Osteoarthritis – A Range of Treatments
There is a range of treatments for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Arthritis is the most common chronic joint condition.
The wonderful joints in the human body can wear out in different ways.
If these things happen to a person’s joints, they would be at risk for osteoarthritis:
- Cartilage caps the bones at the point of the joint, if the cartilage gets torn, the joint cannot function well.
- If a joint gets dislocated, then the musculoskeletal system won’t work properly. Musculoskeletal means the synthesis of the muscle and bones in a joint.
- The ligament is the flexible, fibrous material that holds bones or cartilage together. If the ligament gets damaged, the joint will be affected.
What does Osteoarthritis feel like?
Each person who has osteoarthritis might feel it a little differently, but these are the main symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Hot throbbing sensation
- Inflammation resulting in tiredness, feeling ill
- Deformed joints
- Grinding sensations
- Redness or tenderness at joints
What are the main groups of treatments available?
Much has been written about the treatments available for osteoarthritis. Currently, medical sources say osteoartritis cannot be cured, but it can be treated. A person can most likely combine some of the different approaches listed below.
Always discuss combinations or alternative approaches with your doctor, to make sure that combinations will not affect the efficiency of a drug that you may be taking.
A Wide Range of Treatments
There is such a range of treatments, that they are listed below in groups, by type:
Lifestyle Adaptions (Non-pharmacological)
- Losing weight/weight control
- Improved Diet (eating the correct types of helpful foods )
- Getting sufficient sleep
- Use of braces or splints
Pain relief (Phamacological)
- Using hot and/or cold packs as preferred
- Acetaminophen type oral drugs to relieve pain alone
- Pain relief in gels, creams or patches
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that relive pain and swelling
- Coticosteroids in oral form
- Injection (corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid)
- Natural Capsaicin cream – for pain relief with possible side effects
Dietary Supplements (Complementary and Alternative)
- Fish oil and Olive oil – high in Omega 3
- Other Supplements
- Glucosamine – to build cartilage
- Chondroitin – helps build cartilage
Therapies (Complementary and Alternative)
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Hydrotherapy and swimming
- Massage Therapy
- Laser therapy
- Acupuncture (not that much is known about the long-term benefits)
- Balneotherapy – bathing in a spa type mineral bath
Partial or total replacement of the joint is seen as a last resort.
For many people it will be the successful treatment at the end of the struggle. However, joint replacement is followed by a fairly long recovery. It sometimes brings its own complications.
There are new devices that help people improve walking after knee replacement, for example.
Osteoarthritis is disease that affects many Americans. Each year, money is lost in terms of work days and health care expenses. We all need to become more aware of ways to prevent its development where possible.
Now that there are so many individuals affected by osteoarthritis, people can make the best of a range of treatments that is available.
Photo by Harlie Raethel on Unsplash