What are the Treatments for Osteoarthritis?
by: Arlene Gentallan
What are the Treatments / Management for Osteoarthritis?Osteoarthritis is a lifelong disease. Treament is based on management of symptom and control of modifiable risk factors to slow down it's progression.
• Weight loss
Excess weight puts additional burden to the weight-bearing joints. Eating a balanced diet coupled with regular exercise is encouraged to promote weight loss.
There are several benefits that can be derived from exerise. Exercise promotes weight loss and strengthens bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It is essential for articular cartilage repair since cartilage has no blood supply. Weight bearing exercise like walking promotes calcium storage in bones which strengthens it. A regular regimen of mild exercises such as brisk walking, biking, bowling, golf, and swimming is encouraged. Avoid streneous exerecises and sports such as heavy weight lifting, boxing, basketball, and marathon. There should also be a balance between physical activity and rest to avoid overexertion of the joint. If the joint is inflammed, it should be rested.
• Hot compress
Heat promotes flexibility of the cartilage so it helps with the range of motion of the joint. This eases the joint pain. Introducing heat to the affected joint directly by a hot compress or a warm shower is encouraged.
• Cold compress
If localized joint inflammation is present, applying cold compress over the affected joint is beneficial to reduce swelling and pain. Alternating hot and cold compress can be done.
• Use of assistive device
Use of assistive devices like cane and walker helps reduce stress on the affected joint.
Medications for Osteoarthritis
Acetaminophen decreases joint pain, but not inflammation.
• NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs decreases both joint pain and inflammation.
Surgery for Osteoarthritis
Surgery may be indicated to relieve symptoms like pain, correct a deformity or increase the functional capability of a joint.
In this surgical procedure, bone ends are fused together by removing the articular cartilage and joint cavity. This is only done if no other intervention is available to correct the joint. This because this procedure eliminates the joint rendering it immovable.
• Total Hip Replacement or Total Knee Replacement
In this produre, joint mobility of the hip or knee can be restored by replacing the joint with a prosthesis.