Arthritis treatment

Osteoarthritis treatment

In the ideal situation, the damaged joint would return to its healthy state. Unfortunately, this is not yet achievable. What are the possibilities with osteoarthritis treatment?

Arthritis treatments: all possibilities in detail

The osteoarthritis treatment options have increased significantly in recent years. Unfortunately, treatment cannot restore the damage to the cartilage. Treatments can however, fight the pain and keep the function of the joints as optimal as possible. Osteoarthritis treatments include medication, surgical procedures and exercise therapies. On the alternative level, there are also some unique developments. Therefore, “Moving Without Pain” covers all osteoarthritis treatment options for in this article.

General practitioner and arthritis

ParacetamolWhen you suffer from something, a visit to the GP is usually the first step. Naturally, this would also be true when your joints feel stiff and painful. Based on questions and a physical examination, he can determine if osteoarthritis is causing the symptoms. Sometimes the GP may decide to take an X-ray to determine if there is damage to the joints. If the pain does not interfere with your daily activities, the doctor may prescribe acetaminophen. If the pain is too great, you may receive a prescription for an NSAID. These medications can inhibit possible inflammatory reactions in the joints. In serious cases of osteoarthritis, your doctor will refer you to the specialist.

Physical therapy and arthritis

In many cases, the GP will not only prescribe medication, he may also refer you to a physical therapist. The physical therapist can help you keep your joints flexible, the muscles strong, and improve your posture. With his help, you may learn how to deal with the pain. In cases of advanced and severe osteoarthritis, it is advisable to consult with an orthopedic surgeon. With him, you can discuss if physical therapy may be useful in your case.

Orthopedic surgeon and arthritis

In case of advanced joint wear, your doctor will refer you to the orthopedic surgeon. This specialist deals with abnormalities and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. He can also prescribe NSAIDs against the pain, inflammation and swelling. Unfortunately, in many cases, this medication is worse than the disease. The use of pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory medications is often associated with many serious side effects, such as gastrointestinal complaints.

If this does not reduce pain and inflammation, your doctor may suggest corticosteroids. The doctor will inject the corticosteroids directly into the joint. If nothing helps to relieve the pain, the orthopedic surgeon may consider surgery. During an endoscopic procedure, he can clean the joints, remove pieces of loose cartilage or smooth the joint ends. He may also decide to place an artificial joint, such as a knee prosthesis or a hip prosthesis.

Acupuncture for osteoarthritis treatment

Acupuncture can sometimes temporarily relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. This alternative oriental belief assumes that human beings become ill when the “balance between yin and yang” is disturbed. The acupuncture restores this balance by placing thin needles on certain areas of your body. Sometimes the acupuncturist will also recommend herbal remedies.
Read all information about acupuncture in arthritis treatment.

Homeopathy and arthritis

Although homeopathy is one of the most researched alternative therapies, no scientific evidence is available yet on the attributed clinical effectiveness. There are a wide array of treatments, which fall under the heading of Homeopathy. Homeopathy is the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease. The use of homeopathic remedies usually do not cause harm in combination with medications.

Colloidal silver and gold for osteoarthritis

The use of colloidal silver and gold, as an arthritis treatment, fall under the heading of Homeopathy. This is a remedy, which consists of extremely small particles of silver or gold floating in distilled water. In some traditions, these metals have therapeutic effects attributed to them. Colloidal silver is thought to be a powerful treatment against fungi, bacteria, viruses, and inflammation. Colloidal gold is thought to stimulate the operation of the immune system, which could reduce inflammatory reactions in the joints.

The editors at ‘Moving Without Pain’ have extensively tried to find good scientific evidence of the action of colloidal silver and gold in arthritis. We have found no scientific evidence and much information is published on less mainstream and alternative websites. In conclusion, we cannot really form an opinion about this treatment. Read more about colloidal silver and gold in rheumatism.

Orthomolecular treatment of arthritis

What is Orthomolecular Medicine? We can explain that very simply. ‘Ortho’ from the Greek word Orthos, which means straight, and ‘molecular’ represents ‘molecule’. This alternative medicine is about the treatment of a disease or condition with straightening out the molecules, or creating molecular balance. This form of treatment does not use any chemicals; instead, it focuses on vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. In orthomolecular medicine, the main theme is supporting the body’s ability to cure itself. The most common approach in the orthomolecular osteoarthritis treatment is the combination of Glucosamine and Chondroitin.

According to some, glucosamine sulfate promotes the production of new cartilage tissue. Some also believe that Chondroitin sulphate may be important for a healthy buildup of cartilage. To date, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to show these substances significantly improve osteoarthritis symptoms. Some individuals experience improvements in their symptoms when taking Glucosamine at the onset of joint discomfort. Unfortunately, you will build up tolerance, and need more Glucosamine, or the symptoms will become worse.

MSM is an organically bound sulfur compound that is naturally present in your body (like Glucosamine and Chondroitin). In orthomolecular medicine, you may use this substance to reduce pain in arthritis and to improve mobility. A few studies specifically show positive results in knee osteoarthritis. However, the research methods used do not yet meet the official reliability requirements.

Various studies have confirmed the positive effect of Green-lipped mussel and Bio-Curcumin as an osteoarthritis treatment. In addition, we have written several times on this site about the powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of Green -lipped mussel and Curcumin. Read the article about Green-lipped mussel and the article about Curcumin.

Herbs in osteoarthritis treatment

More than 200 herbal and plant extracts may have a beneficial effect on the joints. Until the rise of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, herbal preparations, including Devil’s Claw, and Women’s Jacket, were widely sold as arthritis treatments. Studies have shown that the most powerful herbs for improving joint function are Blackcurrant leaf, Curcumin and Boswellia.

Laser therapy in osteoarthritis treatment

This is a relatively new therapy for osteoarthritis treatment. The goal of laser therapy is to combat inflammation in the joints using laser beams, which reduces pain and improves mobility.

Stem cell therapy in osteoarthritis treatment

Stem cell therapy, as an osteoarthritis treatment, is still in its infancy, and developments are rapidly advancing. However, it will take some time for stem cells – which are undifferentiated cells that are not yet specialized – to repair damaged cartilage as a treatment. Read more in the article on stem cell therapy.

De-acidification in osteoarthritis treatment

This osteoarthritis treatment assumes that acidification of the body causes the condition. As we grow older, the body is getting more and more trouble excreting acid residues, which accumulate in the joints. As a result, the cartilage is affected and inflammation occurs. Sodium bicarbonate is able to neutralize the excess acids in the body so that they can no longer accumulate in the joints. De-acidification offers a partial solution, according to ‘Moving Without Pain’. In our opinion, this treatment cannot remove the existing effects of cartilage damage, such as inflammation, pain and swelling. In some cases, it may have some value, like combating inflammation, especially when there is actually acidification.

Osteoarthritis treatment per body part

In the knowledge center, there are several articles about arthritis treatments in various body parts. For example, we discuss the best arthrosis treatment for every body part. In addition, exercises are often included in the article so that you can work towards a better mobility of the arthritic joint.

These are the body parts on which we have articles available containing an explanation of arthritis and an overview of the treatments:

Hand and thumb
Ankle, foot and toe


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