● Osteoarthritis is one of the most common ailments affecting 10% of men and 13% of women over the age of 60 in the U.S. 1 It is an extremely common source of morbidity often leading to disability and reduced quality of life. It can also be extremely challenging to treat. Knowing your options for management is important for developing a long term treatment strategy with your physician.
● Pain Management – NSAIDS including Ibuprofen and Naproxen are first line treatments for pain relief due to osteoarthritis. Steroid Injections are commonly used for certain joints and may provide effective relief. Of all available interventions, Physical Therapy has been shown to be the second most effective intervention for both managing pain relief and preventing disease progression.
● Preventing Disease Progression – Weight Loss has been shown to be the most important intervention for preventing disease progression and pain relief. Gel Injections are typically made from Hyaluronic acid, an important precursor to tissue cartilage. These are typically widely available although the evidence for their efficacy is mixed.
● Platelet rich plasma (PRP) – involves taking a blood draw and then spinning the plasma solution until the platelet layer settles at the bottom. This hyper-concentrated solution is then injected into the painful joint. Platelets are chalked full of the body’s own signaling factors that promote tissue regeneration