Osteoarthritis Treatment in Valparaiso, IN
Osteoarthritis (OA), which affects millions of people worldwide, is a common type of arthritis that occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones degrades over time. Most commonly, osteoarthritis affects the joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine, although it can affect any joint in your body.
You may suffer from osteoarthritis if you find you experience:
- Joint pain (generally a sharp aching or burning sensation), stiffness and swelling
- Decreased range of motion
- Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
If you think you may be suffering from osteoarthritis, contact a specialist in Valparaiso, call (765) 259-0545 or contact Charles Turner MD online.
Osteoarthritis is most commonly associated with aging joints; however, there is a variety of other potential causes, including:
- Obesity, which especially poses a risk to the knees, due to increased mechanical stress on the cartilage
- Repeated trauma or surgery to the joint structures (ligaments, bones and cartilage)
- Abnormal joints at birth (congenital abnormalities)
Who’s At Risk for Osteoarthritis?
In addition to posing a threat to people in old age, osteoarthritis may affect:
- Those with diabetes
- Soccer players (who face repeated trauma to joint tissues)
- Long-distance runners (whose joints face extended use)
Joint pain is common with old age, but there are certain preventive strategies you can take to avoid osteoarthritis from taking its toll. You may start by controlling your weight. Excess strain on your muscles can lead to cartilage degradation in your joints, and this is common with obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight and healthy nutrition can help reduce your chances of developing osteoarthritis. Dietary supplements (such as chondroitin, glucosamine, vitamin D and hyaluronic acid) may also be considered to help support joint health. Additionally, avoiding sports injuries (or getting them treated, should they occur) will help maintain the structural integrity of your joints.
Should you find yourself the victim of osteoarthritis, there are a variety of treatment options available to reduce your symptoms. For those who exhibit mild symptoms of osteoarthritis, pain relievers such as Tylenol may help reduce your discomfort. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can also help relieve osteoarthritis pain, while stronger nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), available upon prescription, may be recommended by your healthcare provider.
Consulting a professional physical therapist, alternatively, can help with strengthening the muscles around your joint and improve your range of motion, while consulting an occupational therapist may be recommended for discovering ways to complete your daily tasks without adding stress to your joint. Some also find Tai chi and yoga help relieve stress, while alternative medicine therapies such as acupuncture may also help relieve pain and improve overall function.
For more severe cases of osteoarthritis, surgical intervention - such as cortisone injections, lubrication injections, realigning bones and joint replacements - may be considered.
Osteoarthritis can be painful and debilitating, but steps can be taken to avoid developing OA symptoms or reducing the pain it inflicts. Relieve your pain today by contacting a specialist in Valparaiso, call (765) 259-0545 or contact Charles Turner MD online.
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