Non-Drug Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Non-Drug Treatment of Osteoarthritis

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

Non-Drug Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a disease of wear and tear, which mainly occurs due to mechanical factors and hence, mainstay of management (treatment) of osteoarthritis is alteration of loading of eight bearing of affected (by osteoarthritis) joints and improvement of the factors involved in joint protective mechanism.

The local load of the joints can be reduced by following:

  • Avoid activities which cause overuse of joints. Any activity that causes overuse of joints will cause joint pain, which is the indication of overuse.
  • Improve the strength of the muscles, which bridge the joints and act as joint protector.
  • Redistribute (unloading) the load of one or more joints with a brace or a splint. Unloading can also be done with help of a cane or a crutch.

By improving functions of joint protective factors, it is possible to distribute the load across the joints better. By distributing the load evenly, it is possible to slow down the disease process, at least to certain extent.

One of the easiest, simplest and effective ways of management of osteoarthritis is to avoid activities which increase or cause pain in joints affected by osteoarthritis. For example if an old person suffers from pain in knee while using stairs, avoidance of stairs may cause complete elimination of symptoms. Same may be true in case of a middle aged man who suffers from pain if he runs long distance. This person may get relief from pain if he reduces the weight bearing by running less of changing the activity.

Weight loss, especially for obese and overweight individuals with osteoarthritis is an effective way of treatment/management. Each pound of weight gain increases the load of weight bearing joints by two-six folds and each pound of weight loss reduces the load of weight bearing joints by two-six folds. Weight loss is more effective in osteoarthritis of load bearing joints, such as knee and hip.

For osteoarthritis non-weight bearing joints such as hand joints use of splint to reduce movement of joints (or other ways to reduce movement of joints) can be useful. Use of appropriate splint can preserve function of hands and at the same time restrict movements.

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