Pain Medications After Surgery
- Opioids: Opioids like codeine are prescription medications that temporarily change the way your brain perceives pain. For post-surgery hip or knee pain, prescription medication is usually a temporary pain relief technique. Opioids can help you feel better throughout the day but come with a risk of addiction.
- Synthetic Opioids: Tramadol is a commonreplacement for codeine and other opioids, though it is still a narcotic. Tramadol is a synthetic opioid that affects how you perceive pain, but also influences your mood. Tramadol is regularly used in combination with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Osteoarthritis Of The Knee: Which Painkillers Are Effective
Osteoarthritis pain can often be treated effectively with anti-inflammatory painkillers. But higher doses are often needed. Due to the possible associated risks, its recommended that the painkillers be taken as needed rather than all the time.
Osteoarthritis is typically treated with painkillers known as non-steroidal . These medications have an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect. Examples of NSAIDs include diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen. Two other anti-inflammatory painkillers with a similar effect are celecoxib and etoricoxib. These are . They are taken as tablets or directly applied to the painful joint in the form of a gel or cream.
Some NSAIDs can be bought at pharmacies without a prescription for example, to treat a headache or menstrual pain. To achieve noticeable pain relief in osteoarthritis, though, higher doses are often needed, and they have to be prescribed by a doctor.
Some people worry too much about the possible risks associated with painkillers. A few also worry about becoming dependent on them. But unlike opiate-based painkillers , NSAIDs and coxibs have no addictive effect. Other people worry that taking painkillers might prevent them from feeling alarm signals sent by their bodies. Theres no medical reason to worry, though: Chronic pain tells you much less about the condition of your joints than you might think.
Collagen Supplements For Knee Pain
While glucosamine and chondroitin give cartilage its flexibility and resilience, it gets its strength from a strong, fibrous protein known as type II collagen. Collagen is a protein composed of long chains of amino acids. Every third amino acid is glycine, with proline, hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine appearing in between. These last two amino acids are not found in any other human proteins.
Long chains of collagen come together in threes. Hydroxyproline, which needs vitamin C for its synthesis, has a unique shape which allows collagen fibres to twist around each other and form long triple strands for extra strength
Also Check: How Do You Get Gout In Your Knee
Signs And Symptoms Of Opioid Misuse
Unfortunately, the nature of painkillers is that they become less effective over time. This is partly because your body adjusts to the medication and develops a tolerance, which means your body requires higher doses of the drug to get the same effect.
There are certain signs that therapeutic use of opioids has crossed into the territory of addiction.
Verywell / JR Bee
Signs to be aware of include:
- Exhibiting compulsive behaviors to get the drug and continue to use it
- Taking the medication to get high or relieve anxiety rather than to relieve pain
- Needing to take a higher dose of medication to feel the effects previously experienced at lower dosages
- Using pain medication in amounts or at times that are not consistent with a doctor’s prescriptionespecially if someone is misleading their doctor or pharmacist to do so
If you recognize these behaviors in a loved one or are concerned about your own use of pain medication, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider.
Opioid Addiction Discussion Guide
Common Knee Surgery May Not Alleviate Pain
Next come over-the-counter treatments, including acetaminophen for many people, because it is non-toxic in recommended doses and doesnt cause stomach bleeding like other drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can. Steroid injections come next, but not unless pain pills dont do the trick.
We believe that pharmacologic intervention is important for patients that can tolerate it, Jevsevar said. We believe that surgery is a last resort.
At least one study has found that surgery is no better than medication and physical therapy for relieving the pain and stiffness of moderate or severe arthritis.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Your Knee Pop
It Can Improve Sleep And Anxiety Common Problems That Aggravate Chronic Knee Pain
Not resting enough can make your knee pain worse the next day, which in turn makes it harder for you to fall asleep at night. This vicious cycle often leads to anxiety another contributor to chronic arthritis pain.
But according to the Arthritis Foundation, taking CBD may help some patients fall asleep and reduce their anxiety. Thus, helping with chronic pain as well.
Further reading:Knee pain at night causes and treatments.
Why Was This Study Needed
Long-term back pain and hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis are common and debilitating conditions. An estimated 278,000 workers in the UK suffered from musculoskeletal pain in the back or lower limbs in 2016/17.
The amounts of opioid drugs prescribed in the UK increased between 2010 and 2014, although we don’t know how many of these prescriptions were for long-term pain and how many for the appropriate short-term relief of pain in cancer or just after surgery for example.
UK guidelines discourage the use of opioids for long-term pain relief, because of the potential for addiction and death from overdose. However, opioids are more widely used in other countries including the US, leading to what has been described as an epidemic of opioid use and abuse.
You May Like: Why Do Tall People’s Knees Hurt
What Did It Find
- There was no relevant clinical difference in pain-related ability to function between people assigned to opioids and people assigned to non-opioids. Pain improved in both groups, from an average 5.4 points at the start of the study in the opioid group to 3.4 points at the end, while the non-opioid group went from average 5.5 points at the start to 3.3 at the end .
