Arthritis Care And Research
Arthritis Care And Research, How do I know when it is time to see an Orthopaedic Specialist instead of my Primary Care Doctor?
There are several reasons to consult with an Orthopaedic Specialist for Arthritis Care and research:
Your Primary Care Physician feels it is appropriate to do so
You are not seeing significant relief from your currently prescribed
Arthritis and research treatment regimen
You find your Arthritis symptoms are interfering with your quality of life
You find that your Arthritis is getting more painful and your function is getting worse
An Orthopaedic Specialist will provide you with a variety of non-surgical and surgical options to bring pain relief, increased range of motion and a more active lifestyle to help you live fully with Arthritis care and research.
What is the best treatment I can do for myself at home for my arthritis care and research?
There are many at home treatment options and lifestyle changes that you can make, on your own, to improve your life with Arthritis:
Lose Weight – A recent study found that a small weight loss of just 10% of your body weight can decrease knee pain by 50%. If you are overweight, any weight loss will improve your quality of life by reducing wear and tear on your joints.
Start Exercising – Light to moderate exercise has proven very beneficial for those suffering from Arthritis symptoms. Walking, riding bikes, swimming or water aerobics are excellent exercises that go easy on the joints while providing many needed health benefits.
Eat right – A nutritionally sound diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is key to maintaining health. Eating right while living with arthritis should be a part of your total health plan for every day.
Stress Reduction – Meditate, Pray, Listen to Soothing Music, Talk to a friend or counselor if you feel you need to do so.
Join an Arthritis Support Group – Sometimes it helps to know you are not alone. Share your Arthritis experience with others who also have this disease. Learning how others cope can be very beneficial. You might even meet some new friends!
Arthritis Care And Research Options
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate – There are several “natural” supplements that may offer decreased pain and increased range of motion
OTC Pain Medications – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen sodium) and Tylenol, may provide relief for arthritis flares. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist about interactions with other medications before starting to take these.
Whatever Works For You – Heating pads, rubbing painful joints with arthritis cream, massage therapy, acupuncture, taking a break from it helps, then do it!
I am afraid of going to an Orthopaedic Specialist – aren’t they always just looking to get me under the knife?
No, Orthopedic surgeons are trained in surgical as well as non-surgical treatments.
Almost all patients will be placed on a non-surgical treatment prior to considering surgery. You should be seen by a physician who will be able to care for the whole range of arthritis, from the non-surgical to the surgical to ensure comprehensive thinking in your care. Surgery should only be considered a last resort when non-surgical treatments have failed and your quality of life has diminished due to the pain, loss of motion and reduced activity caused by Arthritis.
Currently, there are multiple non-surgical treatment options available to Arthritis sufferers. These include:
- Over-the-counter Medications
- Prescription anti-inflammatory drugs (traditional or COX-2)
- Steroid pills or injections
- Cartilage replacement injections
- Glucosamine, Chondroitin sulfate, MSM
- Physical Therapy