Ways & How

how to treat osteoarthritis

how to treat osteoarthritis

There are different forms of arthritis, one of which is osteoarthritis. This particular form of arthritis is classified as non-inflammatory since inflammation is not an essential component for it to occur. Nearly 16 million Americans are presently experiencing this type of illness. Learning how to treat osteoarthritis is not hard. In fact, there are a number of treatments available. There is no particular cause primarily attributable to the emergence of osteoarthritis. However, experts suggest that the illness can be caused by the wear and tear of the bone cartilage. Overtime, the bone cartilage in the joints becomes rough, creating friction in between bone joints. Too much friction and constant pressure can lead to osteoarthritis. To give hope to those who are suffering from osteoarthritis and those who are at risk of contracting the illness, the following are applicable remedies in reducing pain caused by this degenerative disease.

  1. Weight management. An obese individual is highly at risk of developing osteoarthritis.

    The extra weight can put too much pressure on the bone joints, especially on the hips, knees and feet. Maintaining a normal body weight can relieve the joints from unnecessary pressure, so the risk of damaging the bone cartilage is reduced.

  2. Daily exercise. Physical exercises are needed in reducing weight. The muscles in the bone joints must be exercised regularly so that they will be very flexible in resisting damage. Muscular stretching and strengthening can help in reducing stiffness in the bone joints. However, heavy exercises like jogging, step aerobics and tennis are not recommended since they can only cause further damage to the bone joints.

  3. Apply heat treatment. This is one way of loosening stiff joints, especially in the morning. For example, a hot shower is the perfect way of relieving stiff muscles and joints. The muscles and joints become flexible and the pain is relieved once heat is able to penetrate within.

  4. Apply cold treatment. Joint pain can be relieved when the surrounding tissues become numb by applying a cold treatment like an ice pack. This is usually practiced by many athletes after performing rigid workouts or after every game. The ice pack must be in indirect contact with the skin to prevent skin burns. Preferably, wrap the ice pack first with a piece of cloth before placing it over the sore joints.

  5. Use topical pain relievers. As explained on otcsafety.org, topical pain relievers (external analgesics) are a group of drugs primarily used on the skin. Some of these medicines are applied in relieving minor body pains, such as muscle ache, arthritis and backache. Most topical pain relievers, such as creams, sprays and rubs, are available over-the-counter.

  6. Medical treatment. In many osteoarthritis cases, medicines are taken not to cure the disorder, but to relieve pain. Over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin and acetaminophen, are considered popular and safe for osteoarthritis. However, a doctor’s prescription is necessary to avert organ complications. Non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) also relieve pain and inflammation. According to ehealthmd.com, in order to lessen the side effects of NSAID drugs, they must be taken along with antacids, proton pump inhibitors, prostaglandin analogue or H2-blocks.

  7. Injection. For lingering and severe pain, cortisone shots can be injected into the patient’s bone joints. The pain can be relieved for a number of months. However, this medication must be used sparingly because it can possibly cause further damage to the bone joints over time. Lubrication injections like hyaluronic acid also offer relief by lubricating the damaged cartilage.

  8. Surgery. The procedure may be performed by fusion, osteotomy, arthroscopy, or total joint replacement. As emphasized on ehealthmd.com, fusion is a procedure in which the surfaces of the joints are removed and the bone joints are joined together. Relief can be felt thereafter, but the joints cannot bend anymore. In osteotomy, the bone under the damaged joint is realigned and set to a better position. Arthroscopy also removes damaged cartilage fragments that cause irritation, but does not promise long term relief. As for total joint replacement, it involves complete removal of the painful and damaged joint and the same is replaced with polymers, plastics or metal.

Osteoarthritis is a continuing painful predicament. Individuals with osteoarthritis struggle every day in dealing with the pain. Thus, the above-enumerated ways on how to treat osteoarthritis should be of help, in one way or another, in alleviating the pain.


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