A new diagnosis of arthritis can be overwhelming. You may feel inclined to research about your specific type of arthritis as well as treatment options, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes that seem drastic. It can be comforting to know that you are not alone. Nearly 1 in 4 adults in the United States have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis.
Learn About Your Specific Type of Arthritis
Arthritis is a generic term for joint inflammation, but it is not a single disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. The typical symptoms include joint swelling, stiffness, pain, and reduced range of motion. Certain types of arthritis can also affect major organs.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and the type of arthritis that Personalized Stem Cells talks about most. OA is sometimes thought of as wear-and-tear on the joints and can affect people of any age. OA occurs when the smooth cartilage that cushions our joints breaks down, causing the affected joints to become painful, swollen, and hard to move. It is referred to as a degenerative disease because it typically starts gradually and worsens over time. Risk factors of OA include excess weight, family history of OA, older age, and previous trauma such as an injury.
Treatments for Arthritis
Your arthritis treatment will depend on the type of arthritis that you have. Arthritis treatments can include medications, non-drug therapies (i.e., hot/cold therapy, braces, physical therapy), integrative therapies (i.e., supplements, massage, acupuncture), healthy lifestyle changes, and surgery.
For osteoarthritis, healthy lifestyle changes may be a big part of your treatment plan. For instance, physical activity and weight loss can both contribute to reduced symptoms of osteoarthritis. Other potential treatment options include prescription and non-prescription pain medications, topical pain relievers, and joint injections such as corticosteroids.
The future of osteoarthritis treatments?
As we mentioned above, osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, meaning it worsens over time. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for osteoarthritis. The good news is that doctors and scientists continue to research new potential treatment options. One of our goals here at Personalized Stem Cells is to conduct FDA approved clinical trials and obtain enough positive data to eventually make adipose derived stem cell therapy a readily available treatment option for people suffering with OA. The results from our initial clinical trial for knee OA were very promising and we plan to launch a phase 2 clinical trial soon. Stay tuned!