Osteoarthritis(OA) of the knee is a painful and debilitating inflammatory condition that affects millions of Americans. The CDC estimates that 1 in 2 people will get symptomatic knee OA in their lifetime. Many of these people are healthy, middle-aged individuals who may not be ready to have a knee replacement. Others are simply not candidates for surgery. What are their treatment options?
First and foremost, a healthy and active lifestyle should be promoted. One pound of weight gained is equal to four pounds of extra pressure on the knee joint. While weight loss will not “cure” OA, it can relieve some of the symptoms and slow the progression of joint deterioration. Mild to moderate exercise keeps the joints mobile, helps decrease inflammation, and increases strength and flexibility.
In addition to diet and exercise, recent studies have shown that OA bracing can provide pain relief and a return to desired activity levels. OA braces, also known as unloaders, come in many different styles, but they all function to relieve the pressure from the affected aspect of the knee. It is important when selecting an OA brace that you work with your practitioner to find a brace that you are comfortable with and that fits your lifestyle. If you have any questions about OA bracing, please ask your physician if this is an option for you. The links below show a short informational slide show about osteoarthritis, and a brochure detailing Eschen’s OA bracing solutions.
OA rack card (2)