Treatment Options For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can cause joint inflammation, pain, decreased flexibility and range of motion, and morning stiffness. While existing damage to your joints may not be reversible, there are some effective treatment options that can give you symptomatic relief and help prevent further joint damage from developing in the future. Here are some treatment options your primary doctor may recommend to help you manage your osteoarthritis. 

NSAIDs And Physical Therapy  

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used to help decrease the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Examples of NSAIDs include naproxen sodium, aspirin, and ibuprofen which can be obtained without a prescription. Your primary doctor may also recommend physical therapy to help promote optimal circulation to the affected joints, reduce pain, and decrease joint swelling.

If you experience joint pain on the days that you are scheduled for your physical therapy sessions, be sure to take your medications an hour or so before your therapy is scheduled to begin. This will help keep you comfortable so that you can perform your exercises properly. Increasing your activity level at home can also help improve your symptoms and keep your joints strong and resistant to further damage.

Weight Management And Ambulation Devices

Maintaining a healthy weight is also an effective treatment option in the management of degenerative joint diseases. Excess weight puts pressure on the joints and can cause significant hip and knee pain in people with osteoarthritis. Your primary doctor can recommend a healthy diet to help you lose weight and provide you with additional tips and strategies to help you meet your weight loss goals.

Ambulation devices such as canes, metal walkers, and crutches can also help take some of the pressure off your joints so that ambulation is less painful for you. Finally, if conservative treatment options are ineffective in managing your osteoarthritis because your joints are severely damaged, your primary doctor may recommend surgery. Joint replacement surgery involves removing the diseased joint such as the knee or hip and replacing it with an artificial joint made from either metal or ceramic.

If you suffer from a degenerative joint disease such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, make an appointment with your family doctor as soon as you can. Early treatment can help prevent the risk of falls as a result of joint pain, significantly decrease your symptoms, and may reduce the need for joint replacement surgery in the future.