Accoding to the A.D.A.M Medical Encyclopedia, Osteoarthritis (OA) is due to aging and wear and tear on a joint. To date, we still don't know what the exact cause of OA is, however we find that it is mainly related to aging and joint trauma (whether dramatic or repetitive).
The short answer to “is there a cure?” is no. Unfortunately, OA will most likely worsen over time, however the symptoms can be controlled. Commonly, best practice guidlines initially recommend conservative care to relieve symptoms. Your GP may recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol) initially, however if pain persists your doctor may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aprin, ibuprofen.
There is some good research to suggest that lifestyle changes such as staying active and exercise, along with losing weight will provide long lasting benefits. It is recommended that this is undertaken in the early stages, as if left too long, the pain from OA may worsen, making it difficult to perform these taks.
Further to these changes, it is well document that professions such as chiropractic and physiotherapy can assist in the function of the joints, improve balance and movement. Usually a course of 6-8 weeks is necessary as a clinical trial to determine if you are a candidate for this treatment. Unfortunately, if there are no functional or symptomatic changes after this period, it is likely that it won't work for you.
The last resort for serious cases of OA is surgery. This may involve a joint replacement, or arthroscopic surgery to trim torn and damaged cartilage.
As chiropractors, we often see that good spinal health results in lower rates of degenerative changes in the spine. This involves good posture, good movement and good nutrition.
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