Osteoarthritis Treatment Guidelines

Once osteoarthritis diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor will start with treatment. Osteoarthritis treatments can be divided into three parts:

  • Natural remedies such as lifestyle changes, dietary restrictions and exercises
  • Drugs for relief from symptoms
  • Surgical treatment

1. Lifestyle changes.

If you are overweight, you must lose weight. This will especially benefit osteoarthritis of the knee.

If gout is the cause of your osteoarthritis, you must observe the rules required such as avoid alcohol and foods that are high in purines, and that includes organ meats (liver, kidney), dried beans, sardines, anchovies, asparagus, and mushrooms.

Purines increase uric acid in the blood and this causes painful crystals to deposit in the joints

2. Exercises for osteoarthritis treatment

Physical inactivity for prolonged periods will encourage contractures and worsen the clinical course of this condition.

Physiotherapy exercises for osteoarthritis are by far the most effective conservative treatment for osteoarthritis.

The physiotherapist explains to the patient certain suitable exercises, which the patient performs under supervision.

These exercises should be an everyday routine throughout life. It has known to work wonders in patients of OA. They have arrested or even reversed the progression of the osteoarthritis of the knee and the hip.

Aerobic, strength training, stretching exercises and aquatic exercises are usually advised.

This does not mean that you have to keep your joint mobile throughout the day. That will be overuse and detrimental. Rest to the affected joint is essential.

3. Medication and surgical treatments for OA

  • Medicines for osteoarthritis are only for relief from symptoms. A mild pain reliever like acetaminophen can give relief from mild to moderate joint pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed for pain relief of arthritis and for reducing the swelling in the joint. Over the counter, NSAIDs include ibuprofen and aspirin. Prescription NSAIDs are available such as celecoxib, ketoprofen, naproxen, piroxicam, and sulindac and can be given for inflammation and swelling, if present.
  • Arthroscopy. The orthopedic surgeon inserts an instrument called the arthroscopic into the affected joint like the knee or the hip joint. It can help diagnose the problems of the joint such as cartilage or ligament damage and help treat some of them. It is an outpatient procedure and does not need hospital admission. If this procedure is successful, patients recover quickly.
  • Surgery for osteoarthritis is the last resort when the patient suffers from extreme pain and whereby an artificial joint replaces the affected joint.
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