Medications work on knee pain in two ways. Some work to reduce pain by treating the underlying cause, like damage to tissue. Others can be used to increase comfort, manage other symptoms, improve everyday functioning, or change how you experience pain.
Some are only by prescription. And some can be purchased over the counter. Talk to your doctor about what might be best for you.
- Analgesics. Medications that provide pain relief. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate dosage and which analgesic may work for you.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Useful for pain caused by joint inflammation (at prescription doses).
- Acetaminophen. Effective for mild to moderate pain.
- Corticosteroids. Helps reduce pain and swelling for inflamed areas of the body.
- Opioids (narcotics). If you have trouble finding effective ways to deal with your pain, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of opioids. These prescription pain meds can have serious side effects. They can cause physical dependence or psychological addiction.
- Topical pain relievers. Creams, gels, sprays, or patches applied to the skin. These interact with nerve endings to help reduce pain.
- Tramadol. Works like an opioid to interfere with pain signals.
You may also want to read Pain Relief Without a Pill.