What You Need to Know about the Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

Before walking into a physical examination for osteoarthritis, it is well worth learning a thing or two about what to expect. For one thing, your doctor will carefully examine impacted joints for signs of tenderness, swelling or inflammation, and for series of movement in the joint.

 

 Your medical professional may also recommend a series of imaging and lab tests:

  • X-rays. Cartilage doesn’t show up on X-ray images. However, cartilage loss is revealed by a narrowing of the area in between the bones in your joint. An X-ray might likewise show bone stimulates around a joint.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce comprehensive pictures of bone and soft tissues, including cartilage. An MRI isn’t commonly needed to identify osteoarthritis but might help offer more info in complicated cases.

  • While a blood test has nothing to do with diagnosing osteoarthritis, it can be used to rule out other reasons for joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Joint fluid analysis. Your medical professional may use a needle to draw fluid out of the affected joint. Analysing and testing the liquid from your joint can determine if there’s swelling and if gout or infection causes your discomfort.

Treatment options for osteoarthritis

Presently, the procedure underlying osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but there are remedies for osteoarthritis pain relief that you can look into. This includes lifestyle changes, therapy, medications, and surgical treatment.

 

Osteoarthritis signs, mostly pain, may be helped by particular medications, including:

  • Acetaminophen is useful for people with osteoarthritis who have mild to moderate discomfort. Taking more than the suggested dosage of acetaminophen can trigger liver damage.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Non-prescription NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium taken at the suggested doses, generally relieve osteoarthritis pain. These are different from the one you take on how to soothe a headache. Stronger NSAIDs, offered by prescription, may also somewhat lower inflammation together with eliminating pain.

However, know that NSAIDs can trigger stomach upset, cardiovascular problems, bleeding issues, and liver and kidney damage. Topical NSAIDs have fewer adverse effects and might ease discomfort just as well.

Therapy for osteoarthritis

 

Physical therapy

A physiotherapist can deal with you to develop a customised workout program that will enhance the muscles around your joint, increase your series of motion and decrease pain. Routine mild exercise that you do by yourself, such as swimming or strolling, can be similarly efficient and may be considered as a natural remedy for what ails you.

Occupational therapy

A physical therapist can assist you to discover methods to do everyday tasks or do your job without putting additional stress on your already painful joint. For example, a toothbrush with a big grip might make brushing your teeth easier if you have finger osteoarthritis. A bench in your shower could help eliminate the pain of standing if you have knee osteoarthritis.

Tai chi and yoga

These movement therapies involve gentle workouts and stretch integrated with deep breathing. Many people use these treatments to minimise tension in their lives, and research suggests that tai chi and yoga might reduce osteoarthritis discomfort and enhance movement.

If conservative treatments don’t assist, you may want to think about procedures such as:

Cortisone injections

Injections of corticosteroid medications might ease the pain in your joint. During this treatment, your doctor numbs the area around your joint, then puts a needle into space within your joint and injects the medication.

The number of Cortisone injections that you can get is limited to just 3 to 4 doses in a year. This is because the latter can cause damage to the joints if taken over the long term.

Lubrication injections

Injections of hyaluronic acid may offer pain relief by supplying some cushioning in your knee, though some research recommends these injections offer no more comfort than a placebo. Hyaluronic acid resembles an element typically discovered in your joint fluid.

Joint replacement

In joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty), your surgeon eliminates your damaged joint surfaces and replaces them with plastic and metal parts. Surgical threats include infections and blood clots. Synthetic joints can wear or come loose and may require to become changed.

So there you have it  — your treatment options for osteoarthritis! As you may have already realise, there are plenty of answers out there and chances are, there is one solution that might just free you from the pain of osteoarthritis.