Osteoarthritis Treatments

Your physician will determine your specific treatment for osteoarthritis based on:

  • Your age, overall health and medical history
  • The extent of the condition
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures and therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference

Arthritic Hip Joint

The goals of osteoarthritis treatment are to reduce joint pain and stiffness and improve joint movement. Treatment may include:

  • Exercise: Regular aerobic exercise and stretching and strengthening exercises may help reduce the symptoms and pain associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Heat treatment: Treating the affected joint with heat may help reduce pain.
  • Physical and occupational therapy: Physical and occupational therapy may help reduce joint pain, improve joint flexibility when performing daily activities and reduce joint strain. Splints and other assistive devices may also be used.
  • Weight maintenance: Maintaining your recommended weight or losing weight (if overweight) may help prevent or reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
  • Medication: Medication for specific symptoms may include pain relievers (in pill form or topical cream) and anti-inflammatory medications, if inflammation is present.
  • Injections of thick liquids into the joints: These liquids mimic normal joint fluid.
  • Joint surgery: Surgery may be necessary to repair or replace a severely damaged joint.