Depending on the severity of the pain, osteoarthritis can be treated by a variety of methods. Some of the options include TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), PRP (platelet-rich plasma), and stem cells.
Whether you are new to the pain of osteoarthritis or you are looking for a new way to relieve it, it’s important to know what treatment options are available for your situation. Your healthcare provider will help you determine what is right for you.
Treatment options may include medication, surgery, or a combination of both. These methods are designed to help you improve your pain and maintain your joint function.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), and celecoxib help reduce pain and inflammation. They can be taken orally, injected into the skin, or applied topically.
Physical therapy helps improve your range of motion and strengthen muscles around your joints. In some cases, your doctor may recommend assistive devices, such as braces, walkers, or canes. These devices help you safely perform everyday activities.
Surgery can be a good option for some people with osteoarthritis, especially if other treatments aren’t working. A joint replacement surgery can replace a damaged joint. In this procedure, prosthetic components are made of plastic or ceramic. These prosthetics can help you replace a damaged knee, hip, or shoulder.
Other methods of osteoarthritis treatment include topical medications, acupuncture, and weight loss. Medications that are effective at reducing pain are acetaminophen (Tylenol), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and corticosteroids. These are available over the counter, or you can ask your doctor for a prescription.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, and changes in the ability to move the joint. The symptoms may vary depending on the affected joint. Affected joints may also feel warm to the touch, have a popping or cracking sound, or feel grating.
Joint pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis. The pain may be sharp, dull, or constant. Pain may be aggravated by activity or rest, and may be worsened by certain movements. Pain may also be aggravated by the accumulation of fluid inside the joint.
If pain is present, the best treatment is to seek medical advice. There are medications available to relieve the pain. They may include anti-inflammatory drugs or patches and gels that are applied to the skin. Pain relief can also be achieved through physical and occupational therapy. These programs help strengthen the muscles and joints, which will make the symptoms less severe.
Osteoarthritis symptoms may also be reduced by regular exercise. These exercises can also help improve your overall fitness. Physical and occupational therapy may also involve the use of assistive devices. A physiotherapist can advise on splints and braces to help with the alignment of the affected joints.
If the symptoms are severe, surgery may be necessary. Surgical procedures can help repair severely damaged joints. If joint surgery is not an option, patients may be prescribed osteoarthritis medicines to relieve the pain and symptoms. These medicines are available over the counter or with a prescription.
Having osteoarthritis can be painful, and it may affect the quality of life for many people. However, the condition can be treated and managed. It is important to speak with your physician about the risks and side effects of treatment.
Osteoarthritis can also affect the emotional health of people who suffer from the disease. Some people suffer from emotional distress due to the pain and loss of function that is associated with the disease. Other patients experience depression due to a lack of physical activity.
There are five stages of osteoarthritis: stage one is mild and does not usually cause pain; stage two is moderate, and causes pain when a person moves the affected joint; stage three is moderate, and causes pain when a patient moves the joint; stage four is severe, and causes pain when a person moves that joint; and stage five is very severe, and causes pain when a person is unable to move that joint.
Moderate and severe osteoarthritis can be treated with medicines and therapy. The medications are designed to reduce inflammation and pain. Some of the medications are taken as pills, while others are rubbed on the skin as a cream. Ibuprofen drugs such as Advil and Motrin IB are popular pain relievers for OA.
Usually, osteoarthritis (OA) is diagnosed based on a physical examination, medical history, and X-rays. This diagnosis can be made by a primary care physician or a specialist. The doctor will also discuss the patient’s family history and discuss how the patient’s joints are affected. The patient’s symptoms may also indicate other diseases.
The most common symptoms of OA are stiffness and pain in the affected joints. These symptoms may worsen over time. However, they may also improve for some people.
A physical exam is the first step in the diagnosis process. The doctor will check the patient’s general health, reflexes, and joints that bother the patient.
