Treatment for Arthritis
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes which may be visible, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray.
Unfortunately for many types of arthritis, including the most common types osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, there is no known cure. However, if you are diagnosed with knee arthritis, there are a number of treatment options depending on its severity, impact and type.
Arthritis differs from person to person but a lot can be done to enable you maintain a normal active life. Depending on your circumstances, the right treatment options may help relieve the symptoms of your arthritis or help minimise its progression. It is common to be prescribed or recommended to follow more than one option.
Drug therapies may be suitable to treat the symptoms of your arthritis such as pain (analgesics or painkillers), to suppress inflammation (anti-inflammatory drugs) or to inhibit some forms of inflammatory arthritis (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs).
Physical therapies may include physiotherapy or light-exercise options such as hydrotherapy to restore or maintain function. Occupational therapy may help you to work with your arthritis and continue to achieve the activities that you need or want to maintain.
You may also be able to discuss lifestyle options including appropriate levels of activity including leisure and work activities, weight loss or even types of food that may trigger increased symptoms or arthritis.
If your arthritis becomes severe enough that despite these treatments it becomes too difficult to get on with everyday life or your pain is no longer sufficiently managed, surgery may be recommended.