What is osteoarthritis (OA)?
What cause OA?
- genetic factors
- stresses on joints
Is there anything you can do to help prevent osteoarthritis?
- Maintain your body weight: For every pound you are over your ideal body weight, you can exert up to 4 lbs. of extra pressure on the joints. A healthy body mass index (BMI) ranges from 18.5-24.9. The BMI is often calculated every time you go to the doctor.
Normal Weight: 18.5 to 24.99
Morbid Obesity: >40
*So if you are 20 pounds overweight, you are exerting up to 80 pounds of extra pressure on the joints. If you would like to know your BMI.
- Exercise, but participate in low impact activities such as: cycling, rowing machine, yoga, swimming, water aerobic, and elliptical.
- Supplements: Glucosamine chondroitin may help with relief of pain, though according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons “there is no proof that either substance, taken singly or in combination, will actually slow the degenerative process or restore arthritic joints.”
- See you doctor: Make an appointment with an orthopedist here at Kansas City Bone & Joint. You can make an appointment by calling 913-381-5225. We often perform x-rays of the painful joint. If you are having pain, it is best to know if you have arthritis or another condition.
General Treatment for OA
- RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation)
- NSAIDs: These medications decrease inflammation and relieve pain. Over the counter examples include Aleve, Advil and Ibuprofen.
- Physical Therapy: Therapy can help build stronger muscle to compensate for the degenerative changes.
- Surgery: The most predictable surgery for arthritis is a joint replacement. You should exhaust all non-operative treatment measures, and try to aim toward you ideal body weight. The higher the BMI, the more risk involved for surgery.
Author: Darci Mertz