Osteoarthritis (OA) can be crippling if untreated as it disintegrates the cartilage that supports the joints of the spine, knees, hands, and spine.
This causes debilitating pain because the bones start rubbing against one another. This can impact an individual’s ability to work and perform otherwise routine activities such as standing up after being seated for a few hours.
Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler provide treatments for the knee, shoulder and other joints to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations.
Severe Effects of Osteoarthritis
OA can lead to severe pain as well as limit joint motions, sometimes to the point of disability. In general, this means that a person cannot perform the routine activities of daily life anymore, such as bending down, climbing up a flight of stairs, walking for a distance, or even getting dressed by themselves.
Osteoarthritis can also impact the ligaments and muscles. Individuals with OA can sometimes suffer from depression and helplessness due to their limitations. This can be disabling as well. In this condition, medication and physical therapy may be helpful.
In the event that the patient is unresponsive to other treatments, joint replacement surgery can usually help individuals with this debilitating condition become independent again.
There are various ways to avoid or slow down the disabling impact of osteoarthritis with pain drugs, exercise, physical therapy, and surgery. It typically takes years for OA to become severe. However, it may progress quite quickly in some cases. There are varying levels of disability, and only a doctor can diagnose a person with a disability associated with OA.
It is important to keep in perspective that all osteoarthritis patients do not become disabled by it. A person can take various steps such as exercising and losing weight to help them manage their OA and prevent disability over time.
Measures for Arthritis Pain Relief
Arthritis medication or treatment is only one element of the fight against arthritis. Some other things that an individual can do to relieve pain and enhance mobility are as follows:
The joints may ache, but not because they require rest. Osteoarthritis patients can improve their strength and flexibility, and get some pain relief from a combination of moderate stretching, weight lifting, and aerobic exercises such as water exercise classes, swimming, and cycling.
A doctor can help the patient devise an exercise regimen that offers the maximum benefits with little discomfort. In fact, there are even specific exercises to stretch the fingers.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
If a person is overweight, reducing a few pounds can help them take the strain off their joints and reduce pain.
Be Mindful of the Posture
Good posture can ease and prevent OA-related pain in the hips, back, and knees.
The patient should adapt their environment to their condition. If they have arthritis in their fingers, for example, they may require footwear that fastens with Velcro rather than laces.
Be a Part of a Support Group
It can be deeply rewarding for patients to share their experiences with others. Support groups can help the patient learn practical tips for managing arthritis.
Need for Timely Treatment
Prompt treatment can prevent OA from causing disability. According to the Arthritis Foundation, this disease is behind over 27.5 million outpatient visits annually. It is also the primary reason for joint-replacement surgery.
Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler receive patients for knee, shoulder and other joint treatments from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas. If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.