Nonpharmacological therapy for osteoarthritis
Hi, my uncle is a 67-year-old man, calls to seek advice after receiving a diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knees. He says that he has chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and is obese. My uncle hopes to limit the number of medications he takes and asks if there are any exercises or other nonpharmacologic therapies that may aid in easing the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Can anybody could recommend anything?
@vatan Data indicate that nonpharmacologic therapies such as exercise may improve function and offer pain relief. Study results suggest that a combination of aerobic and strengthening exercises would address osteoarthritis-related symptoms. However, your uncle should speak to his physician about setting up an individualized exercise plan. The results of a study show that patients who are obese or overweight find pain relief with at least 10% weight loss over 18 months.
Ice therapy is also recommended when patients with osteoarthritis are experiencing pain or swelling. Patients should apply ice to the injured area in 15- to 20-minute increments at least 3 or 4 times a day. The ice, which patients should not place directly on the skin without a damp cloth or a bag, should be applied for no longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, as direct application can result in blisters, burning, or vasoconstriction that reduces vascular removal of inflammatory mediators.