Treatment for secondary OA aims to relieve pain, reduce stiffness, and increase range of motion and joint function. It may also help prevent the condition from progressing.
Treatment options include:
Research shows that a combination of aerobic and resistance exercises can help reduce pain and improve physical function.
Exercise can also help strengthen muscles, increase endurance, and improve flexibility. An exercise program for OA may include:
People will need to avoid any activities that worsen their symptoms or put extra strain on the joints.
Losing excess weight can help reduce stress on the joints.
In people with knee OA, losing 1 pound (lb) of body weight may relieve 4 lb of pressure exerted on the knees.
Losing excess weight may also help:
Devices such as braces, splints, and walking canes may help stabilize the joints and relieve extra pressure.
Moreover, if joints are out of alignment, corrective devices, such as orthotics or knee braces, may help.
Certain medications may help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. These may include:
If other treatments are ineffective, a person is experiencing severe joint damage, or OA is negatively affecting the person’s day-to-day life, surgery may be necessary.
In an osteotomy, a surgeon will remove a piece of bone close to the damaged joint in order to shift weight away from that joint.
Another surgical option for OA is partial or total joint replacement, depending on the extent of damage to the joint. This involves removing part or all of the joint to replace it with an artificial one made from plastic, ceramic, or metal.