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Question for folks with arthritis in their knee
Old 09-08-2019, 07:41 PM   #1
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Question for folks with arthritis in their knee

Since we've had a number of threads about TKR I am guessing there is a lot of experience with what is the best OTC medication for arthritis in the knee. I have had the arthritis (osteo) for years in my right knee with not a huge amount of pain. Lots of clicking in the right knee for years and then started feeling some pain when going up/down stairs about 5 years ago.

Now, however, the pain is bad. It's been getting worse and worse for the past year or two. I have a LOT of pain when sitting down or standing up and I now take stairs one at a time so I can keep the right knee straight instead of bending it and putting weight on it. Due to favoring the right knee so much, I am now starting to have pains in my left knee as well, but not nearly as bad as the right. And the icing on the cake is I have developed a very, very painful left thumb (turns out this is a common site for arthritis). Gripping anything has become impossible and simply trying to put thumb and fingers together (like you are going to pinch something) is very painful.

I've been taking acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen at night for a number of years in order to sleep - otherwise the aches and pains keep me awake. But these medications don't really seem to help me a lot during the day with pain. What OTC medication did you find most helpful for dealing with the pain of arthritis?

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:49 PM   #2
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Since we've had a number of threads about TKR I am guessing there is a lot of experience with what is the best OTC medication for arthritis in the knee. I have had the arthritis (osteo) for years in my right knee with not a huge amount of pain. Lots of clicking in the right knee for years and then started feeling some pain when going up/down stairs about 5 years ago.

Now, however, the pain is bad. It's been getting worse and worse for the past year or two. I have a LOT of pain when sitting down or standing up and I now take stairs one at a time so I can keep the right knee straight instead of bending it and putting weight on it. Due to favoring the right knee so much, I am now starting to have pains in my left knee as well, but not nearly as bad as the right. And the icing on the cake is I have developed a very, very painful left thumb (turns out this is a common site for arthritis). Gripping anything has become impossible and simply trying to put thumb and fingers together (like you are going to pinch something) is very painful.

I've been taking acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen at night for a number of years in order to sleep - otherwise the aches and pains keep me awake. But these medications don't really seem to help me a lot during the day with pain. What OTC medication did you find most helpful for dealing with the pain of arthritis?

Thanks
To be honest, and having had a hip implant 11 years ago, and the next one due in November , I have not found anything OTC that helps with the osteoarthritis pain. I understand that some folks take 2 Aleve and 1 (one ) ibuprofen at the same time and that helps. That did not work for me.

Oh, my right knee is full of the same crap. That may be next, but the pain would have to be crazy for me to go through a knee job.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MissMolly View Post
Since we've had a number of threads about TKR I am guessing there is a lot of experience with what is the best OTC medication for arthritis in the knee. I have had the arthritis (osteo) for years in my right knee with not a huge amount of pain. Lots of clicking in the right knee for years and then started feeling some pain when going up/down stairs about 5 years ago.

Now, however, the pain is bad. It's been getting worse and worse for the past year or two. I have a LOT of pain when sitting down or standing up and I now take stairs one at a time so I can keep the right knee straight instead of bending it and putting weight on it. Due to favoring the right knee so much, I am now starting to have pains in my left knee as well, but not nearly as bad as the right. And the icing on the cake is I have developed a very, very painful left thumb (turns out this is a common site for arthritis). Gripping anything has become impossible and simply trying to put thumb and fingers together (like you are going to pinch something) is very painful.

I've been taking acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen at night for a number of years in order to sleep - otherwise the aches and pains keep me awake. But these medications don't really seem to help me a lot during the day with pain. What OTC medication did you find most helpful for dealing with the pain of arthritis?

Thanks
I don't know what OTC medication is best. Over the years I took several prescription medications for my knees which worked well but I didn't take any for more than a year or two because I was concerned about stomach trouble and other side effects that sometimes arise from taking various medications long term.

