Immediate Relief for Arthritis Flare Ups in the Knees

If you have ever experienced an arthritis flare-up in your knees, you realize the importance of obtaining immediate relief. Arthritis, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, can be caused either by trauma to the joint or age-related joint degeneration. Symptoms of a flare-up include swelling (or inflammation), sudden and intense pain or the inability to move your knee. Knowing about and using immediate pain-relief methods for your arthritis flare-ups can make the difference between a day of comfort or a day of pain.

  1. Icing

    • Icing provides immediate relief for arthritis flare-ups in knees and all other joints. According to, you should apply ice to your knees (or just the affected knee) in 20-minute intervals throughout the day. Use ice bags, gel packs or any other method that will allow you to ice the area without applying ice directly to your skin (to avoid getting ice burn). Icing will decrease your knees' swelling as well as provide quick pain relief. According to Virginia Mason Orthopedics, icing is the best pain medication around. It is cheap, quick and effective.


    • Sit and extend your affected leg until it is straight. Gently massage the knee. Massaging stimulates both the nerves and the muscles surrounding your knee. This technique provides immediate relief by reducing your pain level; massaging also helps stretch out your affected knee and leg muscles.

    Elevation and Rest

    • Elevating your affected leg(s) helps decrease both your pain and your inflammation. While elevating your leg, be certain to relax your leg muscles. Put your leg on a pillow or two while either sitting or lying down. Resting is also a highly recommended method for providing immediate relief for arthritic knee flare-ups, according to the National Institute of Arthritis.

    Walking Aides

    • Use a crutch, cane or walker, which will provide fast pain relief by taking on the body weight that otherwise would be absorbed by your knee joint. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there is a technique to using walking aids in order to prevent further harm to your body. You must make certain to have firm footing and a complete sense of balance prior to beginning any movement with any walking aid. Your walking aid must also be in full contact with the surface prior to any movement. Move slowly to avoid injury.


    • Take corticosteroid treatments for short-term relief. These are available in either oral form or injectable form. By injecting the affected joint, according to, your knee swelling and pain will diminish within minutes. Injections are given by medical professionals only, in clinical settings. Even though the oral form of cortisone relieves inflammation and pain, the pain relief is not as immediate as with the injection. Oral medications may be taken at home once prescribed by a medical professional. As steroids are known to cause health issues in other parts of your body, they are not to be used over long periods of time.

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