Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a common term for any case of joint inflammation, as indicated by the suffix “–itis”. It has many variations, types, kinds, causes, and effects to the human body. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease.

Osteoarthritis is actually an anomaly in the group of joint mechanisms, which means that not only the joint itself is affected. The articular cartilage and the subchondral bone are also subjected to damage and deterioration which causes the disease. There are a lot of causes that lead to the development of this joint problem, and the effects of the disease can worsen its condition because the normal response to joint pain would be to stop moving it.

Aging is one major cause of osteoarthritis because the cartilages of the joints deteriorate after many years of function, and the water in the cartilage is no longer enough to make it as efficient as it used to be. Hereditary causes are also rampant because siblings, mostly identical twins, almost always have the condition if one has it. There are also other causes of osteoarthritis like diabetes, obesity, injuries, and other serious diseases that cause inflammation or degradation to the joint and cartilage.

Although it is common, many people are still unknowledgeable about the risks of the said disease. However, some people, no matter how much they prevent the disease, still get it because of causes like aging and genetics. The only way for a person to cope with the problem is to find treatment for osteoarthritis. There are a lot of solutions for this joint problem, and you don’t have to worry about suffering from it, but you do have to find the best solution for it because leaving it be can cause a lot worse medical problems for you.

The easiest and fastest solution that anyone can think of for treating osteoarthritis is taking over-the-counter drugs, mostly NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs are the common pain killers available in most drugstores and they have good anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that can help eliminate the pain of osteoarthritis. However, these drugs are only good for short-term use because of their known side effects, and they don’t really do anything about the joint problem. They only provide ease from the pain experienced from the degenerative joint disease. Stronger medications for osteoarthritis include acetaminophen, opioids, and steroids, which have severe side effects and should not be used frequently.

Topical solutions for osteoarthritis include creams and ointments with camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, salicylic acid, capsaicin, and hyaluronic acid. These are better used because they have less adverse effects to the health since they are only applied on the skin. They also have good pain-relieving properties and can be used for a long period of time.

In the event that no medication works to relieve the pain and the entire lifestyle of the individual is greatly compromised, the only answer left for doctors to provide is surgery. Surgical procedures for this joint problem include viscosupplementation, joint replacement, realigning bones, and fusing bones. Viscosupplementation is used only for the knees, and it works by replacing the lost joint fluids that make movement smooth. The fluid creates a cushion on the cartilage and provides ease to the joint disease. Joint replacement, realigning bones, and fusing bones are quite inferable as their name denotes their procedure, and these are usually performed only for people with very severe cases of osteoarthritis.

If you happen to have this joint problem or you experience the symptoms associated to it, visit a doctor immediately in order to find the best treatment method that you need to use for your osteoarthritis.