Recently diagnosed OA in knee

Janey1951 Member Posts: 7
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:10 in Living with arthritis

Hello - I've just been diagnosed with OA in my left knee and am struggling with the pain and stiffness. I can't take Ibuprofen tablets and find that the gel does not make much difference to the pain. I've been taking Paracetamol but today they are not really having any effect. I guess I'm just feeling a bit low with the limitations on my active life ( the OA seemed to come on very quickly, in the last 6-8 weeks) and don't really know how to manage the stiffness and pain - any ideas and support would be really appreciated. Thank you.


  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 843

    Hello @Janey1951 and welcome to the Community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that will be your experience as well.

    I understand that you have OA in your knees and that your current medication is no longer helping. I understand that you cannot take Ibuprofen, but have you been back to your GP to see if there is anything else? I too cannot take Ibuprofen so my GP prescribed Naproxen and Co-codamol for use when the pain gets bad. In the meantime our website has a lot of useful information about OA, treatments and HInts and Tips - I've put a couple of links in below which you may find off interest.


    Please keep posting and let us know how you are getting on and I am sure that others will connect with you to share their support and experiences as well.

    With very best wishes,


    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Janey1951
    Janey1951 Member Posts: 7

    Thank you Peter - I was feeling a bit desperate not having anyone to talk to about my concerns - I understand having pain in my knee, what I don't understand is the tightness and pain behind the knee and if this is normal for OA in the knee, if anyone can reassure me about that I would feel more positive going forward.

    Thank you all so much for being there.

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 356

    Hi @Janey1951 and welcome to the Community, hope you get some good insights into managing your condition and get the support you're looking for.

    As @PeterJ has already provided you with 2 good places to start, I'll pass on a few other bits and bobs which may prove useful as a fellow sufferer with severe OA in both knees.

    The tightness and stiffness behind your knee is a consequence of those tendons and muscles coming under strain due to the weakening of the joint. The answer to helping with this lies in exercise/physio to strengthen the knee itself. However, doing that is difficult when in pain. Effective pain management and exercise therefore go hand in hand. I use 2 remedies on those areas - ice packs wrapped in a tea towel, a wheatbag and a deep-tissue massaging gun. I bought mine off Amazon but I expect they're sold on the high street in Argos, Lloyds Pharmacies or Boots. I run it up and down the back of my legs and it works a treat!

    Where to start? Well I would recommend the following:

    #1 Speak with your GP about prescribing some decent anti-inflammatories (like Naproxen) and pain-killers (like Co-Codemol). You will probably be put on Omeprazole to protect the stomach lining. That's about as much as any GP can reasonably do for OA I'm afraid.

    #2 If your health centre has a physio dept. make an appointment to be assessed, you ought to come away with a tailor-made plan of physio and stretching exercises to do at home.

    #3 Starting physio is not easy. If you find it's painful or you think your knees won't take it I find elasticated supports work a wonder.

    #4 Perhaps look to top up the physio with other exercises such as walking and swimming, basically anything low-impact which can help build muscle mass. Cycling's good too, even on a static bike at home or in the gym - I use one a lot.

    #5 Diet can help too. Dark green leafy veg, Omega 3 rich food and Olives of all things! Olives contain a substance with properties very similar to Ibuprofen.

    #6 Research into supplements and alternative remedies, there's a lot of info on the website but I called the advice line and got firsthand info about things like TENS machines and CBD which I'd never heard of.

    This is a bit of a journey, lots to take in but with the right approach and inginuity you should find your quality of life improving very much for the better.

    All the best,


  • Janey1951
    Janey1951 Member Posts: 7

    Jon - this is fantastic!😀. Thank you so much for taking the time to write down all that information - particularly the bit about the pain and stiffness at the back of the knee , I was concerned that something else was going on. I have seen the physio at my gp practice and he has given me some exercises to start with and some to build up to - I can't do the ones that involve getting down onto the floor yet!! I've found that Diclofenac gel is much more effective than ibuprofen gel so have switched to that - I did try co- codomol but it was no more effective than paracetamol and sent me to sleep!! so I'll stick with taking them at regular intervals plus the gel and exercises and see how I get on over the next few weeks. I used to think arthritis was just an aching joint - how wrong I was!!! and expect that all non sufferes think the same but it is actually very debilitating and life changing - a lot of education required on this. Now for a warm wheat pack after walking around my local open garden.

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 356
    edited 28. Jun 2023, 18:28

    No problem at all @Janey1951, hope some of these help. Good to hear you've some exercises to follow. If they get monotonous or you lack willpower I find it helps to build them into a regular routine and reward myself at the end, say with a walk for a decent coffee and cake. Routines become habits and habits are hard to break!

    I use Diclofenac gel too (a generic brand sold by Lloyds Pharmacy which is so much cheaper than the identical Voltorol alternative), plus 5KIND Hemp gel (sold online). If you find your knee is crunching and grinding there's an over the counter gel called flexiSeq which really works for me, the instructions are a tad fiddly and it's expensive but so worth it. I also like Tiger Balm as well but it smells and stains clothes - donning a knee support after application prevents any staining.

    Many Arthritis sufferers report good and bad days and very patchy sleep. If and when that happens the Co-Codemol might come in handy, it sounds like you're on quite a high dose as I take a couple before I go out on my bike or up the gym.

    I wish you well and do check in to keep us posted on your progress or if you're having a tough day and need to offload which may happen.


  • Janey1951
    Janey1951 Member Posts: 7

    I want to thank you both, Peter and Jon, for your immense help - I am a lot more positive and can see a way forward now and am encouraged that there are other pain relief options out there. I shall report back in a few weeks to update with my progress, then I may be able to help and support others.