If you think osteoarthritis affects only older people, you may be surprised to learn that at least half of all adults with the condition are under the age of 65. The best way to slow down the progressive pain and joint stiffness is with early treatment from Ariel D. Teitel, MD. Dr. Teitel is an experienced rheumatologist who has helped many patients maintain mobility with customized osteoarthritis care. At the first signs of joint pain, call the office near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York City, or book an appointment online today.
Osteoarthritis develops gradually as cartilage breaks down, a problem that occurs with daily wear and tear. This cartilage covers the ends of bones in the joint, where it supports smooth movement.
As more of the cartilage degenerates, other changes occur in the joint. Bone spurs develop, ligaments and tendons deteriorate, and the tissues lining the joint become inflamed.
When osteoarthritis reaches an advanced stage, so much cartilage is gone that the bones rub together and the joint suffers extensive damage.
You can develop osteoarthritis in any joint, including your fingers, toes, neck, and lower back. However, it most often affects your large, weight-bearing joints, such as your knees and hips.
Osteoarthritis gets progressively worse over the years, causing symptoms such as:
At first, the pain gets worse when you’re active and improves with rest. As the disease progresses, the pain lasts longer and you struggle to stay active.
There’s no cure for osteoarthritis, so Dr. Teitel focuses on relieving your symptoms and maintaining healthy joint function. He creates the best treatment plan based on the number of joints involved and the severity of your symptoms.
Though each person receives customized care, the basic elements of osteoarthritis treatment include:
Exercise is essential for maintaining healthy joints and improving your osteoarthritis symptoms because it:
Many patients benefit from physical therapy, which can help them learn safe exercises that won’t stress their joints.
If you’re overweight, losing weight significantly reduces the stress on your joints. Just 10 pounds of excess weight increases the pressure on your knees by 30-60 pounds.
Dr. Teitel recommends over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and topical pain relievers. If your pain doesn’t improve with NSAIDs, he may prescribe a medication like duloxetine.
Dr. Teitel performs steroid and hyaluronic acid joint injections under ultrasound guidance. Steroids reduce joint inflammation, while hyaluronic acid restores natural joint lubrication.
Your symptoms may improve with surgery to clear away damaged tissues and bone fragments in the joint. Once osteoarthritis reaches an advanced stage, a joint replacement may be your best option.
Early treatment preserves your joint and maintains movement as long as possible. To get the help you need, call Ariel D. Teitel, MD, or book an appointment online today.