Tags: Arthritis | pain | painkiller | arthritis | knee | joint | pain

Are Painkillers the Only Arthritis Option?

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.   |   Monday, 23 Dec 2013 05:14 PM

Question: Can I do anything about my knee arthritis, other than take pain meds?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Knee arthritis is a generic term for inflammation of the knee joint. Pain meds may make the discomfort more bearable, but it is preferable to treat the cause of the inflammation so that pain medications are not necessary. This is precisely why you need to see your doctor for an evaluation to see if your inflammation is can be better managed with a specific treatment. This may save you major troubles down the line.
Joint replacement is not the answer, but may be the only option of the joint cartilage and bone is destroyed by chronic inflammation. The most common cause of arthritis as we age is osteoarthritis (OA). It is a chronic condition of degenerative joint changes marked by loss of joint cartilage and eventual bone changes that do not reverse with anti-inflammatories. Treatment is aimed at alleviating overuse, obesity, and untreated osteoporosis to decrease and prevent bone loss.
Higher dose anti-inflammatories are rarely a good idea for treating OA in the long run. Sometimes physical therapy and occupational therapy may be useful with advanced OA.

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