When your body is hurting it can be hard to focus on everyday tasks. Treatment for common injuries and pains doesn’t always have to include surgery. Here at the Orthopedic Institute, we focus on the best and least invasive ways to get you back to yourself again.
The goal of treatment for arthritis and other pain is to improve your quality of life. What that means is different for each individual. Many people are looking for pain relief, while others want decreased stiffness, better stability, or simply want to be able to do an activity like play golf. There are many ways that we can try to accomplish these goals prior to considering surgery.
Non-operative treatments include:
- Diet/Weight Loss: Especially for arthritis in the weight bearing portion of the body such as hips and knees, diet and weight loss can be helpful. Every time you stand up you transmit 6 times your body weight through your knees. Therefore, if you could lose 10 pounds it would be like taking 60 pounds off of your knees.
- Activity Modification: Avoiding aggravating activities such as jogging, deep squatting, kneeling, walking up stairs, and hills can help take the pressure off of your hips and knees. Lower impact activities such as walking on a level surface, biking, and water exercises are good ways to be active, but not stress your weight bearing joints. Wearing supportive shoes such as tennis shoes instead of sandals and flip flops is also helpful. *It is important to always consult your healthcare provider prior to starting an exercise regimen.
- Therapy: Physical Therapy can be helpful to maintain or improve your motion, strength, balance, and endurance. Once stiffness sets, in it can be difficult to get that motion back even after surgery, so it is best to keep your motion…[read more]
- Bracing: Some patients with arthritis feel like their joints are unsteady and will not support them at times potentially causing falls. Braces can be helpful to decrease these episodes of instability.
- Medications: Oral anti-inflammatory medication can decrease pain and swelling associated with arthritis allowing you to be more active. Not all patients should use anti-inflammatory medications. It is important to always consult your healthcare provider prior to starting any anti-inflammatory regimen.
- Injections: Both steroid (cortisone) and viscosupplementation (lubrication) injections can be helpful to decrease the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Decreasing the pain can help improve your range of motion, stability, and allow you to get back to activities you enjoy doing.