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Osteoarthritis does not have a cure but there are a number of different ways to keep the pain to a minimum and enable joint movement. A treatment for osteoarthritis can be divided into four different categories. These categories are medication, therapy, surgery and lifestyle changes.
Before we can properly look at the treatment for osteoarthritis we should know a bit about the condition. This condition is a type of arthritis which will cause an eventual breakdown of cartilage located between the joints. The places commonly affected by this would be the spine, hands, feet, knees and hips.
When osteoarthritis has no known cause then it is called primary osteoarthritis. Primary osteoarthritis can be linked to age. As we age the water content in the cartilage becomes greater and this will cause the cartilage to degenerate. The pain and inflammation experienced with this is due to the friction present when the bones rub against each other. This happens because there is nothing between them when the cartilage is gone.
Knowing a bit about the condition will help us to understand the treatments a bit more. Medication can be used for a number of things. Acetaminophen is often given to people with this condition to help alleviate the pain. To reduce any inflammation people will often take Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID’s. Tramadol can only be taken with a prescription and is an analgesic. The use of cortisone shots will also help with the pain and can only be administered by a doctor.
There are many different types of therapy that one can undergo to help not only with joint mobility but also pain. Physical therapy is something that is conducted on a person to person basis and will help the movement of your joints. Occupational therapy will help you to find different way to stop putting stress on your joint during the day. There are centers that will have classes for people who suffer from chronic pain. Going to these classes will help you to find ways to deal with the pain of osteoarthritis.
There are a number of procedures and surgeries that can be done to help people with this condition. A procedure called Viscosupplementation is when hyaluronic acid derivatives are injected into the knee to create a cushion. Joint replacement is also something that can be looked at. When this surgery is done the surgeon will remove the damaged surface of the joint and replace it with metal and plastic devices. The surgical realignment of bone can also help alleviate pain. Fusing bones will also help with pain and increase stability but will cause the joint to have no flexibility.
For people who do not want to undergo any surgical procedures there are lifestyle changes that can help. Rest can help inflamed joints. You can also try exercise when you feel up to it done with your doctor’s approval. The stress on joints can be added to by weight so maybe losing a bit of weight will help. Read the rest of this entry »