Living with a serious medical condition isn’t easy. Osteoarthritis (OA) affects millions of people worldwide through joint pain, moving difficulty and even stiffness. Since the causes of osteoarthritis can multiple, the condition frequently occurring as a consequence of another disease, a single effective osteoarthritis treatment does not exist. If you or someone in your family has been recently diagnosed with this condition, consulting your physician should help you find an effective treatment for osteoarthritis.
Before we go further with this article, you need to understand a few things about osteoarthritis. OA has a chronic behavior and it worsens in time if neglected. So far a cure for OA has not been found, however, there are several osteoarthritis treatments which provide comfort and pain relief to those affected.
Weight Loss and Physical Therapy Play Crucial Roles in Osteoarthritis Treatment
Dealing with a condition which causes joint inflammation can be extremely unpleasant if you lost control upon your weight. It is widely known that between osteoarthritis and obesity, exists a strong connection. Therefore, since it is a degenerative type of arthritis, a good treatment of osteoarthritis to start with, is weight loss. Revise your diet or consider following an osteoarthritis diet and try physical exercises, as well. Not only you will reduce the pressure on the affected joints but, you will also help their motility.
Orthoses and Assistive Devices
Using orthoses (medical devices for OA) represent another efficient form of osteoarthritis treatment. These devices – such as special OA shoes, splints or braces – stabilize and reduce the pressure in the affected joints.
In addition canes, walkers and even electrical seat lifts can be used in order to improve the life quality of osteoarthritis sufferers, by making movement a little less inconvenient.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Although the use of TENS as a treatment for osteoarthritis has raised controversies in the medical world, there are several reported cases when the use of electrical stimuli has helped lowering the pain in the arthritic joints. TENS generate a mild electrical current which inhibits the transmission of arthritic pain signals to the brain.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Perhaps the most popular form of treatment of osteoarthritis is the use of NSAIDs. Like the name says itself, NSAIDs are drugs that help reduce inflammation in the affected joints and provide some pain relief, as well.
There are two types of injections commonly used as a treatment for osteoarthritis: glucocorticoid injections and hyaluronate injections. Gluccocorticoid injections are effective in inhibiting joint swelling. They are frequently prescribed to those patients who, because of other medications, aren’t allowed to use NSAIDs. Hyaluronate injections are usually applied to the arthritic knees and offer instant pain relief. Despite a possible but minimum inflammation risk, many patients prefer this type of injection because it relieves pain for a period ranging from a few weeks to several months.
Surgical Treatment of Osteoarthritis
Although not a popular form of osteoarthritis treatment, surgery is sometimes recommended. This happens mostly when the cartilage of an affected joint deteriorates to the point of breaking, making it impossible for doctors to save it. In order to avoid the excruciating pain of the bones rubbing against each other and any further complications, surgical intervention is prescribed, to replace the arthritic joint. The most common type of OA surgery is the knee replacement surgery.
In conclusion, it’s safe to say that despite being able to provide a cure for OA, doctors are able to provide efficient osteoarthritis treatments that make the symptoms of OA less visible. TENS, NSAIDs, joint injections and assistive devices are just some of the options an arthritic patient has these days. If you’re not sure whether or not you sure try any of them to overcome the pain and discomfort caused by OA, appoint a meeting with your physician or OA specialist as soon as possible.
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