The best I way I have found is to use refreezable cold packs, but nothing is 100%. When using the cold packs, I use an ace bandage between the skin and the pack and then over the packs to give compression to the cold pack. This is the most helpful way for me. I am also very active, and using the ace bandages allows me to get up an walk around with them on if I need or want to. After the cold packs, I sometimes will use a hot bath or heating pad for a short time and then stretch and flex the knee to protect range of motion.
Swelling in knee osteoarthritis can be reduced by anti-inflammatory drugs. These can be steroidal or non-steroidal and taken orally. Topical anti-inflammatory creams/liniments can help reduce mild swelling when applied on knee.
Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, blogs, or WebMD Answers are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.