Tips to help prevent and manage knee pain

Some simple tips for living with knee pain

If you’re suffering with painful knees, restrictions in your day-to-day activity can make it feel like you’re putting your life on pause. Your Boots pharmacist can advise you on looking after your joints and taking care of your knees. 

However, here are a few tips that can ease discomfort:

Help prevent knee pain

  • If your BMI is over 25 you might want to consider losing weight to avoid putting extra strain on your joints. Your local Boots pharmacy team can help with lifestyle advice, and most of our stores have BMI machines, which you can use to check that you are a healthy weight
  • Remain active but know your limits. Take gentle exercise and always warm up beforehand. Some exercises are designed specifically to strengthen your knee; for example, stretching your hamstring can improve flexibility. Your GP can advise about the type and level of exercise that is right for you
  • Wear the right attire and shoes that are supportive. For example, cushioned shoes can help ease the impact of walking and absorb shock. Wearing high heels can increase knee pain, because they can lead your muscles to become overstretched and trapped
  • When exercising, make sure your ankles and feet are supported. This will help to adjust the force you use as you walk and avoid adding additional pressure to your knee joints

Prevention products

Treatment of knee pain

  • When a flare-up hits, you might experience acute pain and want to consider some pain relief. Paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen may make you more comfortable, pop in store to see your local Boots pharmacist or see your GP for guidance on which medicines might help you during your flare-ups. Remember to always read the label and never exceed the stated dosage. If you’re on other medication, check with your GP or a pharmacist that pain relief is safe to take alongside it
  • If advised to do so by your GP use support bandages to limit any swelling and movement that could further damage your knee. Simple elastic bandages and elasticated tubular bandages are available from Boots. It should be wrapped snugly around the affected area, but not so tightly that it restricts blood flow. Remove the bandage before you go to sleep
  • Think PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation)

Protect: Take care of your knee and avoid any further injury to the joint by wearing a brace or bandage, applied correctly.

Rest: Allow your knee to heal by avoiding any aggravating activities, such as running and jumping. 

Ice: Cooling aids, such as ice packs, can be used to reduce any knee swelling and pain that develops. Use it in the first 48 to 72 hours after a knee injury, and don’t allow it to touch your skin directly.

Compression: A pressure bandage around the joint can reduce knee swelling.

Elevation: Raising the leg, preferably above heart level, can also help to reduce knee swelling.

  • If your knee pain is severe, significantly affects your mobility or lasts for a few days, see your GP

Treatment products

Management of knee pain

  • Some people find that their symptoms can be helped by wearing a bandage, knee support or shoe insole. If you have to kneel, place a cushion under your knees to distribute your bodyweight across your knees to ease pressure
  • Use the right mobility aids for you (shower seat, cane, etc). These can help you to support your body weight and take pressure off the affected joints. If you’re unsure of which aid could best help you, ask a Boots pharmacist or your GP

Management products

More advice and information