How We Can Help
Osteoarthritis Treatment Information
We offer treatments to keep you active, get you healthy and reduce pain—all with the goal of improving your overall quality of life.
- Medicines. Over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen reduce joint pain. Other medicines also help.
- Corticosteroids injected into the joint reduce pain and swelling.
- Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate lubricate the joint.
- Skin creams such as Capsaicin relieve pain.
- Physical and occupational therapy. Therapists can teach you exercises that will strengthen your muscles. This stabilizes your joints and can increase motion and reduce pain.
- Exercise. IU Health exercise physiologists craft programs tailored to your goals, whether it is using weight machines that put less pressure on the joints or designing a plan for weight loss and increased activity. Some of our programs partner with area YMCAs to offer you discounted monthly membership fees.
- Weight control. Losing extra pounds and maintaining an appropriate weight for your height keeps the pressure off and brings more stability to your joints. A nutritionist can guide you in eating a healthy diet. If you are obese, losing weight is essential to treating your osteoarthritis.
- Non-surgical weight loss. A medically supervised weight loss program gives the extra support you may need for long-term weight loss. A custom plan is created for you and includes nutrition, exercise and behavioral counseling, as well as meal replacements.
- Bariatric Surgery. If you are morbidly obese, one of several bariatric surgeries may help you lose weight. Gastric band surgery, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy are options.
- Surgery. Depending on the joint involved, different surgeries can relieve pain.
- Arthroscopic surgery. This type of surgery trims damaged cartilage and repairs a torn meniscus.
- Osteotomy. Bone alignment is changed to relieve stress on a bone or joint in this type of surgery.
- Arthrodesis. A surgical fusion of bones, often done in the spine or feet, is done with this type of surgery.
- Joint replacement. If damage to the joint is severe, a total joint replacement may be necessary to reduce pain and restore motion. Surgeons often will not perform a joint replacement if you are morbidly obese. Obesity makes it difficult to perform the rehabilitation exercises needed to regain function after surgery and may directly impact how long your new joint will survive.
Osteoarthritis Locations & Physicians
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Osteoarthritis Support Services
Learn more about osteoarthritis treatments at these websites:
A Sampling of Osteoarthritis Support Services
This organization works to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related diseases, including osteoarthritis.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
The mission of this division of the National Institutes of Health is to support research into the causes, prevention and treatment of conditions like osteoarthritis. The institute trains scientists to conduct this work and distributes information to the public.
American College of Rheumatology
This international group promotes the education, treatment and research of rheumatic conditions, including osteoarthritis.