Medications for arthritis are used along with other therapies, including devices such as knee supports, daily prescribed exercises, and changes to daily living activities (e.g., purchasing more-supportive shoes). The goal of arthritis treatments is to help relieve pain and improve or maintain joint flexibility.

There are a variety of medications available for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), including oral (by mouth) medications (analgesics, natural health products, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)), topical (on the skin) medications, and joint injections.

Medications cannot cure OA, and they only work while you are taking them, but combined with other aspects of your treatment plan such as mild exercise or losing weight, they can help you manage your condition.

No matter which medication you're taking, it's always a good habit to make sure that your doctor knows all your medical conditions and any medications you take regularly (even over-the-counter and herbal products) - especially if you are seeing a specialist.

Talk to your doctor to learn more about your OA treatment options. No matter which medication you use, it's very important to take it exactly as directed by your doctor so that it will work properly.