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Osteoarthritis Treatment Options

(continued)

Alternative Remedies for Osteoarthritis continued...

The dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin, used either individually or together, have also been touted for osteoarthritis relief.  While some studies have found that glucosamine and chondroitin may reduce pain and stiffness, other research hasn't been as supportive. Evidence of benefit is strongest for people with mild OA.

Helpful Devices

Braces, shoe inserts, and walking aids can help you get around more easily and take some of the stress off your joints.

  • Wearing a brace around your knee redistributes weight and relieves some of the pressure on the joint. Braces are especially helpful when used along with treatments like medication and physical therapy. You can use a splint or soft sleeve to support sore wrist joints.
  • Placing an orthotic device called a wedge inside your shoe can help correct imbalances of the knee.
  • Using a cane to help you walk can take some of the weight off a painful hip or knee, and it might even slow the damage from knee osteoarthritis.

Getting Help With Your Osteoarthritis

Don't suffer from osteoarthritis pain alone. Get help from your doctor, an occupational therapist, and/or a physical therapist to learn coping strategies and ways to relieve your discomfort.

  • Your doctor is your main arthritis advocate. Keep in regular contact with your doctor to make sure your medication is working for you, and that you are taking advantage of every possible treatment option.
  • An occupational therapist can help you design your life to be as pain-free as possible. This may include modifying your home to make it easier to get around, and recommending gadgets to help you open jars, tie shoelaces, and do other everyday tasks.
  • A physical therapist can teach you exercises to improve the flexibility in your joints, and show you how to use walking aids such as a cane, brace, or special shoe inserts.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on May 26, 2014
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