Advice needed - OSTEO - Especially Knees!


I am having severe pain in my knee today - woken up early with it, and so far full strength Co-codamol, as well as Ibuprofen gel still haven't got rid of the pain 6 hours later.

I am about to start physio again but I have been taking a Glucosamine and Chrondrotin supplement every night, as I read it might help - Just wanted to ask if anyone else has found it useful, or is there something better I can buy?

I am going to see if my GP will prescribe the Capsaicin cream - Anyone using it and does it help- or just burn? 😂

Also I do have TENS Equipment - which I do find helps, particularly on my lower back, but the only way of really being able to use this for my knees is to buy one of the Knee stim fabric "electrodes", and they need to be connected with wires, but unfortunately the system I have is wireless, so it will mean buying another TENS unit. I have just been looking at 2 "recommended units for the fabric ones and 1 is £40, and the other £80!

So, what I wanted to ask was does anyone have one of the fabric, wired electrodes, and if so which TENS unit do you use to power it?

Any other helpful suggestions - drugs, treatments etc will be very welcome! (I know that exercise is a help, but unfortunately I am suffering from severe depression at the moment and that makes it very difficult - as well as the physical pain! - for me to get out and do this).

Thanks for any advice you can give me!



  • CarylW
    CarylW Moderator Posts: 247

    Hello @NeverSurrender

    I am glad you have found this online community. We are a supportive and friendly group and I hope you get some useful comments.

    I understand you have pain in your knee from osteoarthritis, and you are looking for some help with pain relief. As you are suffering from depression at the moment which makes exercise quite difficult. I am posting some information from our website below which may help:

    Please do keep posting and let us know how you are getting on.

    Best wishes


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

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 382

    Hi Jon, sorry to hear you're not on top of the pain yet, Arthritis is a bit like that I think, good days bad days.

    You've asked some good questions. Firstly, Glucosamine. I tried it and it made my symptoms worse and reading about trials it seems to have mixed results so if this flare-up is a bit unusual or is lasting longer than usual, that may be the cause.

    Secondly - TENS. I have OA in both knees and use the fabric electrodes. The unit is called a Easy TENS+. It only has 3 modes which is fine for me, I didn't want anything too fancy and it works well for me.

    As for other pain relief I take CBD capsules and use a deep tissue massager to soothe the tendons and soft tissue when my knees are stiff, usually first thing. I take Naproxen to help with imflammation and also take Bromean capsules.

    In terms of exercise I used to do a lot (which led to my condition) but can only now walk and cycle. If you can cycle then it's great low impact cardio which strengthens the knees and during the colder months I do weekly Spin classes to keep my fitness levels up too.

    Hope some of these might prove helpful.


  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 171

    Hi @NeverSurrender

    I have been taking high dose Glucosamine Sulphate on and off for several years now and to be honest I am not sure what benefits I get from it but I do know that although I have Osteoarthritis in one knee I do not suffer with any swelling. I was taking them years ago when I first had slight knee problems and kept on taking them. I mentioned this to the person I saw at my MSK appt. recently and he did not seem that concerned. My Doctor prescribed Naproxen and Omeprazole ( to protect the stomach lining ) and this does help with the aching and stiffness. I was also given physio. exercises to do and if done gently I find that they help keep me more supple and more mobile. You do need to do them on a daily basis if pain allows and it can be a while before you feel any benefit. I have been told that walking is also good for you but obviously go at a pace and distance that is comfortable for you.

    I hope this helps. Take care.🙂

  • Hi Fran

    Thanks for your reply - I have also been prescribed Naproxen and Omeprazole - No real pain relief, but I did get headaches from the Naproxen!

    I have been given a sheet of Knee exercises to do - all pictures of the model on a reclining physio bed!

    Anyways I have a 1st physio appointment in a few days, so my knees will be the first item on the agenda!

    All the best


  • Baloo
    Baloo Member Posts: 381
    edited 12. Mar 2023, 20:56

    @NeverSurrender you beat me to the physio, I will be interested to hear how you get on. I started going to the gym for exercise, but they advised they want physio guidance. So I am on a steep learning curve.

