As we age, our bones, muscles, and joints begin to break down or lose their ability to operate. Degenerative joint disease, often known as osteoarthritis, affects up to 70 percent of adults age 60 and older. It leads to the gradual deterioration of the cartilage covering the bones in your joints, which can be painful and restricting. The cartilage gradually weakens, making the joint more rigid, less stable, and more prone to discomfort. The condition can affect any joint, but it’s most common in the hips, knees, and spine.
Treating Degenerative Joint Disease
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are ways to lessen symptoms and improve mobility. For your treatment plan, your orthopedist will consider the severity of your condition, the affected area, and your symptoms.
Orthopedic doctors typically treat osteoarthritis by reducing the stress on the joint. You can accomplish it by maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding strenuous activities, and strengthening nearby muscles and tissues to support the weakened joint.
Your orthopedic doctor can treat degenerative joint disease through the following medications:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs can alleviate osteoarthritis pain if you take them in the correct dosage. You can also get stronger medication with a prescription. Long-term use of medications is not recommended, but when taken in moderation, they can be an effective way to find occasional relief from pain symptoms.
Topical Cream and Sprays
You can apply medications directly to the affected body part to alleviate discomfort from osteoarthritis. You may use a cream, rub, or spray. Regrettably, no medication will repair the joint damage from osteoarthritis. However, prescription drugs can help relieve some symptoms, like pain.
Physical therapy is a great way to manage osteoarthritis. Patients frequently benefit from physical therapy by strengthening muscles around problematic joints. When these muscles become stronger, many patients see a reduction in symptoms. The joints receive improved support, and their range of motion expands. Your physical therapist will work closely with you on your exercises and provide guidance on how to carry out exercises at home for better results.
Occupational therapy can help you find ways to do daily activities that won’t cause discomfort. Your therapist will teach you techniques to avoid putting strain on your joints. This will help you maintain your normal lifestyle without having to suffer from osteoarthritic pain all the time.
Injecting a corticosteroid into an affected joint can provide pain relief for a few weeks or months. After numbing the area surrounding the joint, your doctor will insert a needle into the space within the joint, where the corticosteroid will be released. You may experience soreness and pain for a day or two following the injection, but relief is almost instantaneous. You should experience significant pain relief and rely less on oral pain relievers.
Hyaluronic acid injections may relieve pain by creating cushioning in the knee. Hyaluronic acid is similar to a substance naturally present in the fluid surrounding joints.
Non-surgical options aren’t always sufficient at relieving pain and restoring mobility in severely deteriorated joints. If you have tried several treatments but have had no relief or only a momentary reprieve, your physician may recommend surgery. Joint surgery can provide long-term relief from pain and improve your mobility.
Joint replacement surgery is a common treatment for conditions like osteoarthritis. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the deteriorated joint from the body and replace it with an artificial joint made of metal, ceramic, or plastic.
Treatment For Degenerative Joint Disease Farmington Hills, MI
It can be tough to deal with osteoarthritis. Here at Tri Country Orthopedics, we have treatments that can help alleviate the pain you’re experiencing. Our certified doctors are ready to serve you using advanced non-surgical and surgical treatments that are sure to bring you much needed relief.
Call us at (248) 474-5575 to learn more about our services. Using our appointment request form, you may also book a consultation with the best orthopedic doctors near you. We’ll have you back on your feet as soon as possible.