Other Treatments For Osteoarthritis
Glucosamine is a natural substance found in the body, formed by the combination of glucose and glutamine. Glucosamine is found mostly within cartilage, and helps to keep cartilage healthy. Scientists believe that joint cartilage is constantly rebuilding itself with new healthy cartilage replacing old, damaged cartilage 6. Several studies suggest that 2000 mg of glucosamine will provide some degree of pain relief and improve joint function after eight weeks of supplementation 5.
Leech therapy has proven to be an effective means of relieving symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine 35 reported that in a randomized trial with 50 patients, 7 days of treatment with 4-6 leeches resulted in greater pain relief than using 28 days of topical diclofenac treatment. Leech therapy is an old folk remedy that holds some merit. The leech saliva may contain anti-inflammatory substances.
Physical activity benefits those with osteoarthritis. Simple home-based exercise programs utilizing elastic bands decrease the pain of knee osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Foundation developed water-based programs and walking programs specifically for people with osteoarthritis. More information about exercise and arthritis can be found on the Exercise and Arthritis page of this site.
Knee taping is an effective treatment for the management of pain and disability for those suffering from knee osteoarthritis 24. Knee taping may relieve pain by improving the alignment of the patellofemoral joint, which lessens the strain on inflamed tissues 24. Knee taping can be learned by individuals with osteoarthritis. The taping is especiallyeffective for those who participate in activities which might be potentially aggravating to the knee. Tape can often be worn for several weeks at a time and is a relatively simple way to decrease the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
*Photo from British Medical Journal 24