According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are currently more than 32.5 million American adults suffering from osteoarthritis. Additionally, the condition is the top cause of disability in the country.
If you are on this page either because you are a statistic and in search of an effective solution, or you just want to be proactive about your health, here are important things you need to know about osteoarthritis.
Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis
There are a variety of factors that can increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis. These include the following:
- Advancing age (over 50 years old)
- Gender- Women are more likely to develop the condition.
- Excess weight- Osteoarthritis is prevalent among people living with obesity.
- Heredity- Up to 65 percent of OA cases have a genetic component.
- Injury- Younger people who have experienced sports- or work-related injuries may develop OA sooner.
Osteoarthritis Can be Treated Without Heavy Reliance on Medications or the Need for Surgery
Corticosteroids, opioids, and even some antidepressants and antiseizures are some of the medications used for managing the symptoms of osteoarthritis. For intractable OA, joint replacement surgery may be necessary to provide long-term relief, but it is not devoid of potential risk of complications given its invasive nature.
Nonetheless, apart from these, there are options you can explore to keep your symptoms under control and maintain your quality of life. These options can include a combination of the following modalities:
- Exercise- Exercise strengthens the muscles that support your joints, ultimately protecting them from excessive wear and tear.
- Weight loss- This helps reduce the strain being placed on your joint/s. This is especially beneficial if OA has affected the weight-bearing joints of your body, such as your knee and hip.
- Viscosupplementation- This involves your doctor injecting hyaluronic acid into your arthritic joint to alleviate the inflammation and pain. Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally produced by the body that acts as a cushion and lubricant in your joints.
Studies show that people living with OA are deficient in hyaluronic acid, and thus, viscosupplementation is essentially aimed at addressing this deficiency.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy- This involves your physician extracting a sample of your own blood, centrifugating it to separate the platelet-rich plasma, then injecting into the affected area in your body.
PRP therapy is becoming widely used for the management of osteoarthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties and the ability of PRP to stimulate the formation of new cartilage and the production of the lubricating fluid in the joints known as the synovial fluid.
Osteoarthritis Treatment at NIVA Health
One of the keys to living well with osteoarthritis is to work closely with one of our highly qualified physicians here at NIVA Health, who can recommend and plan treatments just right for you.
The proven effective nondrug and nonsurgical treatment options we offer, such as PRP therapy and viscosupplementation, are a reflection of our unique approach to addressing various health conditions like osteoarthritis. Through our Knee Pain Program, we administer viscosupplementation, which has already helped scores of patients living with knee osteoarthritis achieve long-lasting pain relief and overcome the movement limitations brought on by the condition.
To find out which of these is the appropriate solution for your osteoarthritis, schedule a consultation with one of our physicians. Please call our staff at our location near you, or simply fill out this form, and we will get in touch with you promptly.