- Pain intensity was also not clinically different in the non-opioid group at the end of the study. On a scale of 1 to 10, pain severity at the end of the study was 4.0 in the opioid group and 3.5 in the non-opioid group .
- People in the opioid group had more medication-related symptoms over 12 months of treatment .
- There was no difference in adverse outcomes such as hospital visits or measures of opioid misuse.
Turmeric Supplements For Knee Pain
Turmeric is a familiar, yellow spice widely used to enhance the flavour and colour of curries. It is also a traditional Ayurvedic medicine used to treat inflammation and reduce pain.
The active ingredient in turmeric is a golden-yellow pigment, curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory actions.
Turmeric supplements can be concentrated and standardised to contain as much as 95% curcumin, the active ingredient, per dose.
Several studies suggest that turmeric is as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for alleviating knee pain but without the side effects.
The absorption of turmeric and curcumin from the digestive system is notoriously poor. Even so, turmeric still produces significant anti-inflammatory effects elsewhere in the body, such as reducing knee pain, even though no measurable levels are present.
The most likely explanation is that turmeric is able to interact with immune cells within the gut lining to reprogram how they respond to inflammation. Water soluble turmeric supplements with boosted absorption are now available for a more powerful dual action.
You May Like: Can You Get On Your Knees After Knee Replacement Surgery
The Most Important Piece Of The Puzzle
If youre overweight or obese, the most effective treatment is weight loss. This isnt surprising. Every extra pound of weight adds two to four pounds of excess pressure on your knees.
Losing weight is probably the most difficult part of the treatment puzzle, but its also the most important, says Dr. Day.
A weight loss program should include both diet and exercise. Some people have difficulty exercising to lose weight because their knees hurt. But any type of exercise can help, even strengthening the upper body.
It May Inhibit The Chemicals That Trigger Pain And Inflammation
Mainly, two substances prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Our body produces them in the presence of injury and/or infection to kickstart the healing process. If theyre not kept in check, they can accumulate and promote chronic pain.
But, some studies show that CBD may inhibit their creation. This can ultimately reduce pain and inflammation from the root.
This in itself is reason enough to try CBD to alleviate pain in chronic conditions.
Also Check: How Can I Get Rid Of Dark Knees
What Is A Good Supplement For Joint Pain
Before you stock your medicine cabinet, heres a rundown of the most widely used over-the-counter treatments.
- OTC pain relievers. For swelling, the best solutions are general pain relievers that reduce inflammation and dont contain steroids. These pain medications are extremely common and include ibuprofen , naproxen and aspirin. OTC pain medications can help reduce pain, aches and/or inflammation. If youre taking other medications, be sure to consult your pharmacist before using any OTC pain relievers.
If you dont have swelling or inflammation, acetaminophen can help. Be careful to avoid drinking alcohol while taking acetaminophen, however, as it can cause liver damage.
- Topical treatments. Available in cream, spray, rub or gel forms, topical pain relievers are applied to the skin of the affected area to help reduce pain and swelling.
Medications that are applied directly to the sore area can include counterirritants that contain menthol or camphor, which counteract pain perceptions. These include products such as Icy Hot® and Biofreeze®.
The key ingredients active in these medicines include capsaicin and salicylates.
Dr. McElroy adds, Capsaicin is the chemical in chili peppers that give them their heat and interacts with your neurons to relieve pain, while salicylates have the same effects of aspirin.
In addition to traditional medication, heating wraps and pads can also be used to relieve joint pain and dont have serious side effects, says Dr. McElroy.
How Effective Are Krill Oil Supplements For Knee Pain
Krill oil supplements can produce a significant improvement in knee pain and knee stiffness within a week. Krill oil supplements have also been shown to reduce the amount of pain-killing rescue medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen needed.
A study involving 50 people with knee joint pain compared the effects of taking either 2g krill oil per day, or an identical placebo, for one month. Those taking krill oil showed more improvements in knee pain and stiffness than those taking placebo and, when other factors such as age, weight and lifestyle were taking into account, krill oil also significantly reduced the effects of knee pain on sleeping, standing and the range of movement in both knees compared to placebo.
As krill are an important food source for marine animals such as baleen whales, Antarctic Fur Seals and Adelie penguins, its important to select a supplement derived from sustainable sources that do not impact on these feeding grounds. Sustainably derived krill oil will have an on-pack endorsement from an organisation such as the is an international, non-profit organisation that works to safeguard seafood supplies for the future.
You May Like: Why Do My Knee Joints Hurt
How Are Nsaids And Coxibs Used
There are a number of different NSAIDs and coxibs. The table below lists the names and doses of the drugs that are most commonly used to relieve osteoarthritis pain:
|50 to 100 mg
|250 to 500 mg
Experts recommend that you only use these medications when the pain is bad rather than using them continuously. That can lower the risk of side effects.
