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Osteoarthritis Health Center

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Osteoarthritis - Treatment Overview

Even though there is no cure for osteoarthritis, treatment can help reduce your symptoms and make it possible for you to lead a full and active life.

The goals of treatment are to:

  • Reduce your pain and stiffness.
  • Keep your joints working and moving well.
  • Keep you from becoming disabled.
  • Prevent more damage to your joints.

Treatment is based on:

  • How bad your symptoms are.
  • How much your symptoms prevent you from doing your daily tasks.
  • How well other treatments have worked.
  • How much damage to the joint (or joints) you have.

Treatment for mild to moderate arthritis

In most cases, people who have mild to moderate arthritis can manage their symptoms for many years with a treatment plan that may include:

Some people with arthritis also feel down or depressed. They may describe this as feeling "depressed," "unhappy," "short-tempered," "blue," or "down in the dumps." If you feel like this most of the time, tell your doctor. Treating these symptoms may help you feel better and make it easier for you to do your daily tasks.

Treatment if arthritis gets worse

If the pain and stiffness from arthritis don't get better or they get worse, your doctor may recommend:

If your pain is very bad, you may decide to have surgery to replace the joint. Or you may decide to have some other kind of surgery that can help keep your joints moving well and prevent your arthritis from getting worse.

Some types of surgery include:

For help deciding whether to have joint replacement surgery, see:

dplink.gif Arthritis: Should I Have Hip Replacement Surgery?
dplink.gif Arthritis: Should I Have Knee Replacement Surgery?
Arthritis: Should I Have Shoulder Replacement Surgery?
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 09, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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