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Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Some people with osteoarthritis try complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy and find them helpful.
However, there’s a lack of medical evidence to suggest they’re effective and they generally are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
How To Choose The Most Popular Otc Arthritis Medications
The three most crucial criteria to consider are price, quality, and popularity.Price is an obvious factor to consider, as you want to ensure it is acceptable for your needs.Quality should also be examined because buying a low-quality goods will not help you achieve your main aim of obtaining the best product.Finally, while not as obvious as price or quality, popularity can be just as significant as both when it comes to attracting new customers.
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The Role Physical Therapy Plays In The Process
Physical therapy is definitely beneficial. Improving range of motion and strength in the knee are helpful, but physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis has a large focus on strengthening the hips, explains Dr. Day.
Weak hips put more pressure on the knees. If your hips are strong, when you get up from a chair or go up and down stairs your knees have less work to do.
Everyone with knee osteoarthritis should consult a physical therapist, according to Dr. Day. Not only will you be taught the right kinds of exercises, a physical therapist also provides valuable instruction about using assistive devices and modifying activities to reduce pain.
Antidepressants For Osteoarthritis Pain
Your doctor may recommend the use of antidepressant medication to help treat chronic OA pain even if you donât have depression. Itâs not clear how it works, but brain chemicals affected by antidepressant medications may play a role.
One antidepressant, duloxetine , is FDA-approved for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain, including chronic osteoarthritis pain. Common side effects include nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, and constipation.
Doctors sometimes prescribe a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline, desipramine , and nortriptyline for chronic pain. These are most often taken near bedtime because they can make you sleepy. Other side effects include dry mouth, nausea, weight change, and constipation.
All antidepressant drugs carry a boxed warning of higher risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. Anyone starting antidepressant drugs should be monitored closely for any unusual behavioral changes, suicidal thinking and behavior, or worsening of a psychiatric disorder.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Arthritis Of The Knee
It might be helpful to arrive at your healthcare providers office with a list of questions you want or need to be answered. Consider:
- Do I have arthritis in one knee or both?
- What type of arthritis do I have?
- Whats a possible cause of my arthritis?
- What treatments do you recommend?
- What medications should I take?
- Do I need physical therapy?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Knee arthritis can affect people of all ages. Its painful, impairs movement and causes swelling of the joint. Some people are so disabled by it that they cant work anymore. Others can only work after surgery. Meanwhile, for others, the pain isnt necessarily as bad, but it still prevents them from regular activities like cleaning, gardening and running after their kids.
Arthritis of the knee can decrease your quality of life. The good news is that treatments can lessen the severity of your symptoms. The pain and swelling might not be as bad. See your healthcare provider for evaluation and treatment if you have symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/18/2021.
How Is Knee Arthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor may use some of the following diagnostic tests and procedures to determine if you have knee arthritis:
- Medical history and physical examination
- Blood tests for genetic markers or RA antibodies
- X-rays to determine cartilage loss in the knee
- Joint aspiration: drawing out and testing the synovial fluid inside the knee joint
Cartilage cannot be seen on X-ray, but narrowing of the joint space between the bones indicates lost cartilage. X-rays show bone spurs and cysts, which can be caused by osteoarthritis. Other tests such as MRI or CT scans are rarely needed for diagnosis.
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Treatment Innovations & Future Directions
Approximately 15% of the worlds population has OA.19 With a staggering 630 million suffering from OA it is increasingly becoming a burden on healthcare systems. Consequently, many scientists and engineers have been hard at work developing cost-effective alternatives to knee replacement surgeries. Recently two promising innovative approaches have been gaining popularity for the treatment of severe knee OA
Prescription Medication For Arthritis
Arthritis is a chronic condition that affects millions of Americans. Characterized by inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues, arthritis symptoms can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. There are several types of arthritis, the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the break down of cartilage surrounding joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder where the bodys immune system attacks the lining of the joints. Gout, infections, psoriasis, lupus, and other diseases can also lead to forms of arthritis. Arthritis symptoms include: swelling, pain, varying degrees of stiffness, limited range of motion, and skin redness. Treatment is available in the form of prescription medications to relieve symptoms and improve joint performance. Below are the major categories of prescription medications for arthritis:
Hyaluronic Acid Substitutes
Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs
Analgesics relieve pain, but do not treat inflammation. Acetaminophen is the most commonly used analgesic and can be purchased over-the-counter in the from of Tylenol and Excedrin. Higher dosage acetaminophen in combination with other other drugs such as Oxycodone or Tramadol require a prescription. Brands names for analgesics: Codeine, Ultram, etc.
