Osteoarthritis treatments will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms. The more severe your conditions, the more intense the treatment will be.
Osteoarthritis pain can be very annoying. It doesn’t only affect your joints, but it also affects your daily activities and even hits your finances indirectly with the cost of the treatment and the income lost because of disability. One of the successful strategies in dealing with this is through the patient education.
Osteoarthritis is different from other forms of arthritis. It doesn’t affect our internal organs. It only affects certain parts of our body which are our joints. In there, there’s a slippery tissue called cartilage that covers the ends of bone. This is the most part that got attacked.
This part has fundamental function. When it’s healthy, it allows the bones to glide over between them and also has the function to absorb the energy from the shock while we do some move. Someone who has osteoarthritis, the surface layer of his/her cartilage breaks down & wears away. This condition makes the bones under it rubbing each other, causing swelling, pain, and loss on motion. This is when the osteoarthritis pain starts.
When it continues, the joint can lose its normal shape. Over time, bone spurs (small growths known as osteophytes) can grow on its edges. More severe condition can happen if the bits of the bones or cartilages break off and float between the joint. This will lead to more osteoarthritis pain and damage.
What most people do when dealing with osteoarthritis pain is looking for particular pain relief for osteoarthritis as a first approach. Try to get some rest, dig and learn more information about it, so you will know the best treatment options that you can use. Some people also keep a diary to make a note on the progression he/she has made after applying a therapy.
These are some of the options commonly suggested for different stage:
Early stage of osteoarthritis often responds to rest and activity modification. Gentle, minimal range of motion, and low impact exercise, such as walking and swimming are important in maintaining joints health, promoting circulation and weight loss.
Additionally, it is often helpful to apply heat before exercise and cold afterward. Physical therapy aids in developing strength in the muscles that support the joints.
Over the counter pain creams provide temporary relief, and products containing capsaicin are reported to be the most effective. Medical devices such as splints and braces can be helpful in supporting or immobilizing the joints.
In addition to the above approach, you may need to add medications for pain relief in moderate condition. Initially, it is recommended that you use acetominophen, but caution must be taken to avoid the excessive dosage that can lead to liver damage.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce pain and inflammation, but you should avoid the high dosage consumption for long-term usage because the side-effects can appear including gastrointestinal upset, kidney and liver damage.
Tramodol, which causes less gastrointestinal upset, is a prescription drug for pain relief that may be used for flare-ups. However, if you want to avoid the drug, you can use natural anti-inflammatory supplements or herbs or other forms as the alternatives.
Narcotics may be prescribed for patients with severe symptoms. These must be used with caution as there is a risk for dependence. Cortisone injection relieves pain, but may also damage the joint if it’s given too many. Injections of hyaluronic acid provide cushioning and better lubrication.
Surgery such as arthroscopy to repair cartilage tears or remove debris may be indicated. Osteotomy removes diseased bone and realigns the joint. When the symptoms and immobility remain severe, a joint replacement or arthroplasty may be needed.
Best Treatments for Osteoarthritis
Ideally, you need to do some combination of approaches to achieve the best result. You need to put each approach in their place. Each of them has their functions and will give you some contributions for your improvement.
With many options that you can use, some of them offer temporary osteoarthritis pain relief, but fast result. Others work slower, but offer long-term effects.
For comprehensive osteoarthritis treatment that offers long-term effects, it should involve these:
• Some changes on your lifestyle and daily routine.
• Particular exercises to support osteoarthritis patients.
• Finding the balance with some rest.
• Personal diet if you’re being overweight.
• Keeping your heart and mind in a positive way. This will make a huge different. Depression will make the pain even worse.
• Non drug approaches such as the hot packs, warm towel/shower/bath for temporary relief.
• Medicines such as pain creams or killers (mild or stronger), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for temporary effect if necessary.
• Natural anti-inflammatory supplements, and herbs if necessary.