Your doctor cannot predict how quickly your joint symptoms will worsen or how severe the symptoms will become. Furthermore, no currently available treatment can stop or reverse the progression of osteoarthritis.
Nevertheless, your doctor can recommend a combination of therapies that will decrease joint pain and stiffness, improve joint movement and increase your ability to perform routine activities. By following your doctor’s treatment recommendations, you will see improvements in your quality of life.
Your doctor will base your treatment on your age, occupation and everyday activities. He or she will also take into consideration the severity of your osteoarthritis, which of your joints are affected, what symptoms are present, and whether you have other medical issues that may be of concern.
• Weight loss to decrease stress on weight-bearing joints
• Exercise to improve mobility
• Rest and joint self-care
• Drugs for pain management
• Physical and occupational therapy to maintain flexibility and strengthen the muscles around the joints
• Assistive devices such as braces, canes, crutches and walkers
• Alternative therapies such as supplements or acupuncture
• Surgery, as a last resort, if the above treatments do not provide sufficient pain relief.