There are many types of arthritis, but for the purpose of this article we’ll discuss the most common, Osteoarthritis (also known as OA). OA is a joint disease that most often affects middle-age to elderly people and can involve the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and bone of the joint.
This arthritis tends to occur in the hand joints, spine, hips, knees, and great toes.
- Though some of the joint changes are irreversible, most patients will not need joint replacement surgery.
- OA symptoms (what you feel) can vary greatly among patients but very often causes pain.
- A rheumatologist can detect arthritis and prescribe the proper treatment. The goal of treatment in OA is to reduce pain and improve function.
- Exercise is an important part of OA treatment, because it can decrease joint pain and improve function.
- At present, there is no treatment that can reverse the damage of OA in the joints. Researchers are trying to find ways to slow or reverse this joint damage.
OA is a top cause of disability in older people. The goal of osteoarthritis treatment is to reduce pain and improve function. Weight loss and exercise are useful in OA. Excess weight puts stress on your knee joints and hips and low back. For every 10 pounds of weight you lose over 10 years, you can reduce the chance of developing knee OA by up to 50 percent. An exercise program designed by your physical therapist can improve your muscle strength, decrease joint pain and stiffness, and lower the chance of disability due to OA. Also helpful are:
- Kinesiology taping when applied by a physical therapist, or another clinician, trained in the application for the best effect.
- Support (assistive) devices, such as orthotics or a cane can help you perform daily activities.
- Heat or cold therapy can help relieve OA symptoms for a short time.
- Muscle rubs and creams rubbed onto the painful joint are reported to be helpful by many sufferers.
If you are experiencing any kind of joint pain or have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, contact us for a free consultation. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022