Treatments of Osteoarthritis: How to Relieve Pain and Improve Your Quality of Life

Diagram of knee joint with osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative joint disease that affects millions of individuals worldwide. The impact of this condition on daily life can be significant, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. At Ortho Westmount, we understand the challenges posed by osteoarthritis and are committed to providing comprehensive orthopedic treatments to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

In this article, we will delve into the various treatment options available for osteoarthritis, including exercise, medication, and surgery. By understanding these treatment approaches, you can make informed decisions about managing your osteoarthritis symptoms.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that primarily affects the weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and hips, but it can also affect the elbows, wrists and hands. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the joints gradually wears away, leading to pain and inflammation. This degenerative joint disease is often associated with age, previous joint injuries, obesity, and genetic factors.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis manifests itself through various symptoms that can significantly impact your daily life. The most prevalent symptoms include persistent joint pain, stiffness, swelling, grinding or cracking in the joint, and warmth in the joint area. As the condition advances, these symptoms tend to intensify, leading to increased discomfort and challenges in carrying out everyday activities like walking, climbing stairs, or even grasping objects.

Confirming the Diagnosis

If you suspect you may be suffering from knee osteoarthritis, hip osteoarthritis or any other form of the condition, it is crucial to seek proper diagnosis from medical professionals. 

Confirming an osteoarthritis diagnosis involves a comprehensive assessment by a skilled medical team. Through a combination of medical history review, physical examination, and imaging studies such as X-rays, professionals can determine the extent of joint damage and formulate an appropriate treatment plan.

With Ortho Westmount's expertise and state-of-the-art facilities, you can trust that your diagnosis will be accurate, enabling us to tailor the most effective treatment for your specific condition.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis

Group of people cycling

For individuals with mild to moderate osteoarthritis, non-surgical treatment options can effectively manage symptoms and improve joint function.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

Regular exercise is vital for managing osteoarthritis symptoms effectively. By engaging in physical activity, you can strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints, enhance flexibility, and alleviate pain. Exercise helps to improve joint stability, increase range of motion, and enhance overall physical well-being.

Whether it's low-impact activities, such as swimming or cycling, or other kinds of exercise, such as weight training, incorporating physical activity into your routine can significantly contribute to reducing arthritis pain, especially as it pertains to the hip and knee joints.

Medications for Pain Relief

To alleviate pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort, allowing individuals to regain their mobility and engage in daily activities more comfortably. The use of acetaminophen may also provide symptom relief. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any pain medications to ensure its suitability for your specific condition and to manage any potential side effects.

Assistive Devices and Lifestyle Modifications

In addition to exercise and medication, assistive devices and lifestyle modifications can significantly improve the management of osteoarthritis symptoms. The use of assistive devices such as braces or canes can help alleviate stress on affected joints and improve stability.

Adopting lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a healthy weight, following joint protection techniques, and implementing ergonomic adjustments, can further reduce pain and improve overall quality of life.

Surgical Options for Severe Osteoarthritis

In cases where individuals are experiencing severe pain as their osteoarthritis has significantly progressed, and non-surgical treatments no longer provide adequate relief, surgical intervention may be necessary. 

Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery, such as hip or knee arthroplasty, is an exceptionally effective procedure when it comes to treating severe osteoarthritis. This surgical intervention is designed to address the root cause of the pain by removing the damaged joint surfaces and replacing them with artificial implants.

As a result, joint function is significantly improved, and pain is greatly reduced, allowing individuals to regain their mobility and comfort within their bodies. At Ortho Westmount, our surgical team specializes in surgical procedures to treat osteoarthritis of the hip and osteoarthritis of the knee, ensuring that our patients receive the highest standard of surgical care. 

Rehabilitation and Recovery

After joint replacement surgery, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is essential for optimal recovery. Physical therapy and exercises tailored to your specific needs are crucial in regaining strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Post-operative care, including follow-up appointments and monitoring by our medical team, is a vital part of the recovery process.

We at Ortho Westmount understand the importance of a comfortable recovery experience. Our convalescence center provides a serene environment where you can rest and heal under the care of our dedicated staff.

Explore Treatment Options for a Pain-Free Life at Ortho Westmount

Living with osteoarthritis doesn't have to mean enduring chronic pain and limited mobility. Through non-surgical treatments such as exercise, medication, and assistive devices, you can work to curb osteoarthritis pain and experience a more comfortable day-to-day living. Should your symptoms and pain progress, surgical interventions like joint replacement surgery have proven to help many people and are worth exploring.

At Ortho Westmount, our experienced surgical team featuring the top orthopedic surgeons in Montreal, state-of-the-art facilities, and commitment to personalized care ensure that you receive the highest standard of treatment. 

Don't let osteoarthritis hold you back. Contact us to confirm your diagnosis and explore comprehensive treatment options that can help you regain your quality of life and move pain-free.