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How Is Arthritis Of The Knee Treated
Healthcare providers can’t cure knee arthritis. But they have some tips that might reduce the severity of your symptoms and possibly stop the arthritis from getting worse, including:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise using low-impact activities instead of high-impact activities . Aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week.
- Wear shock-absorbing inserts in your shoes.
- Apply heat or ice to the area.
- Wear a knee sleeve or brace.
- Physical therapy exercises that help with flexibility, strength and motion.
- Use a cane.
Most people have stage 4 arthritis when they get surgery.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Knee
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue in several joints of the body, including the knee. It causes inflammation of the synovial membrane, the capsule surrounding the knee joint. Inflammatory cells release substances that break down knee cartilage over time. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of any age.
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How To Treat Arthritis In The Knees
This article was medically reviewed by Troy A. Miles, MD. Dr. Miles is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California. He received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010, followed by a residency at the Oregon Health & Science University and fellowship at the University of California, Davis. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the North Pacific Orthopaedic Society.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 71,932 times.
Research suggests that treatment may slow down arthritis and relieve your symptoms, though there’s no cure for it.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source Arthritis occurs when your joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage in your joint wears away, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where your body attacks your joints. Experts say arthritis in the knee is very common because it’s a weight-bearing joint, but you can get arthritis in any joint.XResearch source Although arthritis may interfere with your life, you may be able to manage your condition.
What Medication To Take For Knee Joint Pain
Many medications are used to offer knee pain relief, but this depends on the cause of the problem. For normal mild knee pain, analgesics or pain relievers are used, while other medications are used for a knee problem that results from the inflammatory form of arthritis.
These are medications that help in managing the effects of the disease in your knee and any other part of the body. However, the form of medication used depends on the form of arthritis that is affecting you. Some of the common types of arthritis medications used to relieve arthritis knee joint pain include:
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Comparing Pain Meds For Osteoarthritis
Understand the pros and cons of different medicines for OA pain.
Exercise and weight loss are the best ways to beat osteoarthritis pain. But you may want to try other methods too. These include creams you apply to your skin , pills and joint injections. Knowing the pros and cons of these treatments can help you make the right choice.
Before you try pills, experts say you should try topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for your OA pain. These come by prescription liquids and patches . Gel is now available over-the-counter without a prescription. Studies show they can relieve knee pain just as well as pills, but with fewer side effects.
Other over-the-counter arthritis creams and patches include ingredients such as capsaicin, camphor, menthol and lidocaine. They can be used for as long as needed.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs NSAIDs are the most effective oral medicines for OA. They include ibuprofen naproxen and diclofenac . All work by blocking enzymes that cause pain and swelling.
The problem is that some of those enzymes also help blood to clot and protect the lining of your stomach. Without them, you can bruise easily, develop ulcers and may even bleed in your intestines.
NSAIDs also increase your chance of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. The risk increases the longer you use them and the more you take.
Celecoxib is an NSAID thats less likely to cause gastrointestinal bleeding, but it can cause heart problems.
Hot & Cold Therapy 17
Thermotherapy and cryotherapy is the application of therapeutic heat or cold to affected joints. By applying heat through heating pads, hot towels, or paraffin wax, the goal is to improve circulation and relax your muscles. Conversely applying cold through cold compresses, frozen gel packs, crushed ice in a plastic bag is intended to numb the pain, reduce joint swelling, constrict blood vessels, and block nerve impulses to the affected joint. Short but consistent ice massages have also been shown to improve muscle strength.Heat, cold, ice massages or a combination of all three could be a beneficial addition to a pain management routine for improved knee strength, range of motion, and function. Its important to talk with your doctor about which method is right for you and to determine how long and how often to use each of the treatments.
