Study Compares Efficacy of Exercise and Painkillers for Hip and Knee Arthritis

treatment for knee arthritis

Hip and knee arthritis affects the lives of millions of people, causing pain and mobility issues. The most common treatment prescribed is pain-relieving medication, but could exercise be a more effective solution?

A recent study has compared the benefits of exercise and painkillers to see which is more effective. Here, we’ll look at what the study found, and the different types of treatments available.

Exercise proves to be just as effective as painkillers

The latest study analysed 152 randomised controlled trials that included a total of 17,431 patients. The researchers compared oral NSAIDs with exercise to see which was more effective at relieving the symptoms of hip and knee arthritis.

Surprisingly, exercise was shown to have a similar effect to oral NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs). It triggers an analgesic effect that can help to ease pain in the same way as common painkillers.

The results suggest patients would be just as well ditching painkillers and partaking in more regular exercise.

What other treatments are available for hip and knee arthritis?

As well as ramping up your exercise, there are other treatment options if you have hip or knee arthritis. Here’s a brief rundown of the main treatment options available…

Steroid injections for hip or knee arthritis

Steroid injections for hip and knee arthritis are a form of treatment that involves injecting a corticosteroid medication directly into the affected joint. The medication is designed to reduce inflammation and pain.

These injections can be beneficial for people who have arthritis in their hip or knee, and are experiencing significant pain or limited range of motion. They are usually considered as a short-term treatment option for pain relief and can be repeated every few months, if necessary

Joint replacement surgery

Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves replacing a damaged joint, such as the hip or knee, with a new artificial joint. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain and improve function in the affected joint.

The procedure is typically recommended for people who have severe pain and limited mobility, who have not responded to other treatments. It’s a major surgery that requires a significant recovery period, but it can be very effective in reducing pain and improving function. A recent development has been the introduction of robotic assisted joint replacement which speeds up recovery and is more precise.


MBST (Magnetic Resonance Therapy) treatment is a non-invasive, non-surgical method used to treat conditions such as arthritis in the hip and knee. It uses high-energy magnetic fields to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes and promote the regeneration of damaged tissue. This treatment is based on the principle that magnetic fields can influence the metabolism of cells and tissues, which in turn can reduce inflammation and pain and promote healing.

MBST treatment usually involves lying on a treatment table while magnetic fields are applied to the affected joint. The treatment sessions typically last between 30-60 minutes and can be repeated several times a week over a period of several weeks.

MSTB is an advanced and highly effective treatment for alleviating knee and hip osteoarthritis; to discover if it could be an ideal treatment option for you, book a consultation with MBST London today.