The doctor may also order lab tests to determine whether there are other problems. These tests may require drawing fluid from the joint, taking a blood sample, or performing other procedures. These tests are a good way to rule out other conditions that may cause joint pain and stiffness.
X-rays can show bone damage and bone spurs. They can also show if cartilage has been lost or if joint space is reduced. In addition, the doctor may order an MRI to examine the cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissues around the affected joint. These tests are more expensive and can take longer than x-rays, but they can rule out other diagnoses.
Treatment with TENS
Using a tens machine for osteoarthritis can be a safe and effective way to control pain and improve function. But there are some risks, including bleeding at the tissue site and irritation of the skin near the electrodes. For these reasons, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before using a TENS machine.
Several studies have investigated the effects of tens on pain. One study found that tens therapy reduced pain and improved physical function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Another found that tens could postpone the need for surgery. A 2015 Cochrane Review concluded that TENS was effective for pain reduction in patients with knee osteoarthritis. It was not effective for stiffness. It is important to note that these studies are small, and therefore, their results should be interpreted with caution.
The study used a sham-TENS group and a TENS group. The sham-TENS group received sham stimulation at the same sites as the TENS group. A TENS group received a TENS device that was pre-set with current settings. The TENS group received a burst tens current that has an internal frequency of 100 Hz and a pulse width of 250 msec.
The study also assessed changes in subjective pain scores and medication use. Among participants who completed the trial, a significant proportion improved by more than 30% from baseline to post-treatment pain score.
Treatment with PRP
Using PRP as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis has been investigated for its ability to reduce pain, increase mobility, and delay the progression of cartilage loss. Injections of PRP have been shown to stimulate growth factors, which promote tissue healing and the re-growth of cells.
Although PRP has been studied for its role in pain reduction, there is little evidence to support its use as a primary treatment. Moreover, current OA clinical guidelines recommend against it.
In order to determine the effectiveness of PRP as an osteoarthritis treatment, researchers examined the effects of intra-articular Platelet-Rich Plasma injections on knee osteoarthritis. They compared four previous studies examining the effects of PRP and other treatments on people with grades I to IV osteoarthritis.
The results showed that PRP is more effective than placebo in reducing pain and increasing function. It is also effective at reducing stiffness. It was also found that the use of PRP can be a safe and effective means of treating osteoarthritis in the knee. It is not surprising that it works, as it is capable of activating growth factors, which may help in accelerating the disease process.
Although PRP was found to be effective in reducing pain, it did not improve the overall knee pain score. It also did not improve the volume of the medial tibial cartilage. Interestingly, a larger percentage of patients in the PRP group showed a measurable improvement in pain compared to the placebo group. However, the difference in pain scores was less than 0.4 points.
Treatment with stem cells
Despite some success in recent studies, treatment with stem cells for osteoarthritis is still experimental. A regulatory body is necessary to ensure the safety of patients, and patients should be informed of the risks and side effects of such treatment.
The current therapeutic approach to OA concentrates on pain relief and cartilage repair, but not on slowing the disease’s progression. Currently, there are three major approaches to the treatment of OA: biological agents, nonpharmacological strategies, and regenerative treatments.
Regenerative treatments utilize the patient’s own stem cells, which have the potential to regenerate damaged tissues. In addition to regenerating damaged tissues, stem cell treatments also have the potential to inhibit inflammation.
The main advantages of stem cell therapy are that it can treat a wide variety of ailments and it is an alternative to traditional treatment. However, there are many risks and side effects associated with stem cell treatments.
A major problem with stem cell treatments is that they are still not widely available. Patients should look for a regulated healthcare professional who has been trained to use stem cells. This professional should also be a member of a regulatory body to protect the public.
In the United States, research studies are taking place to test the effectiveness of stem cell treatments for OA. These studies are being conducted at four research sites. However, these studies are not endorsed by the Bone and Joint Health Strategic Clinical Network.