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Can Osteoarthritis Be Reversed?

Can Osteoarthritis Be Reversed?

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has named the month of May Arthritis Awareness Month. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disorder, and while it can’t be reversed, we offer some services to help slow it down — and have some tips to help you manage your symptoms.

David Dickerson, MD, and Shawn Denning, DNP, at Performance Orthopaedics encourage all of our patients to exercise regularly. However, they realize that some patients have osteoarthritis and that can make exercise difficult. We offer some services that may help, and we frequently suggest some lifestyle changes that may help you live more comfortably. 

Arthritis is more than one disease

Before we get into how you might deal with osteoarthritis, we should talk about what arthritis is. In short, arthritis is a collection of different conditions and not just a single disease. All types of arthritis affect the joints, and there are more than 100 different conditions that are considered arthritis.
Of all those different conditions, osteoarthritis is the most common. About half of all cases of arthritis are osteoarthritis, and it largely affects older people.

People who have an injury, athletes, and people with physically demanding jobs have a slightly higher risk of developing osteoarthritis. The condition develops over time, so your risk increases with age.

When you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage that provides cushioning for your joints begins to degrade. At the same time your body produces less of a lubricant called synovial fluid. Those two factors lead to tenderness, swelling, and inflammation in your joints.

There’s no going back

Unfortunately, there’s no cure or way to reverse the damage of osteoarthritis. It’s a progressive condition, which means that it gets worse as time goes on.

Although there’s no cure, we can help to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. At the same time, we can help you learn to manage your symptoms.

Treatments for osteoarthritis

An important thing to know about osteoarthritis is that strong muscles support weak joints. If your knee is affected, for example, you’ll want to do plenty of exercises to keep all of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments strong and flexible.

We often recommend physical therapy for people with osteoarthritis so that you can learn specific movements to build strength and to keep the tissues around your joints flexible and improve your range of motion.

In some instances, your joint may be damaged enough that you need surgery. For example, if you have osteoarthritis in your shoulder, you may need surgery to clean up fragments of cartilage so that you can move the joint. 

We offer minimally invasive surgical procedures, which help you heal faster than traditional surgery, and expose you to less risk of complications. 

Get help

Since osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, we suggest you seek treatment as soon as you notice pain, stiffness, swelling, or tenderness. The sooner you know what’s causing the problem, the sooner we can take measures to slow the disease.

Schedule your appointment at Performance Orthopedics today, and preserve your joints.

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