What is Osteoarthritis?Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as Degenerative Joint Disease, affects approximately one third of all Americans. This non-inflammatory joint disease (the most common form of arthritis), is due to the breakdown of cartilage that separates bones in the joints, and can often lead to “bone on bone” contact. The painful effects of OA can be debilitating, and oftentimes can lead to permanent disability. Don’t worry, Arrowhead Health Centers has the tools and treatments you need to get on the road to living unrestricted and pain free. Here are some treatments, exercises, and stretches that can help alleviate your symptoms and get you on your way to a healthier life!
Treatment is AvailableOne of the tricky things about OA, is that every case is different. That’s why it’s important to provide you with a custom program. We will work closely with you to understand your individual symptoms and concerns, and will work with you to form a Recovery Game Plan that can include: Pain Management, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic care and Massage Therapy. Here are some of the treatments for Osteoarthritis that Arrowhead Health Centers is proud to provide:
- Hyaluronic Acid Injections – This is an FDA approved treatment used in treatment of Osteoarthritis of the knee. This treatment can help reduce swelling, inflammation and joint pain by acting as a lubricant and providing a cushioning layer in the knee joint.
- Thera-Ciser Rehabilitation – The Thera-Ciser(™) Rehabilitation program is used in joint rehabilitation to relieve pain, build muscle strength, and enhance joint stability. This is a therapeutic exercise program that uses exercise tubing and adjustable bands of varying resistance.
- Bio-D Restore – Bio-D Restore has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of OA. It entails the use stem cells and growth factor injections to promote healing by repair and reformation of lost or damaged tissue. This not only halts the damage done by OA, but also “reverses” joint damage, decreases inflammation and reduces pain.
Exercise to WinYou may think that exercising and stretching is something to avoid. Although you may experience some mild discomfort, keeping physically active can be a great long term solution. Exercise is essential to keep your muscles and ligaments strengthened, so your joints are kept in proper alignment, reducing the risk for irregular wear and tear. Another benefit of physical activity is that it promotes the circulation of synovial fluid, which reduces friction and lubricates the joints. We suggest these two low-impact stretching exercises to our patients to help keep the pain at bay. As always, be sure to consult a physician before starting any exercise regimen:
- Straight leg raises: Sitting in a chair, with your feet on the floor, straighten one leg to raise it in front of you. You can add a stretch here by pointing the toes, and then extending the foot, toes toward the ceiling. Bring the leg down and alternate. This movement uses many of the main muscle groups in the leg and can build strength in the thighs, which is helpful for knee pain.
- Pelvic Tilts: Lay down, back flat, knees bent, and feet on the floor. While tightening the buttocks, tilt and roll your pelvis towards your upper body. Hold for five to ten seconds, release, and repeat. This helps to stretch your back muscles, strengthen your abdominal muscles, release hip tension and keep your spine in alignment.
Exciting Treatments on the HorizonAlthough there are many tools that have been proven to be effective in OA treatment and management, scientists and scholars are hard at work finding new medications and treatments. These treatments are not approved for OA treatment, but are undergoing testing and trials:
- Strontium Ranelate- This dual action bone agent (DABA), currently used to treat osteoporosis, increases formation of new bone and inhibits bone breakdown. Studies indicate that it can also slow the course of osteoarthritis of the knee, reduce pain symptoms and increase function.
- Agili-C- This cartilage regeneration technology has been developed by the Israeli startup, CartiHeal. It is a surgical implant that provides the body a scaffold to build and regenerate cartilage naturally, using the body’s own stem cells. Over time, this “scaffold” is replaced by cartilage and bone, that is identical to normal joint tissue.
- Nerve Growth Factor Antibody Therapy- Nerve Growth Factor is a pain regulator that is produced naturally in our bodies, and shows increased levels with chronic pain. Developing medications aimed at targeting NGF is an innovative new concept for analgesic drugs.