However, you might find this interesting. Before my knee surgery I bought this icing machine from Amazon to use after my surgery. Since I already had it, I tried it before surgery as well and thought it was surprisingly helpful in lessening my knee pain and swelling to some extent, although it certainly didn't eliminate knee pain. It is easy to use.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:31 PM   #4
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I take Xymogen Synovx DJD. No knee pain since I started taking it a month or 2 ago. https://www.xymogen.com/formulas/products/973
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:37 PM   #5
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Oh, my right knee is full of the same crap. That may be next, but the pain would have to be crazy for me to go through a knee job.
That is a very smart attitude. It's a tough recovery and can take a year or more for some people. I feel so sorry for those who don't realize this before they opt for total knee replacement. Sometimes they get really depressed.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:38 PM   #6
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My wife has sometimes debilitating mid foot arthritis, and it's like her feet are on fire.

She swears by Volteran Gel (prescription) and topped with over the counter Lydocaine cream. She's also been taking Perocgesic pills for breakthrough pain that opioids won't cover up.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:15 PM   #7
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Voltaren gel also. It is an NSAID, so has all the same issues for one's liver and kidneys as any NSAID does in long term use. However, it lasts anywhere from 4 to 8 hrs and is applied directly to the knee, so I use it when I have to be out and about for several hours during the day, walking and standing with some stairs.

Otherwise, i depend on a regiment of dietary supplements that is still a work in progress. May post about that someday. SO, do not take any meds on a regular basis for the knee due to the liver/kidney concern.

Every once in a while, a single naproxen sodium at bedtime if it has been an especially brutal day of activities.

Also found recently that blue emu oil works best of all the OTC remedies (voltaren is by prescription in the US).
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:32 AM   #8
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So, zero consensus on what works best and no matter what you choose to use, use it sparingly due to various side effects (with the exception of an ice machine). *sigh* OK, I'll keep trying different things I guess. Although the pain can be very bad at times, it's going to have to get a lot worse before I even consider the surgery route.

Thanks all.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:39 AM   #9
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Yes, I think you have to experiment and find the right combo for you.
I find naproxen works the best, but rotate to ibuprofen or acetaminophen due to side effects. The best for me has been ice/heat, CBD oil oral and THC/CBD ointment topical, but availability for that is location dependent.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:09 AM   #10
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I'd suggest going into the doctor and getting an injection in the knee. I forget what they used, and it took a couple of weeks to fully work, but it was like a miracle. I was in the same shape as you, and had the injection two years ago. Other than a once in awhile twinge, I'm pain free. The few times it bothers me Ibuprofen easily handles it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:56 AM   #11
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I'd suggest going into the doctor and getting an injection in the knee. I forget what they used, and it took a couple of weeks to fully work, but it was like a miracle. I was in the same shape as you, and had the injection two years ago. Other than a once in awhile twinge, I'm pain free. The few times it bothers me Ibuprofen easily handles it.
DW had a series of knee shots two years ago. Typically they use a steroid of some kind and another compound that promotes cartilage enhancement. DW's worked for a few months each time, but after three shots, Medicare suggests a knee replacement, of which she has no immediate plans to do.

