For the estimated 45 percent of Americans who will develop painful knee osteoarthritis in their lifetime (a weakening of the joint due to stiffness and swelling), here’s some good news…
Research has shown there are many ways to decrease chronic pain and restore joint function beyond traditional surgery, including strength training, low-impact aerobic exercise, and weight loss as prescribed by your doctor. Another cost-effective and relatively safe treatment worth considering is regularly taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), or naproxen.
This medication came out on top in a recent study appearing in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons which compared various non-surgical treatments including:
- Intra-articular (IA) or cortisone joint injections
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
- Hyaluronic acid (HA)
- Other NSAIDs
Researchers analyzed a group of 53 controlled treatment trials, each lasting for a period of at least 28 days. Effectiveness at managing pain and improving joint function was then rated on a numerical scale. Here are the results:
- Naproxen was ranked the most effective treatment for improving both pain and function.
- Cortisone injections, PRP injections, and ibuprofen were ranked just below naproxen.
- Cortisone injections, however, provided the greatest short-term pain relief with efficacy expected to last around four to six weeks.
At Texas Orthopedics, we offer cortisone injections, PRP injections, and physical therapy to help our patients treat their knee pain. If you’d like to discuss one of these options, or the proper use of a regular NSAID, please contact us for an appointment with one of our dedicated knee specialists.
(Courtesy of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons-AAOS)