Receiving a diagnosis of osteoarthritis can be hard to take, and often the outlook may feel bleak. Pain associated with the condition may already be hindering your ability to be active, and if your doctor has suggested operating is not an option yet, often the question is, well, what next?
Many believe they’re resigned to a life of limited activity and pain killers. But that’s not the case.
The great news is, there is a lot we can do to reduce pain and get you active again.
Ideally, we try to minimise your use of pain relief. But, in the early days, ensuring you are comfortable is important. We can arrange simple over the counter medication or something stronger depending on your condition. Over time we would aim to cut that back or stop using it altogether.
The idea you need to stop exercising is wrong, and we cover this in depth here. In fact, exercise has been shown to reduce pain and assist in restoring vitality. The important aspect here, though, is ensuring you are undertaking the correct exercise that will assist your recovery and not worsen the condition
As we discuss here, weight loss can significantly improve your condition. A 10% reduction in body weight leads to a 50% improvement in pain and function.
This is a non-surgical therapy that has shown positive results with some sufferers of knee osteoarthritis. PRP involves taking a small sample of your blood, placing it in a centrifuge, and separating out the part of the blood with the highest concentration of platelets. The platelets contain proteins called growth factors which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. They also have a role in the healing of injuries. We then reinject the platelets back into the injured area. You can learn more about PRP here.
While we would like to get you back to being active without having to turn to surgery, the reality for some is that this is the best option. We can work with you and an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss the most appropriate surgical solution.
A diagnosis of osteoarthritis doesn’t have to feel like the beginning of the end. At our osteoarthritis clinic, we work with many patients getting them back into being active and living a less painful life.