While there is no complete cure, since osteoarthritis most often occurs due to the normal wear and tear on the body associated with aging, there are treatment strategies to address the most common osteoarthritis symptoms. Although osteoarthritis may be inevitable as we age, there are many treatments to help minimize the pain and make movement. Below 6 Common Osteoarthritis Symptoms and Their Treatments
Pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis. “The reason people go to the doctor for osteoarthritis treatment is most often because of pain,” says Roy Altman, MD, a professor of rheumatology in the department of medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Because there is no more cartilage left to act as a cushion, the bones rub together, causing pain.
The treatment generally used for joint pain is medication. Choices range from over-the-counter painkillers like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, to sophisticated therapies involving antidepressants. “The new concept is to treat with medications that affect the way pain is transmitted to the brain,” Dr. Altman says. “Antidepressants seem to have pain-relieving effects.” Other medications include prescription painkillers, which are often mild narcotics; topical ointments and creams; and cortisone shots.