Non-Opioids for Knee Pain: A Season of Pain Relief

Shatterproof Editorial Team
Senior Golfer in Florida

Summer is in full swing, which often means outdoor activities, new adventures, active vacations, and more. Unfortunately, for those dealing with chronic knee pain, summer can also come with a sense of dread in having to watch these activities from the sidelines. And for those in recovery, finding adequate pain relief while avoiding prescription medications may be difficult. 

One of the most widespread causes of chronic pain that many Americans suffer from is osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease and the most frequent form of arthritis. Knee OA is the most common form of OA, with 46% of people developing knee OA in their lifetime. As those diagnosed with knee OA know, the effects can be debilitating. Everyday activities – climbing stairs, exercising, sleeping – can be negatively impacted. The condition also diminishes quality of life when it comes to missing out on social events and the toll it takes on patients’ mental health – barriers that those in recovery already deal with all too often. 

Finding relief is important when getting back to regular life activities but can be difficult when navigating varying pain management options that often rely on opioid-based protocols. However, there are safe and effective non-opioid options available that can provide extended pain relief with just one trip to your clinician. 

When Your Current Options Aren’t Cutting It

Despite heightened awareness of the opioid epidemic and efforts to decrease opioid exposure due to their risks, 45% of patients reported taking opioids to treat the pain associated with knee OA – meaning they are still being prescribed by physicians. However, for those that are actively avoiding their use and do turn to over-the-counter medications or traditional steroid injections – which may provide some relief – patients find they are not quite providing the results they need, requiring multiple injections before noticing a difference. 

If this is an issue you are dealing with, know that there are still other innovative options available that are effective in relieving pain without the need for opioids – and we’re here to tell you about them. 

Finding the Option That is Right for You

To get back to your daily activities and enjoy your summer (or any season for that matter) without constant knee pain, there are options available that can provide extended relief with a single injection treatment. One such option is ZILRETTA® (triamcinolone acetonide extended-release injectable suspension), which helps knee OA patients find relief. ZILRETTA uses a unique technology that allows medication to slowly release over time and can provide pain relief for three months at a time. This option packages a similar pain relief treatment as shorter-acting injectables but provides extended pain management. This means fewer trips to the doctor, and more time enjoying the summer activities you love. In fact, patients often begin feeling relief within just four days of treatment. 

Don’t Delay Care

When faced with a knee OA diagnosis – on top of all else going on in your life – it can be daunting to seek out treatment. But there can be significant risks to postponing medical care, including a concerning toll on mental health that those in recovery may already be suffering from. According to a survey of 200 U.S. healthcare providers that treat patients for chronic knee pain and/or OA in the knee, the most common consequences of delaying treatment include:

•    Longer recovery time
•    Significant treatment needed
•    More impaired mobility
•    Additional damage to other parts of body
•    Negative impact on emotional wellbeing
•    More permanent damage

Advocating for yourself and looking out for your health is key, especially when it comes to your recovery journey. Do your research, know that you have options when it comes to opioid alternatives, and see your healthcare provider to set up a treatment plan so you don’t have to delay living your life to the fullest. 

To learn more about non-opioid options for pain relief, visit


ZILRETTA® (triamcinolone acetonide extended-release injectable suspension) is an extended-release corticosteroid approved to manage osteoarthritis knee pain. The benefits and risks of repeat injections have not been demonstrated.

You should not receive a ZILRETTA injection if you are allergic to corticosteroids, triamcinolone acetonide, or any other component of the product.

Important Safety Information

Possible Side Effects: 
•    Rare serious allergic reactions
•    Effects in the injected knee such as infection (with pain, swelling and restricted motion) or joint damage
•    Increased chance of getting an infection, and a decreased ability to fight an infection
•    Effects on hormone production. These effects can be reversible
•    Elevated blood pressure, sodium and water retention, and potassium loss
•    Intestinal perforation if you have certain gastrointestinal disorders
•    Weakening of bones
•    Changes in behavior or mood disturbances
•    Increased pressure inside the eye

In multiple clinical trials, the most common side effects seen in people taking ZILRETTA were joint pain, headache, joint swelling, back pain, sore throat and runny nose, upper respiratory tract infection, and bruising.

Tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking (including both prescription and over-the-counter medicines) and about any medical conditions, especially if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, diverticulitis or other gastrointestinal disorders, kidney problems, diabetes, glaucoma, behavior or mood disorders, and/or infections.

Contact your doctor if you develop a fever or other signs of infection, have an increase in pain along with swelling of the injected knee, restriction of joint motion, or a general feeling of discomfort. Contact your doctor immediately if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles, or for any new or worsening changes in behavior or mood.

These are not all of the possible side effects with ZILRETTA or corticosteroid medications. Please see the full Prescribing Information at Always contact your doctor if you have questions or experience any side effects. 

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. at 1-844-353-9466 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or

This article is in partnership with Pacira BioSciences, Inc. 

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