Osteoarthritis Treatment

Osteoarthritis Treatment


[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, my name is Lisa Mondiello. And I am a registered nurse at
Hospital for Special Surgery. And I take care of
patients after they have had orthopedic surgery. Osteoarthritis is one
of the most common forms of joint disease in the world. I see, firsthand, the
pain this disease can inflict on patients. According to the Centers
for Disease Control, osteoarthritis, commonly
known as OA, over 30 million American adults. It causes pain and stiffness
in the weight bearing joints. This means hips, knees, spine,
hands, or parts of the feet. If you have osteoarthritis,
you will feel an achy pain in your joints. Usually the pain will stay
just around the joints and only on one
side of your body. There are many causes
of osteoarthritis. At first, pain stems
from inflammation in the fluid around the joints. Later, pain can occur
when cartilage wears out. Cartilage is the
smooth substance at the end of bones that
cushions the joints. When it wears out,
the bone is exposed. You may have heard the
expression, bone on bone. This is what that
phrase is referring to. If you have joint pain at
night or while at rest, in other words, when you
are not moving around much, then you likely have a more
severe case of osteoarthritis. Most people experience early
morning stiffness or stiffness after not moving
around for a while. The pain usually subside
after moving around. You might feel as
if your knees buckle under you when you go downstairs
or step down from a curb. At times, the joint can be warm,
which can indicate inflammation of the joint. Hi, my name’s Rachel Luscombe. And I’m a registered nurse at
Hospital for Special Surgery. I take care of
patients after they’ve had orthopedic surgeries. Since the main symptom of
osteoarthritis is pain, I’m going to discuss
some methods to treat the pain that this
disease may be causing. The treatment that is right for
you will depend on how severe your pain is and what methods
work best for your body. First, let’s talk
about treatments that you can try that
don’t involve medications. Icing the affected area
reduces pain in two ways– it reduces the swelling that
causes pain in the first place. And it numbs the painful area. Applying heat is
a comfort measure that can relax the muscles
that may be in a painful spasm. The goal of any treatment is to
decrease pain and inflammation so that you can continue
to do what you like to do. Positioning your body to
ensure that painful area is well-supported can also be
helpful in reducing pain. Orthotics, splints, canes,
and walkers may also be used to improve mobility
with decreased pain. If these interventions don’t
treat your pain effectively, then your health care provider
may suggest some medications. Acetaminophen is commonly
used to treat pain. It can be taken with
or without food. And it’s very safe
and effective when taken at appropriate doses. Acetaminophen has the
potential for liver damage. So if you have any
problems with your liver, be sure to talk to your
health care provider before taking it regularly. Many other medications contain
acetaminophen, especially cold medications. Read all labels carefully to
see if anything you are taking contains it. If so, adjust your dose to
stay within a safe range and avoid overdose. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs, sometimes called NSAIDs for short, include
ibuprofen and naproxen, which you can purchase
over the counter. There are also others that
your doctor may prescribe. These medications are very
effective in decreasing inflammation that causes pain. Unlike acetaminophen,
NSAIDs should always be taken with food because they
can be rough on your stomach and can even cause ulcers. They can also increase
your blood pressure and have been linked to
heart attack and stroke. So be sure to take the lowest
dose for the shortest period possible. If you have kidney problems,
be sure to let your health care provider know because they
can be hard on your kidneys. Aspirin is less
commonly used for pain, but it can be effective. In some cases,
your care provider may prescribe stronger
pain medication known as opioids or narcotics
to help with short-term relief. These medications should
only be used as a last resort because they can lead to
dependency, addiction, and even overdose. Side effects include nausea,
vomiting, and constipation. There are creams you
can apply yourself over the affected area. These may include
numbing agents or NSAIDs. Some examples are capsaicin
and methyl salicylate. Your doctor may also prescribe
an injection directly into the joint or the spine. Some decrease
inflammation and pain. And others cushion and
lubricate the joint. Your doctor can
help you decide what medication works best for you. Another option
for pain relief is a transcutaneous electric nerve
stimulation or TENS machine. A TENS machine is thought
to disrupt the pain cycle by delivering a nonpainful
sensation to the skin around the pain site. These treatments when
used in conjunction with physical therapy to
strengthen the muscles around the joint may allow you
to avoid surgery completely or put it off for years. But if none of
these interventions are successful for you,
surgery may be considered. There are a variety
of types of surgeries, depending on the
joint, the severity of your osteoarthritis,
your health, and more. Thank you for listening. But most importantly, see
your health care provider to ensure the best
possible outcome and to develop a treatment
plan that works for you. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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