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Posts Tagged ‘osteoarthritis treatment’

Knee Injection

Knee Injection

What is viscosupplementation?

Hyaluronic acid injections are referred to as viscosupplementation.  This osteoarthritis treatment option injects a substance similar to synovial fluid into the knee joint.  This helps lubricate the knee and acts like a shock absorber.

Hyalgan, Synvisc, and Supartz are the brand names of popular pharmaceutical products containing hyaluronic acid.

These injections for the knee help relieve  joint pain, but for an undetermined amount of time.  Orthopedic surgeons have no way of looking at a patient and knowing if this treatment option will be effective.

The Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons say on their website that hyaluronic acid does not offer immediate pain relief and that local reactions like pain, warmth, and swelling directly after the injection are common.  Patients should avoid jogging, heavy lifting, or excessive weight-bearing activities for at least 2 days following viscosupplementation treatment.

This arthritis treatment option is best suited for people who suffer from mild to moderate osteoarthritis looking for short-term pain relief.



Arthritis literally means “joint inflammation,” and it causes varying levels of pain and loss of joint mobility. It also comes in more than 100 different forms, including rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Many sufferers would benefit well from natural remedies for arthritis instead of depending on medications that may have adverse side effects.

One effective natural remedy for arthritis is drinking juices high in anti-inflammatory nutrients. These nutrients include beta-carotene, which can be found in parsley, broccoli and spinach; and copper which is found in carrots, apples, and ginger. A glass or two of pineapple juice is also a rich source of the enzyme bromelain, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties.



One of the latest innovations in osteoarthritis treatments is magnetic knee braces. Magnetic therapy has been used for centuries by everyone from the Chinese to the ancient Greeks as a form of therapy. Today over 200 million people use magnet therapy to treat myriad diseases.

The ions in your body create small electromagnetic fields, and the magnets work to keep these fields in harmony. Pain and swelling is often a result of imbalances in these fields, and magnet therapy works to restore them to their natural state. This can result in an increased concentration of nutrients and improved blood flow in the designated area.



This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

Footwear Is Important

Footwear Is Important

Recommendation IX

Every patient with hip and knee osteoarthritis should receive advice about appropriate footwear.

There is a lot of information available about footwear and how it relates to hip and knee osteoarthritis.  Lateral wedged insoles are recommended in 12 out of 13 existing guidelines for the management of knee OA.  Three observational studies conclude that lateral wedged insoles can provide symptomatic pain relief.  However three randomized controlled studies do not support the use of lateral wedged insoles.

There haven’t been any controlled trials that supports the use of sports shoes or footwear with shock absorbing soles for treating knee osteoarthritis.

The expert opinion of the research team directs that every patient with hip and knee osteoarthritis should get advice on appropriate footwear.

The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 77%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162.


This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

Walking with a Cane

Walking Aids Help Patients with Osteoarthritis

Recommendation VII

Patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis can reduce pain by using a walking aid.

It is recommended that patients should be given instructions on how to use an assistive walking device in their contralateral hand.  So if their right knee hurts, they should be taught how to use a cane in their left hand.  Studies on how the knee moves supports using canes, and walking sticks in  patients with knee OA to improve their biomechanics.

Randomized Clinical Trials do not exist in regards to walking devices and knee OA.  However there was complete expert consensus that walking aids help reduce pain in patients with hip and knee OA.

The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 90%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162.


OARSI – Recommendation VI: Lose Weight

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July 18, 2010

This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

Weight Loss Helps OA

Weight Loss Helps OA

Recommendation VI

Patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis should be encouraged to lose weight and maintain their weight at a lower level.

Patients who are overweight should be encouraged to lose the extra pounds.  100% of the research team was in agreement on this recommendation.  Weight loss is also a core recommendation in 13 out of 14 existing guidelines for osteoarthritis treatment.  Four randomized controlled trials with data on 454 patients suffering from knee ostearthritis also support this recommendation.

The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 96%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162.


This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

Phone Calls Help OA

Phone Calls Help OA

Recommendation III

Patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis can improve their clinical status if they receive regular phone calls aimed at promoting self-care about their condition.

Monthly telephone contact from “lay personnel” where self-care is discussed and promoted with patients suffering from hip and knee osteoarthritis could be associated with improved function and a decrease in pain.  Three trials were examined where phone contact was part of a treatment program for knee osteoarthritis.

The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 66%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162.


This is a continuation of our series on the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis published in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

OARSI - OA Education

OARSI - OA Education

Recommendation II

All patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis should be educated about their condition.

The focus of education for patients with knee osteoarthritis should be self-help and patient-driven treatments rather than relying on medical professionals.  The importance of lifestyle choices such as weight loss, diet, and exercise need to be stressed.  Also an emphasis on reducing the amount of drugs a patient takes is important.

This recommendation is based on expert opinion, common sense, and economic consideration.  The research team gave this osteoarthritis treatment option a Strength of Recommendation score of 97%.

W. Zhang Ph.D., Moskowitz M.D., et al. OARSI recommendations for the management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. (2008) 16, 137-162.


knee-ice-treatment

Ice Your Arthritis

Often times physicians will recommend cold therapy to treat the pain and swelling  associated with knee osteoarthritis.  Something as simple as an ice pack wrap can make your stiff and swollen joints feel a lot better.

Ice packs reduce swelling by constricting blood vessels and decreasing fluid build-up.  They can be uncomfortable when first applied, but in a short matter of time they can numb the deep aches by reducing the ability of nerve endings to conduct impulses.

An ice pack knee wrap is a great treatment option for osteoarthritis because you can strap an ice pack to your knee, allowing a degree of mobility while icing.



PT for OA

Physical Therapy has been proven to relieve pain and stiffness as effectively as knee surgery.  A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine can be added to the laundry list of science that supports physical therapy has an effective osteoarthritis treatment.

Physical Therapy will generally provide a series of exercises to help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion.  Patients learn how to take care of their entire body in relation to their arthritic knee so they can minimize symptoms and perform activities of daily living with less pain.

Kirkley, BIrmingham, Litchfied, et al: A Randomized Trial of Arthroscopic Surgery for OSteoarthritis of the Knee.  New England Journal of Medicine, 2008.  Vol 359: 1097-1107.