Living with Osteoarthritis: Treatment Options

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people around the world. Often called wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time.

While osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, neck, lower back, knees and hips.

Osteoarthritis gradually worsens with time, and no cure exists. But osteoarthritis treatments can slow the progression of the disease, relieve pain and improve joint function.

Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain. Your joint(s) may hurt during or after movement.
  • Tenderness. Your joint(s) may feel tender when you apply light pressure to it.
  • Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joint(s) through its full range of motion.
  • Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint(s).
  • Bone spurs. These extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint(s).

Research from The Mayo Clinic suggests that a combination approach, much like our Integrated Medicine Approach is a great course of action for patients living with OA. Some of the services we offer in that area include:

  • Physical therapy. A physical therapist can work with you to create an individualized exercise regimen that will strengthen the muscles around your joint, increase the range of motion in your joint and reduce your pain.
  • Durable Medical Equipment (Braces or Shoe Inserts). Consider trying splints, braces, shoe inserts or other medical devices that can help reduce your pain. These devices can immobilize or support your joint to help you keep pressure off it.

If conservative treatments don’t help, your physician may consider procedures such as:

  • Cortisone shots. Injections of corticosteroid medications may relieve pain in your joint. During this procedure your doctor numbs the area around your joint, then places a needle into the space within your joint and injects medication. The number of cortisone shots you can receive each year is limited, because the medication can worsen joint damage over time.
  • Lubrication injections. Injections of hyaluronic acid derivatives (Hyalgan, Synvisc) may offer pain relief by providing some cushioning in your knee. These agents are similar to a component normally found in your joint fluid.

Find out how San Diego Spine and Rehab can help YOU deal with OA today! Call for your Complimentary Consultation!

SDSR Mission Valley :( 858) 573-0550

SDSR Oceanside: (760) 630-8400

We look forward to helping you learn to live well, with or without OA!

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