Osteoarthritis treatment

In order to treat osteoarthritis it is important to understand just what osteoarthritis is. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is also known as the degenerative joint disease. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage in your joints breaks down. The cartilage in our joints is there to prevent too much friction between our bones. The cartilage is rubbery and firm and is supposed to cover the ends of our bones, protecting our bones from rubbing together. Osteoarthritis affects our cartilage keeping it from being elastic and flexible. It will cause the cartilage to eventually wear away and this will start to cause pain. Although this can occur in any of the joints throughout your body, it is commonly found in the joints that you bare the moist weight on. Joints such as, knees, hips and the spine are most commonly effected.

When it comes to dealing with joint pain, your doctor may recommend you use some common medications. Some regularly used medicines that may help you could be acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin. Depending on the severity of your pain, this may or may not do the trick for you. If your pain is very bad or your condition is in the advanced stages you may need to try corticosteroid joint injections, which are strong anti-inflammatories. Not everyone has the same results after using this method. Some may find that the results are temporary whereas others have found this to provide long lasting relief. There are a lot of newer medicines and solutions being used today to help with osteoarthritis so you will want to discuss all your possible options with your doctor.

If you have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis there are a few things you can do to that may help with your condition. If you are overweight, it could very well help you to lose the extra pounds. Your joints are responsible for baring all your weight with each and every step you take. The more weight that you put on your joints the more pressure you are putting on that deteriorating cartilage. This will cause the cartilage to wear away at a faster pace, worsening your condition and your symptoms. This often causes a lot of pain in your joints.

Also resting your joints more frequently can help a lot. You do not want to avoid exercise all together, but finding alternative ways to move your body can improve the pressures you put on your joints. If possible, try to see a physical therapist so they can give you some ideas on how to perform daily activities without causing more damage to your body. It is still important to keep your joints moving so they do not become stiff because this will also cause pain. Some exercise is recommended such as stretching and muscle building to keep your muscles and joints lose and strong. If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, be sure to discuss with your physician what exercises could benefit you before trying anything new.

When you do rest, you can try to alternate between hot and cold therapies. Using a warm bath, a heating pad or a hot water bottle on an aching joint can help relax your muscles and joints. Some people find that using an ice pack can help as well. Whichever you choose, do not use either method for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time.

Overall, you can live with and manage osteoarthritis. Just be sure to see your doctor at the beginning signs so you can catch it in the early stage. Starting with a good program from the beginning can make a big difference in preventing the condition from progressing.


Last updated on May 22nd, 2009 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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