Woman with knee pain experiencing knee pain relief from Voltaren ingredient diclofenac

The Best Guide to Knee Pain Treatment and Management

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Helping you feel better and back to your regular daily activities with reliable knee pain treatment 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 expert at managing your pain, this guide has best practices that can work for you on your journey to knee pain relief.

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How to treat a sore knee with at home remedies

Knee pain treatment 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 treatment in the case of acute knee pain, practice RICE, or:

Woman sits on sofa holding knee in 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.


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Woman compresses ankle pain with bandage 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 elevates legs after knee injury RICE method


Elevation also helps reduce swelling. Elevate your foot while resting for a foot pain remedy with a touch of relaxation, too.
If you’re still in acute pain after 3 days, see a health care professional.

For knee pain treatment 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 arthritis, keeping active will promote mobility and function, as well as boost your mood – a plus for facing any challenge. Depending on the condition, the NHS recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week. 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. 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 treatment.

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 treatment 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. Arthritis Research UK has a detailed analysis of available diet and arthritis research.

How to treat a sore knee with medication

For fast-acting knee pain relief, sometimes going down the medication route is an appropriate option.

A word of caution is in order, however. Just because your 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.

Man looks in bathroom mirror

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

  • Oral medications, for example paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Topical medications, like Voltarol gels or plasters, which target pain with the NSAID diclofenac
Voltarol packshots consist of topical gels, plasters and patches

Voltarol gels and medicated plasters for knee pain relief

Voltarol Max Strength Pain Relief 2.32% Gel can provide all-day relief from pain and swelling (inflammation) in joints, including being used as a pain reliever for knee pain. The pain and swelling can be caused by overuse of joints during physical activity such as walking, exercise or gardening. You can use Voltarol gels for knee pain caused by muscle strains.

Voltarol 140mg Medicated Plaster can be used on muscle sprains and strains, including those muscles around the knee area. It provides up to 2x more powerful pain relief*.

*vs. non-medicated placebo patch 

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel can help relieve your pain

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16%

Find out how Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel relieves pain and reduces inflammation to help get you moving again.

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Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel can help relieve your pain

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel

Voltarol Joint & Back Pain Relief 2.32% Gel concentrates relief deep in the joint tissue to fight pain and inflammation all day long, when applied morning and evening.

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How does Voltarol work to relieve knee pain

Voltarol gels are an over-the-counter NSAID that contains diclofenac. Diclofenac works by reducing substances in your body that cause inflammation. By easing inflammation, Voltarol works as an effective knee pain treatment and so helps speed up healing.

The gel is applied to skin over the painful area and therefore is targeted to the point of pain. The gel creates a reservoir of diclofenac when applied as directed, which gives the painful area a source of the active ingredient throughout the day for lasting relief of pain and inflammation. The Emulgel 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 Emulgel technology is a unique combination of a gel and cream, which is white in colour and has no strong odour. Alongside this, Voltarol gel has a clinically proven triple effect; it relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and so helps speed up healing, making it an effective pain reliever for knee pain.

Voltarol 140mg Medicated Plasters can also be used as a knee pain plaster for muscle pain and swelling caused by acute strains, sprains and bruises. The plaster is discreet and flexible to wear under clothes and provides relief, plus it provides up to 2x more powerful pain relief*.

*vs. non-medicated placebo patch

How to use Voltarol gel to relieve knee pain

Voltarol provides a triple effect, relieving pain, reducing swelling, and and so helps speed healing time.  Using Voltarol gels for knee pain couldn’t be simpler. Here’s how to use Voltarol gel: 

  1. Please read the patient information leaflet before using Voltarol gel.
  2. Open your tube of Voltarol gel.
  3. Squeeze out a small amount ranging in size from one penny to two pence coin, depending on the size of the affected area.
  4. Gently rub into the skin above where you are experiencing body pain.
  5. Apply Voltarol gel as often as the label says.
  6. Start to regain your joy of movement. 
Woman squeezing Voltarol gel on hand

How much Voltarol gel to apply to relieve knee pain

 How much Voltarol gel to apply depends on the treatment area, this could be between the size of a 1 penny or 2 pence coin. 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 towards enjoying movement again.

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Explore Voltarol products for pain relief

Voltarol Max Strength Pain Relief 2.32% Gel can help relieve your pain

Voltarol Max Strength Pain Relief 2.32% Gel

For all-day targeted relief from joint pain - apply once in morning & evening.

Learn More

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel can help relieve your pain

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16%

Find out how Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel relieves pain and reduces inflammation to help get you moving again.

Learn More

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Health, wellness & your pain

Pain is rarely just physical nor is it always solved by taking medicine alone. Voltarol 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.