Non-Pharmacological Therapies for Osteoarthritis of the Hand, Hip, and Knee

Conservative care for knee osteoarthritis

Non-Pharmacological Therapies for Osteoarthritis of the Hand, Hip, and Knee

Recent recommendations from The Canadian Medical Association represent a monumental shift in pain management. Physicians, now more than ever are recommending conservative pain management strategies including but not limited to: low-impact exercise, acupuncture and massage therapy as part of a multidimensional treatment approach for patients suffering from osteoarthritis related pain.

Wear and tear associated with osteoarthritis is common in the general population, the good news is that there are a number of non-pharmacological therapies that have been shown to improve function in patients who suffer from osteoarthritis related pain:
Massage Therapy - Has been shown to provide pain relief for osteoarthritis of the knee (Perlman et al. 2019)
Self-Acupressure - Has been shown to provide pain relief for osteoarthritis of the knee (Li et al. 2018)
Joint Mobilizations - Has been shown to provide pain relief for osteoarthritis of the knee (Courtney et al. 2016)
Acupuncture - Has been shown to yield short and long-term improvement in function and pain relief in patients who suffer from osteoarthritis related knee pain (Lin et al. 2016Vickers et al. 2018).
Low Impact Exercise - Has been shown to have a significant impact not only on patient symptoms and physical function, but also on intake of painkillers and sick leave (Skou et al. 2017).

Key Take Home

Non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions are being embraced by the medical community because they are often simple to carry out, economical, and have relatively minor side effects. There are a number of non-pharmacological options for osteoarthritis that patients can discuss with their physician. None of these options are a panacea, but they may help you put together an individualized multi-modal program to manage osteoarthritis related symptoms.

More to Explore

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