Osteoarthritis Q & A
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common cause of disability for older people and is the most widespread cause of chronic joint pain. Osteoarthritis is more common in people aged 65 or over, but younger people can get osteoarthritis, especially if they have risk factors like:
- Previous joint injury
- Overuse of the joints
- Being overweight or obese
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones breaks down over the years because of the effects of normal wear and tear.
Without the slippery layer of cartilage to protect them, the bones in your joints begin rubbing against one another, creating friction and inflammation. This worsens over time as the cartilage wears away completely, and the bone starts to deteriorate.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Joints affected by osteoarthritis are painful, stiff, and swollen. They’re likely to feel hot and throbbing, and the symptoms may be worse during cold, wet weather or when you do anything physical that you aren’t used to.
The stiffness gets worse over time and can affect your mobility and dexterity. If you have osteoarthritis in your hands, it becomes increasingly difficult to carry out everyday tasks like cooking and dressing. Gradually, your joints start to get twisted and misshapen as well.
Osteoarthritis in the knee is a common problem seen by the team at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® because knees suffer some of the most considerable pressures and abuses of all the joints in your body.
What treatments are there for osteoarthritis?
When you first start to experience symptoms of osteoarthritis, making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and eating a healthy diet can help, along with physical therapy and regular exercise. Anti-inflammatories and pain-killing medication might also form a useful part of your treatment program.
As the disease advances, you might need more intensive therapies to ease the symptoms. The team at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® offers several types of treatment for osteoarthritis.
Corticosteroid injections into the joints reduce inflammation and pain, and injections of hyaluronic acid into the joint provide lubrication to help ease pain.
Regenerative medicine treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy could help by enabling your body to make better repairs to damaged tissues and encourage new tissue growth.
If these treatments aren’t successful in easing the pain of osteoarthritis in the knee, you could undergo a genicular nerve block procedure. This is a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment that uses radiofrequency (RF) energy to destroy the genicular nerves in your knee.
For effective relief from the pain of osteoarthritis, call Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® today, or book an appointment online.