Osteoarthritis can be effectively managed with medicine, exercise and in some cases surgery.
The amount of damage to the joints and the severity of symptoms can also vary. For example, a joint may be severely damaged without causing symptoms, or symptoms may be severe without affecting the movement of a joint.
A diagnosis of osteoarthritis is done through a combination of a history and physical examination and possibly X-rays. Blood tests may also be done to exclude other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but the symptoms can be eased with a number of different treatments. These include non-drug treatments such as physiotherapy and weight loss, medicine such as painkillers, and surgery.
Mild symptoms can often be assisted by exercise, wearing suitable footwear and using other types of devices to assist day to day functioning. More advanced cases of osteoarthritis may require other treatments.
Arthritis Australia provides more information on osteoarthritis through their website at www.arthritisaustralia.com.au, or by calling their Arthritis Information Line on 1800 011 041.
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Last reviewed: June 2018