Treatments osteoarthritis

Top treatments for osteoarthritis are designed to:

  • Alleviate symptoms
  • Improve mobility
  • Decrease joint damage

Patients must understand that treatments for this disease are highly individualistic because symptoms are not the same in different patients. Patients who suffer from osteoarthritis may not always experience pain. Even when patients are afflicted by pain, different patients may experience different levels of pain.

Some patients may find that movement is severely restricted while others may be able to carry on with normal activities. Therefore, symptoms of the disease are unique and individual response to treatment methods also vary.

That is why it is important for patients to have a treatment program that is designed to cater to individual requirements. However, certain general treatment methods are effective.

Top treatments for osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain medication: Pain relievers and muscle relaxants are useful in case of sudden pain resulting from damaged joints. In case of chronic pain, pain management is achieved through the intake of medication, weight control, muscle strengthening exercises and joint protection. Over-the-counter painkillers include acetaminophen and aspirin. NSAIDs (Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) include drugs like Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Etodolac.
  • Cox II Inhibitors: These prescription drugs are relatively new. They help reduce arthritic pain and inflammation. Celebrex is an example.
  • Corticosteroids: These are injected into the affected joints to reduce swelling and pain.

Pain medications may lead to undesirable side effects. Therefore, long term use of these medications is not recommended.

Other pain management techniques:

These include sleep medication, antidepressants, over-the-counter sprays, rubs and creams.

Top alternative treatments for osteoarthritis:

A number of therapies that help patients relax are useful. These include acupuncture, therapeutic massage, yoga and physical therapy.

Heat and cold treatments for osteoarthritis:

These help reduce pain and stiffness, although the relief provided may be rather short-lived.

Heat is an effective muscle relaxant. Heating pads and immersion of painful joints in wax are effective.

Cold numbs the local tissue and thus helps to lessen pain in joints. Ice and cold packs may be wrapped in a towel and applied over the skin.

Treatments for osteoarthritis through exercise:

According to 1several studies, strength training and aerobic exercise can help reduce the pain and immobility associated with osteoarthritis. Additionally, exercise can also help build the muscles around infected joints. The most effective exercises for OA are:

  • Stretching exercise
  • Isometric exercise
  • Aerobic exercise

Gentle exercise is good for the joints. That is why hydrotherapy (exercise in water) is highly recommended for patients suffering from OA.

Top treatments for osteoarthritis through supplementation:

Some of the most effective nutritional supplements for OA are Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate. These help reduce the pain and stiffness caused by OA.

Surgery as a treatment option must be considered only when all other options have been exhausted.

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