Degenerative knee pain can be frustrating and difficult to manage, leading many to seek treatment. Fortunately, there are several options available when it comes to alleviating the pain and finding long-term relief. This guide explains the various types of degenerative knee pain, as well as treatments and lifestyle changes that may provide relief. With the right information and care, those experiencing chronic knee pain can take steps to reduce the discomfort and live their lives with greater comfort and flexibility.

Types of Degenerative Knee Pain


Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of degenerative knee pain and affects more than three million Americans every year. It is a progressive condition which causes joint degeneration and joint pain due to the thinning of cartilage between the knee bones. As the cartilage thins, the bones begin to rub together, leading to stiffness, reduced range of motion, and aching joints.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the joints, commonly caused by inflammation in the knee. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. This condition is caused by the immune system attacking healthy cells and tissues, leading to the destruction of the joint lining and cartilage.

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Post-Traumatic Arthritis

Post-traumatic arthritis is caused by injury to the knee joint, such as a fracture, dislocation, or sprain. Damage to the joint can lead to cartilage breakdown and pain as the bones lose their ability to glide smoothly. Post-traumatic arthritis often develops over time and is more common after a severe injury or fracture.

Treatments for Degenerative Knee Pain


The most common treatments for degenerative knee pain are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications reduce inflammation and pain and can provide short-term relief of degenerative knee pain. However, NSAIDs can have serious side effects, so they should be used cautiously and under the supervision of a doctor.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated with knee degeneration. A physical therapist can provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to each patient’s specific needs. The physical therapist can also provide exercises to strengthen the muscles and restore range of motion around the knee joint.


Surgery is generally reserved for cases of extreme pain or disability. There are several surgical procedures available for degenerative knee pain, including joint replacement, tendon and ligament repair, and arthroscopic surgery. While surgery can provide long-term relief from knee pain, it is a major procedure with many potential risks and side effects.

Lifestyle Changes to Support Knee Health

Weight Loss

Being overweight or obese puts excessive strain on the knee joint, which can lead to further degeneration and pain. Losing weight can reduce this strain, allowing the knee to heal and providing greater mobility and comfort.


Regular exercise can help strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and improve flexibility. Low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, yoga, and biking can be especially beneficial for those with degenerative knee pain.

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A healthy diet can help reduce inflammation, which can further reduce pain and improve mobility. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as dark, leafy greens, fatty fish, and nuts, can help support joint health and reduce pain and stiffness.

People Also Ask

What causes degenerative knee pain?

Degenerative knee pain is usually caused by age-related factors, such as thinning cartilage, but can also be caused by injury or illness.

What is the best treatment for degenerative knee pain?

The best treatment for degenerative knee pain is dependent upon the individual patient’s circumstances. Common treatments include medication, physical therapy, and in extreme cases, surgery.

Are there any home remedies for knee pain?

Yes, there are several home remedies for knee pain, such as applying a cold or hot compress, doing light stretches and exercises, taking over-the-counter medications, and getting enough rest.

Can degenerative knee pain be cured?

Degenerative knee pain usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed with treatments, lifestyle changes, and certain medications.

How can I prevent degenerative knee pain?

The best way to prevent degenerative knee pain is to keep the muscles strong and flexible through regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid any activities that cause twinges of pain in the knee joint.

Final Words

Degenerative knee pain can be a difficult and painful condition to manage, but with the right care, it can be controlled and allow for a better quality of life. Knowing the cause of the pain, as well as the available treatments and lifestyle changes, can help those with knee pain manage their condition and find relief.