If osteoarthritis causes you pain, you don’t have to “just deal with it.” There are several kinds of medications and other treatment options for you to choose from. They may not eliminate your pain totally, but they can often ease it significantly and make it possible for you to do all the things you enjoy doing.
Should I wrap or brace my knee?
What pain reliever can I take when it hurts?
Should I use heat or ice on my knee?
Could the pain be a sign that my arthritis is getting worse?
Are there any activities I shouldn't do?
Do supplements like glucosamine help?
Many people find pain relief through a regular program of diet and exercise. For patients who are overweight or obese, losing 10% of their weight reduces pain and improves function, according to research.
WebMD takes a look at the risks and benefits of medications available to help manage osteoarthritis pain.
OTC acetaminophen can reduce mild and moderate arthritis pain that often accompanies osteoarthritis. Follow the dosage directions on the bottle, because acetaminophen and NSAIDs can cause problems when not used according to the package label. If taken with food or milk, you can reduce the risk of side effects. NOTE: You should not take more than 3000 mg per day unless told to do so by your doctor. You may be taking other medications that contain acetaminophen without realizing it, so you should makes sure you do not exceed 3000 mg from all sources.
NSAIDs also provide relief from pain caused by swelling and inflammation. At over-the-counter doses, NSAIDs are not as effective at reducing inflammation as higher prescription doses.
Most healthy people can safely take NSAIDs for short periods without any problems, However, NSAIDs can increase the risk of medical problems like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. The FDA advises people who have had a heart attack to be cautious using NSAIDs because of increased risk of another heart attack and death.