Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis (OA), most symptoms can be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. If these don't work, or if OA is affecting quality of life, surgery may be an option. The earlier OA is detected and treated, the better it can be controlled and joint damage can be minimized.The goals of OA treatment include:

  • Pain relief
  • Maintaining the greatest possible mobility and function
  • Decreasing joint deformity
  • Slowing disease progression
  • Maintaining or improving quality of life
OA is different in everyone. Working with a healthcare team that is made up of doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals is important to help find the treatments that works best for each person.OA treatment involves the following:Lifestyle changesMedicationsSurgeryAlternative and complementary therapiesOther treatments


ACR issues recommendations on therapies for osteoarthritis of the hand, hip, and knee. Am Fam Physician. 2013;87(7):515-516.

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