Non-Invasive Treatments For Osteoarthritis

Health & Medical Blog

Osteoarthritis can be a disabling disease, which causes pain, inflammation, limited mobility, and a diminished range of motion of a joint. While an invasive procedure may be in your future, your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend non-invasive, conservative treatments to treat your arthritis, saving surgery as a last resort. Surgery, however, may be the only permanent solution to your pain and swelling. Here are some non-invasive treatments for osteoarthritis, and why your surgeon may recommend them:


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, relieve the pain and inflammation of degenerative disorders of the joints. Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, is typically well-tolerated by most people; however, they can cause digestive upset and may be inappropriate for those with kidney disease or acid reflux problems.

If non-prescription strength NSAIDs fail to resolve your symptoms, your doctor may write you a prescription for a stronger dose. Your orthopaedic surgeon will instruct you to take your NSAIDs with food so that they are better tolerated so you can continue to take them.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an essential component in your non-surgical osteoarthritis treatment plan. It helps decrease pain and stiffness, improves mobility, diminishes inflammation, and strengthens the surrounding structures of your knee joint.

Your physical therapist will develop a treatment plan based on your level of function, strength, gait, weight, and age. In addition to stretching and other exercises, your physical therapy plan may also include ice therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, and ultrasound treatments, which are effective in reducing inflammation.

In addition, your physical therapist will work with you on gait training exercises because osteoarthritis can cause balance and ambulation problems, which may raise your risk for falls. While you can see a physical therapist without a doctor's referral in most states, you may need a physician's referral before your insurance company will pay for your therapy treatments. 

If taking NSAIDs, participating in a physical therapy program, and other non-invasive treatment options for osteoarthritis, such as wearing a brace and cortisone injections, fail to improve your symptoms, surgery may be your only option. Your orthopaedic surgeon may schedule you for laparoscopic surgery or may recommend that you undergo "open" surgery, especially if he or she recommends a total knee replacement.

After your surgery, you will need to participate in a physical therapy program. Your therapy program may last for a couple of months, however, you will probably see a dramatic improvement in your symptoms after only a couple of weeks.

If you're concerned about your osteoarthritis, consult with an orthopaedic doctor, such as one who is part of the Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester, about what you should do. 


27 June 2019

Cancer Treatment Questions: Understanding The Differences in Options

After watching my mother navigate treatment for breast cancer in my early teens, I knew pretty much what to expect from my dad's diagnosis with prostate cancer. What I didn't know was how different chemotherapy and radiation can affect different people. My mother became very ill while my dad seemed to weather the treatments with few ill effects. I spent a long time researching the differences in treatments, types of chemotherapy, and how each one can react differently with the body. I created this blog to help others understand the same things, because I knew I couldn't be the only one unfamiliar with it. I hope it helps you if someone you love is facing treatment for any type of cancer.