Nondrug Treatments for OA

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So one of the big questions you would get as physicians is what can the patient do themself to make them better regarding osteoarthritis? And if I can emphasize anything in particular, weight loss is the most important thing for arthritis in general.

If I specifically have a problem in my knee or my hip, doing a non-impact loading exercise is going to be better. So what are my choices? Well, I have an elliptical, and I have a stationary bicycle or recumbent bicycle. Also I can do yoga classes or stretching exercises, which are always good.

When I get home, and I'm having a joint that's been painful or uncomfortable, should I use heat or should I use ice? And the answer is ice reduces pain and swelling. Heat reduces muscle spasms. And frequently we'll do 20 minutes of ice, 20 minutes of nothing, 20 minutes of heat. But in the beginning, especially if you have an injury, and if you have an arthritic joint and it's painful, ice first.

Can I use topical agents that I have at home? The answer is sure. And you have many of those. But remember, any of those are very short-living activities.

What about other treatment plans? What about other holistic therapies? And the answer is acupuncture is a very legitimate way of decreasing pain. And a true certified acupuncturist can work extremely successfully, especially for the area in the spine and also locate areas in the upper and lower extremities. All of these are significant treatment plans that you as the patient have the advantage of doing. And that is a dramatic outcome of improving your function and activity. [MUSIC PLAYING]