Treatments That Offer Knee Replacement Pain Relief

knee replacement pain relief

Knee replacement is a safe and effective surgery that can help those with a serious knee injury or arthritis by replacing the surface of the damaged bone in the knee. This then relieves pain in the knee and helps return you to your normal activity level.

However, you may have to wait to receive your knee replacement surgery, which can leave you in pain severe enough to interfere with your sleep or daily activities.

If you are waiting for a knee replacement, the following treatments can help to offer pain relief.


While medication will not solve the problem causing your knee pain, it is an option to provide pain relief as you wait for surgery. Over-the-counter options include non-steroidal medications (NSAIDs) such as naproxen and ibuprofen. Your doctor can also prescribe medication for pain, if needed, and discuss different pain relief options.

Gentle Motion Exercises

When your knee joint is feeling especially painful, exercises with a focus on gentle motion can help to smooth and polish the joints, relieving pain. The most important part is focusing on non-load-bearing exercises, such as arm circles or cycling with no resistance. Gentle is the keyword, so take it slow and easy.

However, it is important to talk to your doctor or physical therapist before trying any of these exercises so that you don’t do an exercise that causes further harm to your knee. Additionally, it is always recommended to stop if the exercises ever hurt.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists are an important part of your recovery after knee replacement surgery, but they can also provide exercises that offer pain relief while waiting for the surgery.

As a trained professional, your physical therapist can provide a program of exercises that target your specific source of pain and help to offer relief without pushing your body too far. They can also supply exercises for you to complete on your own as a way to prevent pain or relieve it when it flares.


Braces increase the knee joint’s stability, which can help maintain alignment and prevent movement that results in pain. Braces come in different types, so your doctor can help you choose the kind that is best for your injury and the amount of movement that it should limit.

Additionally, it is important to check with a doctor before wearing a brace for an extended time, as the movement restriction of the brace may cause you to alter your movement and place stress on other parts of the body, unintentionally causing damage to them.

For those with severe pain that significantly affects your ability to move around, supportive devices such as a walker or cane may help as you wait for your knee replacement surgery.


Above all else, the best thing you can do for your knee as you wait for your knee replacement is to rest it. This does not mean becoming entirely sedentary, as it is still important to stay active, but try to limit your activity and intersperse periods of movement with time spent resting.

Pain Relief While Waiting for Knee Replacement

For those looking for pain relief before a knee replacement, the above recommendations may help to relieve pain as you wait for surgery. However, it is always best to talk to your doctor if you are in pain to see their recommendations for knee replacement pain relief.

For those in the San Diego area, San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center can help with your knee replacement, and our doctors can provide recommendations for pain relief as you wait for your surgery. If you wish to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, Inc., San Diego, CA

Phone (appointments): 619-229-3932

Phone (general inquiries): 619-229-3932

Address: 6719 Alvarado Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92120

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