Osteoarthritis is a painful condition affecting the joints. It is a chronic condition that often needs specialized medical treatment, and in rare cases, surgical intervention may also be required. If you experience recurring pain in your knees, hips, neck, or any other joints that won’t go with medication, it is advisable to seek the attention of pain management specialists from centers like synergy spine and pain center for a detailed examination. More often than not, such chronic pain is a condition known as osteoarthritis, which is treatable with medication and exercise.
Causes of Osteoarthritis
The swelling of the joints causes arthritis or osteoarthritis due to the degeneration of the cartilage that covers the bones at the joints. When bones move against each other without the cartilage’s cushioning effect or reduction in the fluid present at the joints, it causes this painful condition.
Is there a Cure for Osteoarthritis?
While no cure has been discovered to treat osteoarthritis, you can manage the pain with medication and exercise. The treatment options always depend on needs that vary from case to case. The specialist treating you will go through your medical history, investigate the level of pain and the impact the condition has had on your daily routine before suggesting a treatment course.
Here are a few treatment options that help reduce the pain:
Healthy Weight Management
Being obese or even overweight has a telling effect on your health. Besides the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases, worsening of diabetes, and hypertension, you are likely to aggravate the osteoarthritis condition if you have it already. Being overweight puts tremendous pressure on your joints and overworks them. Managing your weight and keeping it within the parameters matching your age, height, and gender helps manage osteoarthritis. Especially if you suffer osteoarthritis of the knee and you are obese or overweight, your specialist physician will suggest a long-term weight-reduction plan to manage your condition.
Regular Workouts can Help
People suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee will benefit from a regimen of workouts, as it will help:
- Keep your weight under control
- Improve muscle strength, offering support to the knee joint
- Be active and mobile
- Considerable reduction of stress
Research studies indicate that exercise and occupational activity play a significant role in managing osteoarthritis. It has been proved that exercise has positive salutary benefits for joint tissues and cartilage.
Some of the suggested physical activities include:
- Swimming, including water aerobics
- Brisk Walking
- Stretching and Balancing Exercises
While working out in the gym, riding a stationary bike helps develop the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Such exercises don’t put pressure on the knee joint but help stabilize it.
It is advisable to work with a trainer, as attempting to exercise on your own may aggravate the condition if you do the wrong exercises. While walking is one of the best exercises, jogging is ruled out, as it can damage the knee joint further.
Medications Help get Relief from the Pain
While over-the-counter prescription medicines can help to an extent and give some relief from the pain, you should stop those medications if the pain persists. OTC medicines can only help manage mild pain and associated discomfort.
The OTC medications you could try include:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Topical ointments and oils containing NSAIDs or capsaicin
However, if OTC medicines may not offer a permanent solution and may help you get temporary relief. It is advisable to consult specialists at centers like Synergy spine and pain center, who will examine you and suggest a course of treatment to treat chronic pain. Your specialist may suggest a combo of exercise programs, weight loss, and interventional procedures, including:
- Steroidal injections and facet joint injections
- Nerve blocks such as genicular nerve block
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Hyaluronic Acid Injections such as Supartz knee injections
- Other medications
Stretching and Flexibility
Osteoarthritis causes not just severe pain but also stiffness in the joints and muscles. The stiffness can be reduced with the help of some gentle stretching exercises. However, it is advisable to consult a physio/physical therapist for guidance and suggestions before starting your regimen. It is crucial to start with gentle stretching so that flexibility is built up slowly. Sudden movements can only worsen the situation and pain.
Whenever you feel severe pain while stretching, it is advisable to stop the regimen immediately. It would be best if you increased the intensity of the stretching exercises very slowly. If there is no pain after the stretching activity for the first few days, you can increase the time duration. While stretching far may be challenging in the beginning, you can achieve flexibility through patience and practice.
Summing it Up
Osteoarthritis is a common ailment that affects over 32.5 million adults in the U.S. Early detection and treatment by a specialist in pain management from places like Synergy spine and pain center helps alleviate the pain and go back to your routine.