If you have just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, there are a number of treatments that your doctor might recommend. These can range from things that you have to do in your own time, of self-care type treatments to special medications and therapies. However, depending on what your doctor decides is best for you, these will be generally recommended based on the severity of the arthritis because this type of arthritis is extremely damaging to your joints.
Many treatments that your doctor might suggest can help to limit your symptoms, or even delay the onset of them. You might be asked to make some serious lifestyle changes, ones that you will have to maintain for the rest of your life, or at least until your doctor says otherwise. As such, if you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, you should follow your doctor’s instructions very carefully and if you are not sure about things, ask, because these treatments may require certain daily routines that your doctor can help you manage and organize.
The following are the most common treatments that patients such as yourself might be asked to undergo:
Loss of weight – quite often recommended to women with arthritis in their knees
Regular exercise – recommended to most people with arthritis because it helps strengthen your muscles, limiting potential cartilage growth stimulation; best activities include aerobics, strength training and motion training
Healthy diet – your body needs additional calcium in some cases, so you might have to take calcium supplements, as well as additional vitamins such as vitamins C, E and D, all of which help your body to digest and utilize vitamins and minerals from foods properly
Applied heat – sometimes applying warmed paraffin wax and soaking your affected joints in hot water (not scalding) can sometimes help reduce the pain
Orthotic devices – can help improve your mobility functions, or correct, prevent, align or support any deformed joints; braces, splints, orthopaedic shoes, canes, crutches and walkers might be also recommended
- OTC medicines – varied anti-inflammatory prescription and non-prescription drugs may be given to you, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin and other more potent arthritic drugs
Whatever your doctor gets to you to do or take as part of your osteoarthritis treatment program, sometimes it takes time to find the right ones and the right combination of treatments. Therefore, be patient and always communicate any problems or additional problems to your doctor. If you have any additional health issues such as diabetes, you doctor might give you alternative treatments instead to avoid aggravating your existing illnesses or conditions.