But, with her COPD and osteoporosis issues, she is not walking much without a "walker", so the knee pain is a mute point.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:37 PM   #12
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The injections did not work for me, for wrist arthritis (and tendonitis) 14 yrs ago. The explanation was that since I have rheumatoid as well as osteo arthritis, injections have limited impact. What has had the most benefit, for the knees, among the cocktail of supplements I am now experimenting with, has been collagen peptides. it is a work in progress, and I am only on my first purchase of same, so will see how it goes longer term. In my research, studies show some improvement with 10 mg per day of the powder, those who sell the stuff recommend twice that much, big surprise. I've been sticking with the 10 mg (1 scoop). brand is Orgain.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:06 PM   #13
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I'd suggest going into the doctor and getting an injection in the knee. I forget what they used, and it took a couple of weeks to fully work, but it was like a miracle. I was in the same shape as you, and had the injection two years ago. Other than a once in awhile twinge, I'm pain free. The few times it bothers me Ibuprofen easily handles it.
Yes, I know I should see a doctor, but I really hate going to doctors unless absolutely necessary. If I can wait out a problem or self treat with OTC meds I will do it. And I know the next logical step is to get the shot in the knee, but I get queasy just thinking about that. This pain has almost taken me to the point that I will make an appointment - I just have to get myself psyched up for that (I really, really hate going to doctors).
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:57 PM   #14
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Yes, I know I should see a doctor, but I really hate going to doctors unless absolutely necessary. If I can wait out a problem or self treat with OTC meds I will do it. And I know the next logical step is to get the shot in the knee, but I get queasy just thinking about that. This pain has almost taken me to the point that I will make an appointment - I just have to get myself psyched up for that (I really, really hate going to doctors).
The knee shots don't hurt. I had one a few months after I had a scope job on my knee to repair a torn meniscus to alleviate continued pain (didn't work for long). That was 2 + years ago.

Just don't look at the needle!
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:58 PM   #15
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The knee shots don't hurt. I had one a few months after I had a scope job on my knee to repair a torn meniscus to alleviate continued pain (didn't work for long). That was 2 + years ago.

Just don't look at the needle!
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:50 PM   #16
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My doctor did a shot in my knee. I cried it hurt so much and didn't help me one bit. Won't see that doctor again. I think he gave it to me in the wrong spot.

Fast forward 5 years latter, I have lost 50 lbs...does my knee feel better? No. But if I pace myself and don't do all my 10,000 steps per day at one time I am keeping the pain under control. I too, use cbd/thc cream and that seems to dull the pain somewhat.

I wish you luck finding something that works for your pain.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:06 PM   #17
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The knee shots don't hurt. I had one a few months after I had a scope job on my knee to repair a torn meniscus to alleviate continued pain (didn't work for long). That was 2 + years ago.

Just don't look at the needle!
My first 35 years every doctor appointment ended with me face down on the floor passed out. Seems silly today.

There's a lot of benefits to training your mind to focus elsewhere. Meditation, guided imagery, and biofeedback are excellent tools for anxiety management. I've had a cervical injection and a cystoscopy done this year and while unpleasant they weren't a huge issue.

OP if you haven't tried CBD please do. Not mind altering and legal in many states. Some folks swear by it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:06 PM   #18
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Voltaren gel also. It is an NSAID, so has all the same issues for one's liver and kidneys as any NSAID does in long term use.
Not really. As a topical application it doesn't have anywhere near the same impact as an oral NSAID. It's an excellent drug, and I'm pretty sure something else will kill me long before the cumulative effect of the Voltaren does.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:10 PM   #19
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My first 35 years every doctor appointment ended with me face down on the floor passed out. Seems silly today.

There's a lot of benefits to training your mind to focus elsewhere. Meditation, guided imagery, and biofeedback are excellent tools for anxiety management. I've had a cervical injection and a cystoscopy done this year and while unpleasant they weren't a huge issue.

OP if you haven't tried CBD please do. Not mind altering and legal in many states. Some folks swear by it.
I passed out having blood drawn about 25 - 30 years ago. I remember looking at the nurse poking the needle in and that's all I remembered once they got me sitting up again. Now I just don't look at the needle and think about something else. Seems to work.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:24 PM   #20
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And I know the next logical step is to get the shot in the knee, but I get queasy just thinking about that.
My primary care doc prescribed a pill to help me though the knee shots. I can't drive when I take it; DH drives and he has to ask the intelligent questions, but I'm quite relaxed if I take an ativan/lorazepam about an hour before the appointment.

"This medication is used to treat anxiety. Lorazepam belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. "
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