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 Treatments for Osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis (OA) presents symptoms of joint pain, inflammation, stiffness, loss of function and mobility and bone damage. There are treatments available to cure these OA symptoms and slow or altogether stop the worsening of the disease. If you been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, then you may be interested in taking part in this OA clinical trial in Birmingham, AL. The following are treatments for osteoarthritis:

OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) TREATMENT WITHOUT MEDICATIONS

Weight Loss – Weight loss can lessen joint pain and arthritis in weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees

Rest – Arthritis symptoms are generally exacerbated by activity and are improved with rest.

Activity and Exercise – Total lack of activity can lead to a loss of muscle and joint stiffness, so it is important to engage in appropriate levels of joint activity. People who exercise generally have less pain and better mobility and function of their arthritic joints.

Physical Therapy – Physical therapy works to improve joint and muscle flexibility and strengthen muscles.

Hot and Cold Applications – Alternating between hot and cold applications to aching arthritic joints via heating and cooling pads can reduce pain, muscle spasms and stiffness.

Orthoses – Orthoses keep joints aligned and ensure proper function.

Assistive Devices – Canes, wide pens, raised toilet seats and shower bars can decrease the pressure on joints.

Vitamins – Vitamins C and D reduce the chances of the worsening of arthritis.

Capsaicin Cream – Creams containing capsaicin, an ingredient derived from hot chili peppers, provides some people with arthritic relief. Possible side effects may include stinging, burning, and redness of the skin and eye.

OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) TREATMENT WITH MEDICATIONS

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) – These drugs relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Opioid (narcotic) Analgesics – These drugs relieve arthritic pain but do not have any effect on inflammation.

Acetaminophen – Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can relieve mild to moderate arthritis pain and reduce inflammation.

Narcotics Combined with Acetaminophen – A combination of these two drugs (Tylenol 3) provides the strong relief of a narcotic as well as the effect of acetaminophen to reduce inflammation.

Colchicine – This drug is a good option for patients that suffer inflammation despite the use of NSAIDs and over-the-counter pain management drugs.

Plaquinel – This drug reduces the inflammation of arthritis and is a good option for those with bone damage and severe OA.

Joint injections – Two types of injections are used for people with arthritis pain:

  • Glucocorticoid injections – Reduce inflammation; relieve arthritis symptoms when injected into arthritic joints; used for those who suffer pain despite the use of NSAIDs; used in patients who are not candidates for NSAIDs treatment; no more than three to four injections per year should be administered in each joint or else it could cause joint damage
  • Hyaluronate injections – Synthetic hyaluronates may be injected into an arthritic joint (usually the knee) to enable the natural hyaluronate fluid to be slippery and allow for easier joint function and mobility and treat arthritis. Pain relief may last for several months.

OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) SURGERY

Arthroscopy and Joint Irrigation – This surgery is controversial, as many believe that it does not treat OA.

Bone realignment – This surgery is performed to realign bones and other joint structures that have become misaligned due to chronic arthritis. This surgery is generally performed on younger and more active patients.

Fusion – This surgery is performed to fuse two or more bones together at a joint. This surgery is good for small joints of the wrist, ankle fingers and toes.

Joint Replacement – This surgery replaces a damaged joint with an artificial one.

Cartilage Grafting – This surgery may be used to graft new cartilage cells into damaged regions of cartilage.

Depending upon your overall health, arthritis severity, joint damage, normal day-to-day activity and treatment preferences, your doctor will be able to design an appropriate treatment plan for you. Talk to your doctor today to make an appointment and develop your personalized treatment regimen. Osteoarthritis may be painful, but it doesn’t have to take over your life.