An exciting new type of arthritis medication is now available for osteoarthritis sufferers. ‘COX-2 inhibitors’ relieve pain without the side effects of traditional medications.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It is due to the wearing away of two bones, where they meet to form a joint. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain and stiffness in the joint.
The most frequently involved joints are in the hands, feet, spine (spondylosis), hips and knees. Osteoarthritis is more common in women and increases with age.
- Gentle exercises, walking, swimming, water exercises, Tai Chi, yoga, cycling
- Reduce weight if overweight
- Walking stick
- Anti-inflammatory creams or gels, or capsaicin cream
- Anti-inflammatory tablets and suppositories (NSAIDS)
- Physiotherapy, acupuncture
- Relaxation techniques
- Cortisone injections
- Joint surgery or replacement
Drugs for osteoarthritis
Because of its safety, paracetamol is the preferred painkiller for osteoarthritis.The traditional anti-inflammatory medications (diclofenac, naproxen) are more effective in relieving symptoms. However, their use is limited by the risk of stomach ulcers and kidney damage, especially in the elderly.
The new COX-2 inhibitors (e.g. celecoxib) are just as effective as the old anti-inflammatory drugs but cause less stomach or kidney upsets. They are a major advance in the treatment of all types of arthritis and will be of special benefit to patients who cannot tolerate existing medication.
New knee injection
'Synvisc' is another new treatment for knee osteoarthritis. It is injected into the knee and can relieve pain and improve mobility for up to 9 months. Synvisc helps lubricate the knee and restores shock-absorbing ability. The 3 injections are given at one-week intervals and cost $444.50.
A proven ‘natural’ remedy
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate are safe, natural products found in shark cartilage. They have been shown to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis but may takes several weeks to work. They can be taken alone or in shark cartilage capsules.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.Source: Summer 1999 Edition | Page 1
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