About Osteoarthritis Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
How is Osteoarthritis Treated?
Osteoarthritis is treated in various ways. The treatments include ways in which cartilage degeneration can be stopped or repaired. It aims to reduce joint pain and swelling.
Osteoarthritis treatment methods include the following:
- If weight bearing joints such as hips and knees are affected, it is important that the patient gets enough rest along with physical and occupational therapy.
- Resting the joints relieves stress and helps in reducing pain and swelling.
- Patients should reduce activities that cause the joint pain.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
- Exercise helps in strengthening the joint muscles.
- It helps in improving the joint movements.
- Exercise also helps patients to lose excess weight that causes joint pains.
- Patients can improve their stamina by exercising.
- Swimming is a good option as it does not stress the joints.
- Walking, light weight exercises and stationary cycling can help the patients.
- Physical therapists teach patients how to use support devices such as walkers, splints and, braces. These devices help to decrease stress on the sore joints.
- Occupational therapists help patients in getting on with daily activities at home or work.
- Osteoarthritis of the knee is better treated by physical therapy exercises than by medications.
- Balance training is also given by the physical therapists to patients with proprioception impairments, and to improve strength.
- Thumb splints help in improving thumb osteoarthritis.
- Lumbar corsets and neck collars are used in reducing spine symptoms.
- Medications that are used topically, orally, and injected into the joints also help in treating osteoarthritis.
- Muscle tremor may be relaxed by using medication.
- Minor arthritis pain can be relieved using pain-relieving ointments over the affected joints.
Alternative medicine may be used to reduce pain. They include:
- Vitamin A, C and E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Chondroitin Sulfate
- S-Adenosyl methionine
- Heat and cold therapy
Patients need to reduce weight to relieve stress on the joints that bear weight such as hips, knees, feet and back.
Surgery may be performed to treat osteoarthritis if all non-surgical treatment methods fail to reduce pain and improve joint function.
There are mainly four kinds of surgery that are available for the treatment of osteoarthritis:
- Fusion, which joins the joint bones permanently and restricts motion
- Osteotomy, which involves realigning the joint to set it in an improved position.
- Arthroscopy, in which damaged areas of cartilage that cause irritation are thoroughly washed out using microsurgical tools.
- Total joint replacement, which replaces the damaged joint with a prosthetic joint.
Learn more about Osteoarthritis