Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease that afflicts people over the age of 65. Osteoarthritis in geriatric patients can affect the joins of the fingers, spine, hip, knees and the joints of the toes. And usually osteoarthritis does not affect the joints of the wrists, elbows, shoulders and ankles.
Aging by itself does not cause osteoarthritis in geriatric patients. Rather is caused by age-related changes that occur in the body. In addition, it can be caused due to obesity, trauma, other joint disorders or abnormalities of the joints.
The recent advances in osteoarthritis treatment ensure that many elderly people can still live a full and healthy life without allowing the disease to hamper their lives. Treating osteoarthritis in geriatric patients involves a whole gamut of measures. There has to cognitive-behavioral therapy, physical therapy, pharmaceutical therapy and at times surgery. Recent advances in treating osteoarthritis in elderly patients involves not just relieving the pain but also ensure that the patients can move around to the best of their abilities.
Treatment involves give therapy so that the patient can learn skills to cope with the disease and well as be confident when performing an activity. This has proved to be extremely helpful in improving the functioning of the patient. In addition, the patient is given exercises that help to ease the pain and restore function to the affected joint. Some patients may be advised to use adaptive aids to help them move around independently.
If the patient does not get pain relief from cognitive-behavioral therapy, then drugs are used to ease the pain. Usually the drugs used are acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Sometimes, topical creams are prescribed. This is especially for patients who have osteoarthritis in the hands and knees.
However, the most effective and most advanced treatment for osteoarthritis in elderly patients is arthroplasty. This is very effective if the disease is present in hip and knees.
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