Osteoarthritis Treatments To Try Before Joint Replacement

As today’s active baby boomers are confronted with knee, hip, and other joint pain, they are not content to “sit out” the rest of their lives. Osteoarthritis can affect younger patients as well and with modern alternatives available, joint replacement surgery need not be the first choice they undertake. Before resorting to joint replacement, take a look at some arthritis treatments offered by Dr. Alicia R. Carter. 

Causes Of Osteoarthritis

As we get older, 1 in 2 adults will develop the symptoms of osteoarthritis, or OA, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The cartilage that acts as a cushion between our bones breaks down causing pain, swelling, and stiffness in our joints. The bones rub and grind against each other causing pain and reduced function.

Keeping Your Joint

Surgery should not always be your first choice. If you prefer to keep your joint instead of deciding immediately to undertake an invasive surgery, look for three requirements. Any alternative should:

  • Prevent injury
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Preserve your cartilage

Simple Treatments

There are some initial things anyone can try to keep their joint intact.

Medications like acetaminophen and NSAIDS anti-inflammatories help with mild to moderate OA to relieve pain.  Talk to your doctor about side effects and use.

Lose some weight. Even losing a moderate amount of weight can reduce the stress on your joint, especially the knee, hip, and ankle. Although this is more successful in younger people, every pound lost reduces 3-5 pounds of pressure on joints.

Muscle strengthening and conditioning can be helpful. Since muscles are shock absorbers, maintaining muscle strength reduces stress on the joints.

Exercise is helpful especially when utilizing a variety of strength training, aerobics, and Tai Chi.  Keep moving as even walking can be beneficial if done consistently. Water sports are also beneficial to improve function in the knee and hip.

Professional Treatments In New York City

person having a needle injected into their arm

Some of the following alternatives are common treatments known to give arthritis patients relief: 

Stem Cell Therapy

Stems cell therapy is a cutting-edge treatment that is being used in orthopedic and sports medicine. The procedure involves using a patient’s own stem cells, which have the unique property of being able to develop into many different cell types, to treat arthritis, as well as sports injuries.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

This type of injection therapy can accelerate or reinvigorate healing, in part by stimulating new collagen/tissue production. The end result is stronger tissue, reduced pain and improved function. Platelet rich plasma has also been found in some studies to STOP the progression of arthritis. 

Caudal Epidural Steroid Injection

This outpatient procedure is an injection of a steroid-anesthetic medication through an opening in the sacrum. The medication can reduce swelling and inflammation of irritated spinal nerves. 

You don’t have to suffer with osteoarthritis. Talk to Dr. Alicia R. Carter about the right treatment for you!

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