Managing and Improving

The following strategies can be used for patients who:
  • Would like to manage their symptoms of arthritis
  • Want to learn more about improving pain
  • Are undecided about whether or not to have surgery
  • Are waiting to have their surgery

Pain management: warm packs or placing a hot water bottle on your knee for 15 minutes once or twice daily helps to relieve muscle pain. Make sure that you have a thick layer between your skin and the heat source. Check your skin every few minutes to make sure you do not burn yourself. Do not use a pain relief cream or ointment with a hot pack as this could cause a chemical burn. Warm baths and pain medication prescribed by your doctor can also help.

Weight Control: the force on your knee is approximately 3 to 4 times the weight of your body. Reducing your weight will reduce your pain and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis in your knees.

Diet: we suggest that you maintain a healthy diet while you wait for surgery. Foods high in protein, vitamin C, zinc, iron, and calcium are important for wound healing and for good recovery after surgery.

Smoking: if you smoke, it is important that you stop. If you are unable to stop, try to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Stopping or decreasing the amount you smoke will improve the condition of your lungs and help you heal.

Fitness: the best activities for osteoarthritis of the knees are swimming, cycling, and walking. Double check with your doctor to make sure you are able to participate in these activities.

Physiotherapy: may help reduce pain and improve your mobility and strength.

Activity: stop or reduce the activities that make your knee sore.
Do you have any questions or concerns? Contact the Hip and Knee Patient Navigator at 416-756-6000 ext. 4490 or email Hipknee.Navigator@nygh.on.ca.
Learn more about the Hip and Knee Patient Navigator.