By Tim Williams, MD, Westfield Orthopaedics
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you may wonder how to stop the pain. For those with osteoarthritis, there are a variety of treatment options to help you get back to living life with less pain.
Start by giving yourself a rest by decreasing your level of physical activity, job duties or hobbies to relieve your pain. For example, switching to low-impact activities such as biking, aquatic exercise or walking instead of running will help reduce the stress on your knees and hips.
But don’t stop exercising completely. You should always stay active, as physical therapy and exercise aid in maintaining joint strength, range of motion and your overall independence. If you have questions about your exercise routine, talk to your doctor, physical therapist or an exercise specialist at Riverview Health Rehab & Fitness.
In addition to lifestyle changes, there are several treatments available to those with osteoarthritis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or Naprosyn, can reduce the pain and inflammation around your joint. Your doctor may recommend injecting the joint directly with corticosteroids, which are potent anti-inflammatory drugs that provide relief from pain and swelling.
Another injection your doctor might try is a viscosupplementation, such as Synvisc. With viscosupplementation use, a gel-like fluid called hyaluronic acid is injected into the joint to act as a joint lubricant. Glucosamine is a dietary supplement that may also relieve joint pain.
In some cases, osteoarthritis may no longer respond to conservative management and injections, so surgery may be necessary. Sometimes it may be as simple as a knee arthroscopy (knee scope) to “clean up” the damage caused by arthritis and provide relief from the locking or catching of your joint. In more severe arthritis, a knee or hip replacement may be the only option for relieving the pain of arthritis.
Dr. Williams is a board certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at Riverview Health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Williams, call Westfield Orthopaedics at 317.867.5263.
For more information about treating arthritis and joint pain, look for our Joint Health seminars featuring Dr. Williams.