OCEAN COUNTY – Arthritis is the wear and tear of the joint cartilage. It is similar to wearing out of the tire tread. The symptoms are usually joint pain, swelling and limitation of movement. The knee joint, hip joint, spine or any other joint can be affected. The most common cause is excessive joint overuse/loading (at work or in sports).
Obesity, previous knee injury, female gender and muscle weakness are well-known risk factors. The prevalence of knee osteoarthritis increases with age.
What can be done?
Management of osteoarthritis is focused on symptom relief, reduction of activity limitation and physical dysfunction, and improving quality of life. A common problem is patients limiting their activities due to arthritis. While staying active and moving may be painful, it is actually a crucial step to promote healing.
In fact, decreased activity has been shown to make arthritis worse.
Conservative treatments begin with weight reduction (if necessary) and stretching/
strengthening exercises to improve stability. Braces and orthotics to improve the
biomechanics are also helpful. Pain control with oral and topical medications
along with joint injections of steroids and hyaluronic acid (joint lubricant) are
helpful to reduce symptoms.
Newer approaches with PRP (platelet rich plasma) joint injections and stem cell transplantation have emerged as promising treatment options. Surgery remains the last resort if someone does not improve with conservative management.
Garden State Medical Center is staffed with the area’s leading pain management specialists.
We can work with you to help take better care of your body by promoting healthy joints, staying pain free and becoming more active.
For more information, call: 732-202-3000