for OA. Versus Arthritis recommended Root Ginger (tasteless) pills - awaiting arrival from Holland & Barrett - (Sat) - I've tried CBD oil without success - cost me £40 a month. Right now I just put up with the pain because there isn't any choice. Never been offered naproxen and I wouldn't dare even think about it as the warnings on all this stuff is getting so scary. I was fine on my 1 ibuprofen......just gave me enough pain relief to move around first thing in the morning. Oh well - one day they'll come up with something. Incidentally the lovely person on Versus Arthritis said as much exercise as you can is also beneficial - I force myself to walk round and round the house for at least 500 paces (250 yards) - got to keep active apparently. Anyway I'll be a different person when I'm on root ginger I hope. Thinking of all of you and you are so brave. Helen.

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 406

    Maybe turning to something less intrusive might help!, it works for me. Heat from a hot wheat bag, just keep using them, take them to bed with you, wake up and use them. Painkillers, your body will soon become us3d to them, try an analgesic ointment at the same time as some heat.

    I find that using a decent pair of shoes with cushioned soles and supportive insoles from the hospital work in keeping the weight bearing joints in a line and not changing helps. I have only one pair of shoes at a time.

    so, think of a total approach to include all your weight supporting joints, including your spine, do exercise, don’t overdo it, find your own limits. You will not find just one thing that works but a multiple approach does work.

    its a grin, honest!

  • Lynndilou
    Lynndilou Member Posts: 4

    I agree with the advise from airwave in regard to the decent pair of shoes and hospital insoles I have boots and shoes which are a good fit and move the insoles between my pair of boots and then shoes

    also I know there is no medical evidence to prove hot water helps however a hot shower in the mornings seems to ease my joints enough to get me moving.

  • SoniaR
    SoniaR Member Posts: 13

    Thank you all for your replies. My knees are bone on bone as I have no cartilage ouch!

    Yes Duffer I tried CBD oil, what a waste of money! Tried it for 2 months and didn’t touch the pain, Naproxen is an anti inflammatory rather like Ibrupofen. As my knees are bone on bone, I cannot walk at all without pain so exercise is painful and exhausting. I’ll certainly try root ginger. Thank you.

    Airwave tried Voltoral which sadly didn’t touch the pain. Any standing or walking causes me a lot of pain so exercise is a problem for me.

    Lynn I have a hot shower every morning which I find painful (all that standing!) and leaves me exhausted.

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 406

    You don’t have to stand to shower, a stall or fitted seat will help. That’s one thing sorted!

    it’s a grin, honest!

  • Brynmor
    Brynmor Administrator Posts: 1,057

    Hi @SoniaR

    If you haven't yet seen it, there is a great section on the web site for gentle knee exercises that you might like to try:

    Also, you could take a look at Let's Move with Leon, a great general exercise programme you can do in your own time in your own way.

    Do let us know how you get on with coping with the pain.

    All best wishes


  • Kazmac57
    Kazmac57 Member Posts: 4

    Hi there,I also have OA in my knees,neck and hips and am on cocodamol the naproxen made me put waight on,I also use hot and cold pads and ibuprofen gel which do work,but now it’s getting so that it’s not as good as it was,the pain is keeping me awake at night 😥

  • Linmal
    Linmal Member Posts: 1

    Hi everyone I was recently diagnosed with mild OA in my knee but have been in a lot of pain. I'm taking Naproxen and paracetamol which seem to be holding it at bay during the day. However, the minute I get into bed it's a different story! I'm finding it really difficult to get comfortable and seem to be waking every time I turn over.

    Has anyone got any tips for things which might help?

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 515

    Hi @Linmal

    I see you have recently been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of your knee and are really struggling at night.

    I imagine you have looked at most of the information on this thread, but will quickly add this link:

    There are things you can do to make night times easier. Many of us take our pain relief before bed so that we can 'get off' in relative comfort. There are medications (prescription only) which are slow release and can last 12 even 24 hours.

    Many of us (myself included) sleep with a pillow between our knees or under the knee if we sleep on our backs which can help.

    I'll leave you now to meet our members

    Best wishes


  • Hello,

    Im new here but have been living with OA for over 10 years. I don’t find any oral pain relief to be helpful once the cartilage is gone, total knee replacement is the only real option. I had one knee replaced 3 years ago now. I also had barriers placed before me regarding weight & age but I kept at them, telling the surgeon how badly my mental health was being affected by my life grinding to a halt.

    I make my own pain relief balms which I massage into my hands & knees a couple of times a day. I’ve found elder leaf & dandelion to be a good combination for the pain in the warmer months. Over winter I add wintergreen which helps warm my joints.

    like others, I too use a knee pillow at night, though this is more to combat the terrible cramps.

  • Saltmarsh
    Saltmarsh Member Posts: 37

    Paracetamol can give some relief if the full dose of 2 x 4 times a day, and continue to allow build-up. It's a shame you were stopped taking the small dose of Ibuprofen that helped you so much. Was that from a Dr.? Just in case it was from being nervous of side effects, you can also be prescribed (/buy) a tummy protector, usually Omeprazole. I take it, then my meal, then the anti-inflam. There are some good tips here. Northernhippy's ointment sounds fascinating - perhaps she would tell us more? I couldn't do without my orthotic insoles, there is a lot of trouble taken to keep weight off necessary areas. I think you would enjoy a perch seat in the shower. Occupational Therapy can provide free. If you ask them to visit you, they will tell you about everything they could offer to help you, they're really super.

    I do wish you well. Pain is all-consuming. Maybe another discussion with your GP is called for, re- next steps. He should be fully apprised of your suffering. Good luck.

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