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musculoskeletal systemPain and management

Treatment of Chronic and Long Term Knee Pain

chronic constant knee pain treatmentChronic or long-term knee is one of the most common complains in elderly. There are various causes of chronic knee pain. Read the following article to have a better idea of the causes of chronic and long term knee pain.

In this article we will discuss the treatment of long-term knee pain. Over the counter pain killers, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen are constantly being used by the patients. Moreover, other patients use steroid injection to get rid of pain and inflammation. In this article we will discuss few other treatment options apart from these commonly used methods.

In elderly, over the counter pain killers are most commonly used. These individuals increase the dose of OTC medication without doctor’s advice. Moreover, Those patients whose age is greater than 65, the damage that has already occurred due to aging or contributing factors, can’t be reversed. So in such patients the chances of having side effects and risk of drug overdose increases prominently.

For this purpose, Nalini Vadivelu and Roberta L Hines (2008)[1] studied the role of buprenorphine in relieving the chronic knee pain in elderly. They suggested that transdermal patch of buprenorphine can be used in elderly for the management of chronic knee pain. Buprenorphine has comparatively much better safety profile and its mode of administration eliminate the phenomenon of dose dumping. Thus, Buprenorphine is a very good alternative for chronic debilitating knee pain in elderly. But further research studies should be carried out to completely establish its safety profile.


Other treatment methods of chronic knee pain differ with cause. Depending upon the cause following other methods can also be helpful.

  1. Cold packs:

    Cold packs or ice packs are used to get relieve from inflammatory knee pain. For example pain of osteomalacia patella, or after acute injury. Applying ice packs for 10 – 15 minutes helps. Don’t apply the ice directly on the affected site. Cover your knees with towel and wrap the ice bag over the towel.
  2. Compression:

    Compression stocking are used to decrease knee swelling. You doctor may advice you to use them in certain conditions.
  3. Elevation:

    Elevation is another method which is advised by the doctors to decrease swelling.
  4. Physiotherapy:

    Physiotherapy may be advised to increase the range of motion and to strengthen the muscles. It is found to be helpful in many cases[2].
  5. Surgery:

    Surgery is, of course, helpful is resistant cases. Joint replacement surgery, or other surgeries that include cartilage implant, muscle re-alignment and Tendon release are some of the examples of surgical options.
  6. Others:

    Other methods include wearing well cushioned shoes, avoiding strain and stress on knees and losing weight if you are overweight aid in treatment.


  1. Management of chronic pain in the elderly: focus on transdermal buprenorphine by Nalini Vadivelu and Roberta L Hines
  2. Physical Therapy Treatment Effectiveness for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: Study

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