The bad news: Osteoarthritis has no cure. The good news: You can treat its symptoms. Acetaminophen is often recommended because it relieves pain with the fewest side of effects. Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen reduce infection as well as pain and may be helpful. However, these drugs can irritate the stomach. To prevent irritation, try coated aspirin or take medication with meals.
If the pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe stronger NSAIDs and, unfortunately, corticosteroid injections, shot directly into your joints. Topical therapy, with creams that contain aspirin compounds, may also relieve pain. Along with drug therapy, exercise, and physical therapy, alternative arthritis treatments may also bring relief.
Below are ways to treat osteoarthritis:
Self-care is also a valuable tool in treating arthritis. Learning to pace yourself during the day and getting enough rest at night are two of the most important ways to help yourself if you have osteoarthritis. Rather than think about what you can no longer do, focus on what you can do instead.
Regular exercise increases joint protection by stimulating the production of synovial fluid, which coats the ends of the joints. Like oil, this thick substance lubricates your joints and may help prevent further damage. Gently moving the joints and stretching the muscles and tendons are the best ways to relieve strain on painful joints, improve body alignment, and help you feel more relaxed and in control of your disease. You should do a few simple, carefully controlled mobility and stretching movements once or twice daily, even when your joints are swollen and painful.
Rest is also important because it can less pollution. The key is balance. Adjust the amount of rest and exercise according to the stage of your disease and how you feel each day. Too much activity makes the conditions worse, but too much exercise puts you at risk for exhaustion, injury, and more pain. Exercise as much as you can to increase movement and strength, improve the functioning of the joints, and create better all-round physical well-being. Learn to listen to your body and know when it is telling you to take things easy.
Your doctor may recommend surgery if your joints are severely damaged. One procedure, called osteotomy, corrects bone deformity by cutting the bone and repositioning it. Osteotomy is usually done on the knee. Total joint arthroplasty involves resurfacing, or refining, the ends of the bones so they can move more freely against each other. This term is also used for total joint replacement in which the joint is removed and a metal, ceramic, or plastic device is inserted in its place.
Source by Raymond Geok Seng Lee