If you have noticed you have stiff joints or joint pain that will not go away, you may have osteoarthritis. Should you be diagnosed with this medical condition, it is essential to learn more about it to determine the best osteoarthritis treatment options for you.
Haven Health can help you or a loved one create a personalized osteoarthritis treatment plan. Contact us today for additional information.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis. Arthritis, in general, causes an inflammation of the joints. However, with osteoarthritis, the cartilage between the joints slowly hardens and wears down.
As it does, it can become rather painful to bend and move the affected joints. Furthermore, as the cartilage wears away, the bones between the joints can start to rub together, further increasing discomfort and pain.
What joints can osteoarthritis occur in?
Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint in the body. Although, it is more common in joints that are used more frequently, such as the wrists, fingers, hips, knees, ankles, and spine. In addition, osteoarthritis will not spread to other joints not currently affected by this condition. However, osteoarthritis could still develop later as we age or if the joint is injured.
What are some common symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis symptoms will vary based on the severity of the condition. Initially, the symptoms develop gradually and continue to worsen, including:
- Inflammation – The body responds to inflammation by attempting to heal the damaged cartilage. However, since the condition cannot be reversed, it can trigger other symptoms.
- Joint Stiffness – The joints can become stiff when they are inactive or when waking in the morning.
- Pain – There can be pain in the joints while bending them or after extraneous activity.
- Bone Spurs – As the cartilage wears away, new bone growth can form on the bones in between the affected joints.
- Popping and Cracking – As the cartilage wears away, you may notice popping and cracking sounds when bending the affected joints.
- Swelling – The soft tissues around the affected joint can become swollen as a response to inflammation of the joint.
- Tenderness – You may notice the joint feels slightly sore or tender when you press or squeeze it.
- Inflexibility – As the condition worsens, you may lose the full range of motion with the joint.
What is the best treatment for osteoarthritis?
The best erosive osteoarthritis treatment is a combination of different treatments that can help alleviate your symptoms. Treatment of osteoarthritis could include using one or more of the following:
You may be prescribed medications that help alleviate pain, inflammation, and swelling. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are two of the most common over-the-counter medications used. In addition, some people can benefit from various types of injections into the affected joint to help alleviate pain, such as cortisone injections and lubrication injections.
Several different therapeutic treatment methods have been found to be beneficial in treating osteoarthritis, such as:
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) – Low-voltage electrical currents are delivered to the affected joint to help alleviate pain.
- Occupational Therapy – You can learn new ways to accomplish everyday tasks and activities without putting added stress and strain on the affected joints. For example, utensils with larger handles can make it easier to hold and feed yourself.
- Physical Therapy – Specific types of exercises that focus on strengthening the muscles around the affected joints can alleviate pain and increase flexibility.
- Hot and Cold Therapy – Applying heat or cold to the affected joint could help reduce swelling and pain.
Being overweight can cause excess strain and stress on the affected joints. Reducing your weight by even ten pounds with an osteoarthritis treatment diet can help relieve some of the excess pressure on the joints and alleviate pain.
Several supportive devices can be used to help treat osteoarthritis. For example, some people benefit from using a cane, crutches, or a walker when their osteoarthritis affects their mobility. There are also knee, wrist, and ankle braces that can provide added support and reduce some of the pain and discomfort.
An occupational therapist can also make recommendations about different devices you can use to make daily activities easier, like cooking, cleaning, or doing the laundry.
In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to treat osteoarthritis. For instance, hip replacement surgery can be beneficial to remove the damaged joints and replace them with artificial ones.
Do you suffer from osteoarthritis?
While the damage caused by osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, there are several effective treatments for osteoarthritis. When you or a loved one suffers from osteoarthritis, Haven Health has several viable treatment options, including occupational and physical therapy.
Discover the best treatment for your osteoarthritis by contacting the caring team at Haven Health today to schedule a consultation.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arthritis Types.
Arthritis Foundation. Weight Loss Benefits for Arthritis.