Arthritis affects about 54 million Americans. There are more than 100 different types, but the most common type is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is nicknamed “wear-and-tear arthritis” because it develops with age. Years of moving causes bones and cartilage within joints to wear down, and eventually, bones begin grinding against each other.
Osteoarthritis causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness that can inhibit your life. The good news is that a variety of treatments are available to manage your symptoms and keep you enjoying your favorite activities.
Chris Boone, MD and our team specialize in osteoarthritis of the hips and knees. If you’re bothered by worsening joint pain, it’s time to learn more about your treatment options.
1. Lifestyle changes
Certain lifestyle habits can exacerbate arthritis. Your diet, weight, and more all influence joint health, and making some changes to your habits can improve joint pain.
Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, and some foods have anti-inflammatory benefits. Consider adding a few anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to fight symptoms of arthritis naturally. These foods include:
- Foods high in fiber
Another factor that’s linked to increased arthritis pain is body weight. If you’re overweight or obese, the extra pounds put extra stress on your joints with each step. Losing weight takes that increased strain off your body and can make arthritis less bothersome.
2. Regular exercise
Osteoarthritis can make moving painful, but getting regular physical exercise can actually minimize arthritis symptoms for the long-term. Regular, low-impact exercise helps keep joints mobile, which reduces your risk of pain and stiffness.
You don’t have to participate in intense workouts to get the joint-healthy benefits of exercise. Try swimming, water aerobics, or cycling. Along with aerobic exercise, gentle stretching routines can move joints through their full range of motion and help stave off arthritis pain.
3. Physical therapy
Physical therapy programs for arthritis are focused on alleviating pain, strengthening joints, and improving flexibility. Your physical therapist takes you through targeted exercises that help you maintain mobility.
Physical therapy can be beneficial in conjunction with other treatments. It can help you achieve enhanced mobility to participate in physical activities, and it’s also an important part of recovering from joint replacement surgery.
4. Joint injections
Dr. Boone offers a few different types of joint injections for people with osteoarthritis pain. Joint injections can be a powerful treatment option because they deliver medication directly to the damaged area for fast relief.
Intra-articular steroid injections contain medication that reduces inflammation and relieves pain. Steroid injections directly in the affected joint can treat arthritis discomfort, with pain relief lasting several months for some people.
Hyaluronic acid injections
Hyaluronic acid injections can also ease arthritis pain. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that naturally occurs in the body, but arthritis can reduce hyaluronic acid in joints. These injections can restore lubrication to fight pain.
Platelet-rich plasma injections
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a serum derived from your own blood. It contains concentrated growth factors, which stimulate your body’s natural healing ability. When used to treat arthritis, PRP injections minimize inflammation, reduce pain, and possibly slow joint deterioration.
5. Joint replacement surgery
Many people find that a combination of conservative treatments are enough to manage their osteoarthritis, but it’s a degenerative condition. If you find that nonsurgical options aren’t enough to keep you active, it could be time to consider robot-assisted joint replacement surgery.
Dr. Boone and our team specialize in hip replacement and knee replacement surgeries. Joint replacement involves removing the damaged portion of the joint and fitting an artificial joint in place.
Joint replacement can be a good option for people suffering severe arthritis. Many people who choose joint replacement surgery are surprised to find that their pain is drastically reduced after the procedure, and they continue to feel better as recovery progresses.
We’re here to help you find effective ways to manage your osteoarthritis pain. Call the location nearest you, or request an appointment online now.