Degenerative arthritis, or osteoarthritis, is treated with pain medication prescribed by a physician, physical therapy and occupational therapy, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Surgery is a last resort. Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are ways a person with degenerative arthritis can engage in self-treatment.
Physical and occupational therapy help improve strength for arthritis patients, notes the Arthritis Foundation. Eating a healthy diet, along with managing stress or depression, and balancing rest with activity are also important for arthritis management and overall health. Only one pound of body fat causes four pounds of pressure on the joints of the knees, which is why weight control, or weight loss in some cases, is so important.