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Knee Support Devices as Part of a Combination Treatment Strategy for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a very common problem among people in late middle age and the senior years. Many men and women start experiencing symptoms before then. Arthritis frequently affects the knees because people put so much demand on those particular joints. To continue being active and prevent the health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle, arthritis patients may be able to reduce discomfort and increase stability by wearing knee sleeves and braces.

Statistics

About 15 percent of the global population suffers from some degree of osteoarthritis. That's more than 600 million individuals, making osteoarthritis one of the most prevalent physical disorders. It tends to develop from wear and tear on the joints over many years, although it can begin because of an acute injury.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of this condition is straightforward. After hearing the patient's description of the symptoms, the doctor performs a physical exam and schedules X-rays. X-rays confirm the initial diagnosis of arthritis in the knees or other joints. The physician wants to rule out other conditions that are unlikely, but possible. Rheumatoid arthritis is an example. This disease usually begins in the fingers and hands, but it can appear elsewhere initially.

Conservative Measures


Doctors generally prefer to start treating knee pain with conservative measures instead of opting for surgery. Patients may benefit from a combination of strategies including physical therapy, regular exercise and losing weight if that should be done. Supplements of glucosamine chondroitin are of benefit to some individuals. Wearing a knee support device from a provider such as Mueller Sports Medicine can be part of this conservative strategy.

Limited Oral Pain Medication

It becomes easy to rely on pain medication, but even over-the-counter drugs can have side effects, especially when taken daily. Acetaminophen can be hard on the liver and ibuprofen can cause intestinal ulcers. Although physical therapy and regular exercise take time and definitely aren't as simple as popping a pill, these methods are far more effective in the long run at preventing or delaying the need for surgery.

Cortisone Injections

Patients may also decide to accept the doctor's suggestion to have cortisone injections on occasion. The pain relief from these shots is remarkable and patients tend to have immensely improved mobility for a while. However, the injections cannot be used too frequently because the corticosteroids then may have negative side effects. Doctors typically recommend this form of medicine when patients are experiencing a particularly bad episode of pain or when they would appreciate the better mobility for an upcoming trip.

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