Non-surgical knee arthritis treatments can provide significant relief from knee arthritis pain and discomfort.
Oral medications are usually the first treatment for knee arthritis. Aspirin or other pain relievers may be prescribed to reduce discomfort and swelling. Glucosamine and chondroitin are supplements that can decrease the symptoms of knee arthritis. These are made up of molecules found in cartilage, and therefore might aid the body in restoring mobility. Both glucosamine and chondroitin need to be taken for an extended period of time (generally around three months) before reaching their full effect. Patients should consult an experienced doctor like Dr. Backe about arthritis to see if oral medication is the ideal treatment for their situation.
Cortisone (corticosteroid) is a powerful anti-inflammatory hormone that is injected directly into the affected area to decrease joint swelling which, as a result, increases mobility and function. While corticosteroids reduce inflammation, they are not pain relievers. Any pain that is lessened occurs from the reduced inflammation. Many of Dr. Backe’s patients choose to receive cortisone injections because of the treatment’s rapid inflammation relief, dependability, and minimal side effects. Another advantage to cortisone injections is their ability to be easily administered right in the doctor’s office. The effects of a cortisone shot do not last for an extended period of time, and multiple injections may need to be administered each year. However, Dr. Backe recommends no more than four cortisone injections per year, as numerous injections can actually wear on the area and do more harm.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic Acid injections are a new treatment for knee arthritis in recent years. This acid is found naturally in the synovial fluid that surrounds the joints. This fluid allows joints to flex and move smoothly by lubricating the bones and joints. By also acting as a shock absorber, hyaluronan prevents the bones from bearing the full force of impact during walking. These injections are typically given as a series of three shots spread one week apart.