For Canadian residents only

Treatment Options

Do you know what treatment options are out there for osteoarthritis?

It is important to learn about the osteoarthritis treatments that could be right for you. Remember, every osteoarthritis treatment plan is as unique as you are. You and your doctor can discuss which combination of these treatment options will work best for you.

From exercise to surgery, here is a breakdown of what you need to know about available treatment options.

Remember to always talk to your doctor or healthcare professional before starting any treatment option.

Non-medicinal therapies

Education/Self management

  • Understanding how osteoarthritis progresses and ways to maintain your joint function will help you to better care for your condition.
  • Lifestyle changes may also help your osteoarthritis. This may include weight loss or exercise programs.

Physical Activity

  • Physical activity can help reduce pain and increase your range of motion by strengthening the muscles around the joint.
  • Swimming, water aerobics and cycling are just some of the activities that can help you improve strength, flexibility and joint mobility.

Don’t forget

These non-medicinal therapies can be continued while you are using other treatments for osteoarthritis.

Non-medicinal therapies

Medicinal therapies

Over-the-counter medication

  • Over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be used for osteoarthritis pain.
  • Make sure to tell your doctor about any over-the-counter medications you are taking.

Prescription NSAIDS/COX-2 inhibitors

  • Your doctor may prescribe a prescription pain medication to help relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.
  • Prescription NSAIDS and COX-2 inhibitors are a useful short-term option to help relieve your pain.
  • Always follow your doctor’s instructions when taking prescription medications
Medicinal therapies

Intra-articular Injections

Viscosupplementation

  • A gel-like substance (hyaluronic acid) is injected into the joint. This acts like synovial fluid to lubricate the joint, help reduce your pain and improve your range of motion.
  • Synvisc-One® can provide pain relief over 6 months.

Viscosupplementation can help you get back to your daily activities and may reduce the use of over-the-counter pain medication.

Click here to learn more about Synvisc-One.

Intra-articular corticosteroids

  • Steroid or cortisone injections are injected directly into your joint to relieve the pain and swelling of osteoarthritis.
  • With repeated use corticosteroid injections may lead to cartilage damage. For this reason, they are not recommended to be used more than 4 times per year.
Intra-articular Injections

Surgery

Total knee replacement

  • Total knee replacement may be an option for patients with severe osteoarthritis when other therapies are not working.
  • This therapy helps to effectively reduce osteoarthritis pain, and improve the quality of life of patients who have not responded to other treatments.
  • This therapy is costly and invasive and, like any other surgery, there is a risk of complications.

Always remember to talk to your doctor before starting any treatment for osteoarthritis.

Surgery