Osteoarthritis Treatment Options

There are many ways to deal with osteoarthritis pain.

Many people reach for over-the-counter drugs or prescription medications at the first sign of pain.

Other, more focused on using a natural solution, would give serious considerations to herbal remedies and supplements.

However, there are other treatment options available that can prove to be highly effective. Moreover, their approach to managing pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis compliments both natural remedies and drug therapies.

You can expect maximum results in controlling arthritis pain when multiple methods are used simultaneously.

This way, you do not have to use just one method aggressively. For example, instead of taking high doses of ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) to control pain, you may be able to use a low dose of the medication when combined with heat therapy and exercise.

Find out what options are available to you for managing osteoarthritis pain.

Osteoarthritis Treatment Options

Exercise

Many people think that if they have osteoarthritis, they should not use the affected joint as much. This is not true.

A properly designed exercise program can ensure that the joints continue to have the maximum possible movement. These exercises also help with keeping the muscle strong as they can support the damaged joint better.

Scientific evidence suggests that a properly designed exercise program may slow down or reverse arthritis of the knee and hip.

The lack of motion is known to make the arthritic joint worse. But it must be balanced with rest so that the joint is not overworked or stressed.

Reduce Weight

Excessive weight also worsens osteoarthritis. Avoid gaining weight and if possible, lose some weight.

This is especially true if you suffer from OA of the knees and hips. These joints support your entire upper body and that is a lot of weight to carry around. Physical Therapy

Physiotherapists can create a suitable exercise routine for you. They can also advise you on how to keep the joint fully functioning.

They can also provide heat and ultrasound therapy to the arthritic joint to reduce stiffness and pain.

Massage Therapy

Registered massage therapist can be helpful in keeping the muscles around the affected joint from going into a spasm.

This often happens because the muscles have to strain harder to support the damaged joint.

As well, massage promotes circulation and helps prevent fluid build-up.

Supports and Braces

Supports such as canes, orthotics or walkers can be very helpful. They provide support when you do your daily activities and reduce the load on the arthritic joint.

Braces, for example, also prevent you from This is especially useful when you have lower back pain caused by osteoarthritis of the spine.

Consider using properly designed shoes or supports. Avoid High-Heeled Shoes

These shoes puts much more pressure on the knees than flat or low-heeled shoes. They also put the spine out of alignment. Over time, this may increase the risk of developing OA of the knee and aggravate existing spinal or knee OA.

Traction Therapy

Traction therapy or the use of an inversion table may be helpful especially for people suffering from back pain or osteoarthritis of the An inversion table is a device that hangs you upside down by your legs.

It will reverse the harmful compression caused by gravity. It is very useful for dealing with lower back pain caused by osteoarthritis as it takes the pressure off of the spine. It also helps to stretch the muscles in your back.

This may be an effective osteoarthritis treatment for some people. People suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, eye disease or who are pregnant should consult with their physician before using an inversion table.

Heat Therapy

Heat can be very helpful as it can reduce pain, stiffness and improve the function of the muscle. Muscles work better when they are warm.

At other times, cold therapy can be used to reduce swelling and pain in the joints that experience a flare-up.

Massage therapists and physiotherapists also use heat as part of their treatment program.

Magnetic Therapy

The significant controversy continues in the use of magnetic supports for treating the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis.

Hundred of millions of people believe that magnets change the blood flow, provide warmth to the area and alters the immune function in the tissues.

Many people who use them swear that they work and refuse to give up using them. Magnetic therapy is a treatment used extensively around the world, especially in Japan.

There are evidence showing that it does not work.

Acupuncture

This is a traditional method used in the East to treat various health conditions. Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific areas.

The Chinese believed that the body has two opposing energy forces, yin and yang. When balanced, the body is in a healthy state. If this energy forces is blocked, it will lead to health ailments.

Acupuncture treatments may be helpful in some people for relieving arthritis pain and help to restore joint movements.

Acupressure

This treatment method can be useful to help relieve pain from arthritis. Consult with an experienced and licensed therapist who can show you the correct points to put pressure on. This treatment method may take several months to show a benefit.

Natural Remedies

Many natural remedies are proven to be effective in treating osteoarthritis pain. Some of them are suspected to help repair the damaged joints as well as provide relief from pain.

See the document Natural Remedies for Osteoarthritis for greater details.

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References

Revised: 28.06.2015

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