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What Is The Otc Arthritis Medications
Sorry if youre perplexed. I know its not an easy choice! But its one of the most crucial choices youll ever make. If youre still unsure which type of otc arthritis medications is best for you, I recommend comparing the characteristics and functionalities of the otc arthritis medications listed above. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
What Is The Best Medicine For Knee Joint Pain
Several medications are used to relieving joint pain, depending on the cause.
These include pain relievers and Gout medications. However, the best medicine for knee joint pain relief is any of the gout medications.
Gout Medications helps in preventing future attacks of joint pain and inflammation by reducing the levels of uric acid in the blood. Others assist in managing pain and inflammation of acute joint pain.There are so many medications available for joint pain such as Instaflex, since it may help you to relieve from regular pain.
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What You Need To Know
- Knee arthritis occurs when the cushioning cartilage in the joint wears down, making the knee stiff and painful with certain movements.
- Osteoarthritis gradual, age-related degeneration of cartilage is the most common form of arthritis in the knee, but trauma and autoimmune conditions can also lead to cartilage damage.
- The cartilage damage associated with arthritis is irreversible, but there are nonsurgical and surgical treatments that can help reduce pain, increase joint flexibility and improve overall quality of life for people with knee arthritis.
How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
The most common symptoms of arthritis are swollen, painful, and stiff joints. Your healthcare provider may diagnose you with arthritis based on your symptoms, but youll probably need additional tests to determine the exact type of arthritis you have. Here are some tests your physician may order:
- Imaging scans: X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can help show your doctor whats going on in your joints and bones.
- Blood tests: A blood test can tell your doctor if you have certain antibodies that indicate a particular type of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis.
A primary care physician can diagnose arthritis, but you might be sent to a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon if you have severe symptoms. Your doctor may ask you some of the following questions to help confirm a diagnosis:
- Do you have a family history of arthritis?
- In what joints are you experiencing pain, swelling, or stiffness?
- Are you currently taking any medications?
- Does anything make your symptoms feel better?
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Injections Are Another Low
If other strategies dont provide enough relief, injection therapy is an option with low risk.
A corticosteroid injection involves delivering this anti-inflammatory drug directly to the knee. The benefits are typically short lived. But it varies from person to person. I tell my patients the pain relief can last anywhere from a week to a year, says Dr. Day. One cautionary note with corticosteroids is the potential to increase blood sugar, which is a concern for people with uncontrolled diabetes.
For a possibly longer lasting effect, an injection of hyaluronic acid can be tried. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that healthy joints have a lot of and arthritic knees dont, says Dr. Day. It takes longer to start working than a corticosteroid injection, but the effect often lasts six months to a year.
Currently, research is being done on the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma , which is not yet covered by insurance. PRP involves drawing some blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, and injecting part of it into the knee.
If youre not able to get your symptoms under control with a combination of these measures, she says, it could be time to talk to your doctor about surgery.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.
How Is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask you about your history of symptoms and whether you have any family members with the condition. Other tests may include:
- Blood tests to look for inflammatory markers
- Joint aspiration to look for evidence of joint deterioration or crystals
- X-ray of the joint to look for bone changes
- MRI to provide a better image of cartilage changes.
Morning stiffness helps to differentiate osteoarthritis from rheumatoid arthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis, joint stiffness may not improve for several hours or it may last throughout the entire day.
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What Causes Arthritis Of The Knee
Experts have identified some genes that might cause arthritis, including arthritis of the knee. They predict that there are more genes not yet discovered. You could have a gene linked to arthritis without knowing it and a virus or injury could trigger arthritis of the knee.
Though the cause is unknown, some risk factors increase the possibility of arthritis of the knee. Risk factors of osteoarthritis, specifically, include:
- Age. Osteoarthritis happens to older adults more often than younger adults and children.
- Bone anomalies. Youre at a higher risk for osteoarthritis if your bones or joints are naturally crooked.
- Gout. Gout, also a type of inflammatory arthritis, might lead to osteoarthritis.
- Injuries. Knee injuries can cause arthritis of the knee.
- Stress. A lot of stress on your knees from jogging, playing sports or working an active job can lead to osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Weight. Extra weight puts more pressure on your knees.