Its best to start at a low dose and increase it if necessary. Its important not to exceed the maximum daily dose of a drug.
How To Get Moving Every Day
In addition to physical therapy, its critical to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.
Joints are built to move, says Dr. Day. The evidence shows that people who are least active have more arthritis pain than people who do some form of exercise. Choose lower-impact activities, such as bicycling, swimming or exercising in a pool.
Also Check: How To Use Knee Pillow For Sciatica
Pain Medications For Arthritis Pain Relief
There is a range of pain medications available to relieve arthritic and musculoskeletal pain, as well as post-surgical pain. In general, drugs that relieve pain are called analgesics or, more commonly, painkillers. These drugs vary in potency and in how they work, and can be administered in different ways, including via pills, skin patches, injections, or intravenously.
Analgesics are frequently divided into two categories: opioids and non-opioids.
- Opioids are often referred to as narcotics
- Non-opioids include both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen
What Are Knee Injections
There are different types of knee injections. The most common type of intra-articular knee injection is corticosteroids. Other agents used are hyaluronic acid, infliximab, Botox , and platelet-rich plasma .
Knee pain can result from ligament or tendon injury, fracture, cartilage loss in osteoarthritis, and inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory arthritis or . Knee pain can also be due to joint malalignment or dysfunction and referred pain from other areas.
Diseases of the knee can be diagnosed based on
- clinical presentation,
- joint aspiration .
Don’t Miss: What Kind Of Knee Injury Do I Have
Variables In Pain Level
There arefactors that can increase or decrease your level of pain after surgery.
- Activity Level: Movement of the joint and physical activity is encouraged after surgery and should be guided by your doctor and physical therapist. Activity level can increase swelling and lead to more pain. This is normal and can be managed through medications or hot/cold therapy.
- Time of Day: Believe it or not, the time of day can play a factor in your pain level after hip or knee replacement. Pain at night is more common. There are several reasons for this, including being active during the day and increased swelling, as well as not having any distractions at night and focusing on your pain or discomfort.
- Stress: Heightened stress levels can worsen both physical and perceived pain. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, tell your doctor and set aside dedicated time each day to meditate or relax. Journaling, talking with a friend or listening to calming music are ways to relax while recovering from surgery.
How Knee Pain Can Affect You
Knee pain is more common as you get older, due to years of wear and tear, if you are overweight , or if you play sports. Because your knees are vital to movement, knee pain can stop you from playing sports and make it difficult to carry out simple activities, such as walking and climbing stairs.
*Knee : Images, Function, Ligaments, Muscles. 2016. Knee : Images, Function, Ligaments, Muscles. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/picture-of-the-knee. . ** GSK Global Pain Index Research 2014 full report p. 47
Don’t Miss: Where Does Knee Pain Come From
Injections Are Another Low
If other strategies dont provide enough relief, injection therapy is an option with low risk.
A corticosteroid injection involves delivering this anti-inflammatory drug directly to the knee. The benefits are typically short lived. But it varies from person to person. I tell my patients the pain relief can last anywhere from a week to a year, says Dr. Day. One cautionary note with corticosteroids is the potential to increase blood sugar, which is a concern for people with uncontrolled diabetes.
For a possibly longer lasting effect, an injection of hyaluronic acid can be tried. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that healthy joints have a lot of and arthritic knees dont, says Dr. Day. It takes longer to start working than a corticosteroid injection, but the effect often lasts six months to a year.
Currently, research is being done on the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma , which is not yet covered by insurance. PRP involves drawing some blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, and injecting part of it into the knee.
If youre not able to get your symptoms under control with a combination of these measures, she says, it could be time to talk to your doctor about surgery.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.
What Are The Implications
The results of this pragmatic trial suggest there is little benefit to be gained from initiating opioid treatment for people with chronic back pain or pain from osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. The trial did not assess the effects of opioids added to paracetamol or anti-inflammatories.
The message that opioid pain relief medications are no better than simple analgesics such as paracetamol, or anti-inflammatory medicines, and may have unwanted side effects, might surprise some people.
While side effects were not listed in the study, common opioid side effects include constipation and drowsiness as well as a risk of addiction in long-term use.
Chronic pain continues to be a challenge for clinicians. However, the study confirms that opioid medication is unlikely to be a useful answer to that problem.
Drugs That Tame Inflammation
These are called NSAIDs — nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They include:
Your doctor can prescribe stronger doses than you can get in the store as well as delayed-release and extended-release forms of naproxen.
All of these NSAIDs have similar side effects, including a greater chance of a heart attack or stroke. You could get ulcers, bleeding, or holes in your stomach when you take them for too long.
Diclofenac, another prescription NSAID, comes in a gel and as a liquid that you put on your skin.