Non-Surgical Treatment for Arthritis

BIDMC Contributor Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

APRIL 17, 2018

Woman StretchingPain, swelling and limited mobility are all common symptoms of arthritis. But these limitations don't have to get you down — there are many treatment options to help you get back to your favorite activities, and not all include surgery. When you visit the Hip and Knee Arthritis Center at BIDMC, our multidisciplinary team will work with you to get you back to pain-free living as soon as possible.

For many, after an initial assessment, your doctor may suggest non-surgical treatments. "In the early stages of arthritis, surgery can sometimes be delayed by other options," says joint replacement surgeon Ayesha Abdeen, MD, FRCSC. "It depends on the severity of your pain as well as the degree of damage in your knee or hip."

Those with early-stage arthritis may benefit from treatments such as:

Physical Therapy

In arthritic joints, stiffness and pain can worsen if you're not being active enough. Physical therapists can teach you how to work out this stiffness and improve your mobility. They will provide a tailored strengthening and stretching program and a range of therapeutic techniques that will relieve stress on your joints.

Medications and Injections

Your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications to ease the pain. Injecting corticosteroids (often called cortisone shots) can also help target joint inflammation thus reducing pain.

Integrative Care Techniques

Integrative medicine treatments such as acupuncture or massage, and various forms of exercise, such as yoga, may help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. These non-surgical treatments can provide some patients with several months or even years of relief. "But when these treatments are no longer effective in relieving day-to-day arthritis symptoms, you may wish to consider joint replacement surgery," Abdeen says.

BIDMC offers state-of-the-art surgical care and expertise in minimally invasive joint replacement surgery.

"We understand that hip and knee disorders such as arthritis can significantly impact your life," Abdeen says. "The comprehensive care you'll receive at BIDMC is aimed at improving your quality of life, and we'll be there with you every step of the way on your road to recovery."

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

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