What can be done for the problem?
There is no cure for OA. It is a chronic but very treatable disease. Our goals of treatment at Excel Rehabilitation Services, LLC are to relieve your pain and to improve or maintain the movement of your joints.
Much of the treatment for OA involves no prescriptions at all. The Physical Therapists at Excel Rehabilitation Services, LLC will encourage you to take several steps to help manage your symptoms:
- Get aerobic exercise.
- Do strengthening and range of motion exercises. These are most often taught and monitored by physical or occupational therapists.
- Lose weight if necessary
- Use heat and/or cold packs.
- Tape the knee, if it is affected.
- Wear insoles in your shoes if the lower extremity is affected.
- Receive massage.
- Use adaptive equipment to help take pressure off your joints, such as a cane or special gadget to open jars.
- Participate in education programs or support groups.
Drugs are available to help alleviate your pain. An over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be recommended by your doctor. If this doesn't work, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, may be prescribed. The main problem with NSAIDs is that they can be very hard on your stomach and kidneys over time and you may be taking these drugs for many years. In rare cases of extreme pain, your physician may prescribe stronger pain medications but these can be addictive and must be used with caution.
All these medications can interact with other drugs. You must let your doctor know what other medicines you are taking, and you must work closely with your doctor to set up dose amounts and schedules.
In recent years, two unique compounds have been used by people with OA. These compounds are gaining greater acceptance among many health care providers. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are dietary supplements taken in pill form that have shown benfits of reducing pain and increasing joint mobility. These treatments are controversial, yet some medical professionals feel there are enough benefits to encourage their patients to supplement with these compounds.
Excel Rehabilitation Services, LLC provides Physical Therapy in Gonzales.