A woman with knee pain experiencing knee pain relief from Voltaren ingredient diclofenac

Guide to Knee Pain Management

Getting you feeling better and back to your regular daily activities with reliable knee pain management is our number one priority. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide for those times when you aren’t feeling quite like yourself because of knee pain, whether you are experiencing short term acute symptoms, or you have a longer term chronic condition.

Whether you’re just coming around to the fact that something needs to be done about your knee pain (welcome!) or you are a maven at managing your pain, this guide has best practices that can work for you on your journey to knee pain relief.

How to relieve a sore knee with lifestyle methods

Knee pain management will vary depending on whether your knee pain is chronic or acute – in other words, whether your pain is ongoing and long-lasting or if it is the result of an injury or trauma that will heal within a short period of time.

For knee pain management in the case of acute knee pain or an osteoarthritis flare, practice RICE..., or:


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Woman sits on sofa holding knee pain


Rest is necessary for tissue repair. Continued weight bearing and movement can aggravate an already affected knee. Get comfortable and get ready to stay sitting or lying down for the first few days after injuring your knee.

Man uses ice pack on knee pain as part of RICE method


Cold can be helpful in reducing acute pain and inflammation in the first few days after an injury. Apply an ice pack or bag of ice to your knee throughout the day. Never apply an ice pack directly to your skin. Instead, wrap it in a thin towel and then place it on your knee.

Man uses ice pack on knee pain as part of RICE method


Compression can help reduce swelling. Consider carefully wrapping your knee with an elastic bandage. A word of caution – be sure not to wrap the bandage too tight or apply excessive compression, as this can interfere with blood circulation. That would be no good.

Woman compresses ankle pain with bandage as part of RICE method


Elevation also helps reduce swelling. Elevate your knee while resting.

For knee pain management in the case of chronic knee pain, there are a number of therapies for knee pain that can show positive results if you adopt them as lifestyle changes over a period of time.

Here are our top four tips for knee pain management that can help to get you back on your feet and starting to enjoy movement once more: 

1. Exercise and stretching

Move more and sit less throughout the day for knee pain management. If you have knee pain from osteoarthritis, keeping active will promote mobility and function, as well as boost your mood – a plus for facing any challenge. Depending on the condition, the US Center for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes of activity per week in order to maintain and promote joint health.1  Exercises for knee pain can be very effective at alleviating pain over time.

2. Maintain a healthy weight

Keeping fit and trim lessens the burden placed on your joints, especially your knees.2  Be sure to eat a balanced diet and stay physically active in order to maintain a healthy weight; which could help you before you need to resort to knee pain relief methods.

3. Hot and cold therapy

Alternating hot and cold therapy can reduce stiffness and increase mobility in knee joints. We recommend taking a warm shower in the morning and going to sleep with a warm blanket or heating pad at night as a knee pain relief method that refreshes your spirit, as well as your joints. Cold therapy is also soothing to inflamed knees. Wrap a gel ice pack in a towel and apply it to your knee for 20 minutes at a time several times a day.

4. Diet changes

Diet impacts your body and how you feel, so it’s logical that the potential of eating certain foods to affect levels of inflammation throughout your body is being explored. Less inflammation should mean less joint and knee pain and therefore better knee pain management. Some research focuses on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids playing a role in reducing inflammation. Omega-3-rich foods include virgin olive oil3 , turmeric4 , walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, and oily fish. Arthritis Research UK has a detailed analysis of available diet and arthritis research.5

How to relieve a sore knee with medication

For fast-acting knee pain relief, sometimes going the medication route may be the best option. Lifestyle remedies tend to take time until they take effect. But sometimes you need that burst of knee pain relief so you can get back to going about your business.

A word of caution is in order, however. Just because your acute knee pain may feel better after taking medication, this doesn’t mean your injury or underlying condition has disappeared. You should still exercise good judgment when undertaking physical activities with a now less-sore-but-still-injured knee.

There are a number of medication options for acute knee pain relief. They are:

  • Oral medications, for example paracetamol, ibuprofen or diclofenac
  • Topical medications, like Voltaren gels, which target pain with the NSAID diclofenac
Man looks in bathroom mirror
Voltaren Osteo Gel 12 Hourly for knee pain

Voltaren Osteo Gel 12 Hourly for knee pain relief

Voltaren Osteo Gel 12 Hourly can provide joint pain relief for the whole day and all night – with just 2 applications a day. The pain can be caused by overuse of joints during physical activity such as walking, exercise or gardening. You can use Voltaren Osteo Gel 12 Hourly for knee pain caused by mild osteoarthritis.

How does Voltaren work to relieve knee pain

Voltaren Topical Gels are over-the-counter NSAIDs that contain diclofenac. Diclofenac works by reducing substances in your body that cause inflammation. By reducing inflammation, Voltaren works as an effective knee pain reliever.

The gel is applied to skin over the sore area and therefore is targeted to the point of pain. The gel creates a reservoir of diclofenac when applied regularly, which gives the painful area a source of the active ingredient throughout the day for lasting relief of pain and inflammation. The technology used in this product helps the gel to penetrate deeply into the skin to enhance delivery of the active ingredient, diclofenac, to the site of pain and swelling.

The technology is a unique combination of a gel and cream providing both a cooling and soothing effect when applied to the skin. Alongside this Voltaren gels relieve pain and reduce inflammation, making them an effective pain reliever for knee pain.

person squeezes Voltaren gel onto hand

How much Voltaren Osteo Gel 12 Hourly to apply to relieve knee pain

How much Voltaren Osteo Gel 12 Hourly to apply depends on the treatment area, this could be between a cherry size to a walnut size amount of gel. This equates to between 2g and 4g of gel.

When to see a doctor

Perhaps the most important part of knee pain management is knowing when not to treat your pain yourself at home. You should seek medical advice if you experience the following knee pain symptoms:

  • Inability to bear weight on your knee
  • Instability in your knee or feeling like your knee is about to give way
  • Notable knee swelling
  • Inability to fully extend or flex your knee
  • Clear deformity in your leg or knee
  • Redness, pain and swelling in your knee accompanied by fever
  • Severe knee pain resulting from an injury

Sometimes seeing a doctor is the best course of action, and it’s certainly better to do so than be stuck in pain. The sooner you find a pain relief programme to help put you in control, the sooner you can start on the path to enjoying movement again.

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Health, wellness & your pain

Pain is rarely just physical nor is it always solved by taking medicine alone. Voltaren is your ally in helping you take more control of your pain journey, from the way to sleep, to what you eat, mental wellbeing and complementary pain relief therapies.