    I tried the bicycle but immediately found the turning circle was uncomfortable. Then I tried the rowing machine and this was great but my shoulders got inflamed. Then I turned to the leg press as 30 lifts of 30kg is a lot less soul destroying than one cumbersome lift of 90kg getting out of a chair.

    I quit painkillers for a while as I want to know whats going on with my shoulders. If they need nursing the painkillers would allow me to over doing it. The same might be true at the gym I suppose.

  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 171

    Hi @NeverSurrender

    Yes I was given sheets of physio exercises for knees but not showing reclining on a physio bed! One of them was meant to be done lying on the floor but as I find it very difficult to get down and up from the floor, I was told I could do the exercise sitting up on my bed ( thank goodness ).

    I hope that you get on alright with your physio. appointment. I now do my exercises every day and am finding that they do help considerably.

    By the way I like your user name and think it is most appropriate for us all not to surrender to this debilitating condition.

    Take care and let us know how you get on.🙂

  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 462
    edited 13. Mar 2023, 08:56

    Hi @NeverSurrender

    I have the boots own brand tens machine which is a godsend. The belt clip is useless though hence the bag for storage and when using the machine.

    The machine has tens ems and massage settings and the leads would reach down to my ankles. 3 X AAA batteries last ages.

    I purchased the bag in the photo from the shop named after a tropical storm and also stores spare pads and batteries. Wouldn't be without mine.

    Love n hugsTrish xx

  • Hello Jon

    I use Capsaicin cream and haven’t experienced burning. I do make sure I wash my hands well afterwards though!!!

    I have OA in one knee . On diagnosis the pain was bad and my mobility affected. Since using the cream and doing my physio prescribed exercises , I am almost pain free and find waking much easier. I don’t know if it is the cream , the exercises or just a fluke…whatever it is I’m not complaining!!!

  • Byrdman1
    Byrdman1 Member Posts: 4


    am new on this site. I have OA in my left knee, both hands and I think my spine.

    Does anyone take omega 3 and find it helps ?

  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 930

    Hi @Byrdman1 and welcome to the online community,

    There are quite a few alternative treatments around for OA, and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. Have a look at the Versus Arthritis website which discusses the benefits of fish oil:

    All our members live with arthritis, and as you can see above, there's plenty of discussion on the forum about trying out natural remedies. Here's a recent thread where supplements are discussed:

    Do have a look round the frum, join in any conversations where you feel comfortable - everyone is very friendly and supportive - and ask any more questions you may have. If you give omega 3 a try, it would be great to hear how you're getting on.

    Anna (Moderator)

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

  • Gattus
    Gattus Member Posts: 2

    I have osteoarhritis in my knee and have been taking Tumeric,Ginger and Black Pepper capsules for over two years took about a month to kick in but really works.

    I no longer have to use a stick to get around and have hardly any pain. Take two capsules every morning. Buy these on Ebay at a very reasonable cost. Fully recommend.

  • Byrdman1
    Byrdman1 Member Posts: 4


    am new on this site. I have OA in my left knee, both hands and I think my spine.

    Does anyone take omega 3 and find it helps ?

  • Byrdman1
    Byrdman1 Member Posts: 4

    Thank you for helpful comments. I just trying to navigate this site,but think will be geat to communicate

  • Byrdman1
    Byrdman1 Member Posts: 4

    With people who are suffering as well.I also have sciatica at the moment. ? Related to arthritis in spine

  • Charlestown
    Charlestown Member Posts: 73

    @Byrdman1 hi im new here & just reading the comments. Yes i too have had sciatica my physio thinks ive got osteo arthritis in my lower back. Had it 2 years now, after having had a flare up in my knee. My lower back is stiff, hard to keep sat down i find myself going to lie on my bed. I have imflammatory osteoarthritis in knees, toes, fingers,thumbs,wrists so my back is obviously feeling left out & wants to join in 🤣