Osteoarthritis Q & A
What is osteoarthritis?
Arthritis is a general term for a group of diseases that causes pain in your joints. There are many different types of arthritis, with different root causes and treatments.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, in which the cartilage in your joints wears away. Once this cushioning is gone, your bones start to rub against each other when you move, which results in inflammation and pain.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
If you have osteoarthritis, your symptoms will vary depending on which joints it affects and how severe your condition. Some common symptoms are:
You may have sore joints after physical activity, particularly in your knees, hips, or lower back.
Joint stiffness is very common in the morning or after resting and limits your range of movement and flexibility.
You may feel friction in your joints and hear a clicking or cracking sound when you bend them.
The affected joint may appear swollen due to the inflamed soft tissue.
The pain from osteoarthritis makes it difficult to do everyday activities. Patients with the disease in the lower parts of their bodies may notice it's hard to walk or climb stairs. Osteoarthritis in your fingers or hand joints can make it difficult to hold things, like a cup of coffee.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis can affect your career, relationships with others, and self-esteem as you find yourself unable to do simple tasks on your own.
What is the treatment for osteoarthritis?
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but you can manage this lifelong condition using various treatments to manage pain and stop your condition from getting worse.
After a physical exam, your doctor at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC creates a customized treatment plan that addresses your particular symptoms.
Treatment starts with the gentlest approach and becomes more aggressive for advanced cases and can range from simple lifestyle changes to oral medication to surgery.
If your osteoarthritis is still in its early stages, your provider at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC may suggest lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and losing weight.
If you need physical therapy, your provider coordinates your treatment with one of the in-house licensed physical therapists.
If your condition isn't improving, Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC offers viscosupplementation treatments. During this procedure, your provider injects a substance called hyaluronic acid directly into the affected joint.
Hyaluronic acid is made by your body and lubricates and cushions your joints. Patients with osteoarthritis are thought to experience inflammation and pain due to a lack of hyaluronic acid in their joints.
Through a series of injections, your provider reintroduces the substance in targeted areas to reduce pain and allow for easier movement.
Patients experiencing a lot of discomfort may also be prescribed corticosteroid injections or oral medication to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC also provides platelet-rich-plasma therapy as a regenerative medical procedure that helps with pain relief and stimulates your body's natural healing process.
If your joints suffer severe damage from osteoarthritis, your doctor may suggest a joint replacement that repairs all the arthritic parts of your joint and replaces diseased parts with a prosthetic device.
For the expert treatment of osteoarthritis and painful joints, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC today.