Osteoarthritis is regarded as one of the most common forms of arthritis which affects millions of people every year. Also termed as wear-and-tear arthritis, it takes place when protective cartilage of the bones wears down with time. Though, it can damage any joint of the body, the disorder commonly affects joints in neck, hands, hips and knees. It is one such disorder that gradually worsens with time and there is no cure of it.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects most people at varying degrees at one point or other in their life. Age, heredity, gender, athletics, repetitive stress injuries, etc., are some of the common causes of knee arthritis. The condition can be treated in both surgical as well as non-surgical ways. The treatment of the condition usually aims at slowing down the progression of the disease, relieving pain and improving mobility.
Non-Surgical way of treating knee osteoarthritis
The non-surgical treatment plan usually includes a combination of the following:
Medications– Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs are recommended to patients. Over-the-counter NSAIDs choices usually comprise of naproxen, ibuprofen, etc. The prescription drugs recommended by licensed doctors are Celebrex, Daypro, Durolane, etc. These medications should be used under the supervision of a physician.
Therapies– Physical and occupational therapies are often recommended by doctors along with medications to patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Physical therapy is recommended for strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility of the joint. On the other hand, occupational therapy throws helps on ways of doing daily activities like household work with less pain. Alternative therapies like acupuncture, braces or shoe inserts, chronic pain class, etc., are also other therapies that help in improve one’s condition.
Lifestyle modifications –Lifestyle modification basically comprises of losing weight (in case patient is overweight), minimizing those activities that can worsen the condition like climbing stairs, running, jumping, etc. It is important for osteoarthritis patient to lose weight as it would help in reducing pain and increasing mobility.
When non-surgical measures fail to show any improvement, then only surgical ways are preferred by doctors to treat osteoarthritis.