Treatment options for osteoarthritis include medications, therapies, and procedures such as injections, osteotomy or joint replacement, according to MayoClinic.org. Treatments can help to improve joint movement and reduce pain, although they cannot cure osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis symptoms may be improved with the use of pain-relief medications such as acetaminophen. Mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis pain can be treated with acetaminophen, although this drug does not reduce inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help to reduce both inflammation and pain, although some of the stronger drugs of this class can produce negative side effects, explains MayoClinic.org.
Physical therapy can help to treat osteoarthritis pain and a reduced range of motion by helping to strengthen the muscles around a joint. A physical therapist assists patients with the creation of personalized exercise programs for the therapeutic treatment of osteoarthritis. Occupational therapy can also be used to treat osteoarthritis pain by making daily living tasks easier and less stressful on the joints, states MayoClinic.org.
Injections of cortisone can help to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis, but must be limited as this type of injection can worsen joint damage over time. Hyaluronic acid injections can also help to relieve osteoarthritis pain by providing a natural lubricant and cushioning effect in the joint, according to MayoClinic.org.
Osteotomy is a surgical procedure used for treating osteoarthritis. This surgery realigns bones to cause a shift in body weight, away from the part of a joint that is causing pain. Joint replacement surgery can treat osteoarthritis by removing damaged joint surfaces and replacing them with metal or plastic parts, reports MayoClinic.org.