Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan: Three Non-Invasive Knee Arthritis Treatments

Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan explains that among the most common forms are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the knee or knees. As a primary care physician from Stratford, Connecticut. These are two conditions that he sees time and time again. 

Also common is post-traumatic knee arthritis. While osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease primarily seen in older individuals, post-traumatic and rheumatoid knee arthritis affect people of all ages. 

One might assume that surgery, like a total or partial knee replacement, is necessary. Thankfully, that’s often not the case, as medical professionals such Dr. Thillainathan employ an ever-growing range of minimally and non-invasive treatments for knee arthritis.

Non-Invasive Treatments for Knee Arthritis

Today, there are an increasing number of non-invasive knee arthritis treatments available to patients. Among the most effective are non-steroidal medications and physical therapy, two go-to non-invasive treatments many doctors’ favor.

Physical Therapy

In some cases, it’s possible to treat symptoms of knee arthritis with physical therapy. That’s why physical therapy is often any doctor’s first avenue of exploration in dealing with the condition. Swimming, water aerobics, simple hamstring stretches, and other low-impact muscle-strengthening exercises can be massively beneficial, especially in treating early cases of knee arthritis.

Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan notes that physical therapy works by reducing the pressure on the knee or knees. Continued physical therapy also helps ensure proper joint alignment in the future. In doing so, many patients—particularly those diagnosed with post-traumatic knee arthritis—experience a significant decrease in pain tied to the condition.

Non-Steroidal Medications

Similarly valuable for treating knee arthritis are non-steroidal medications. Crucially, patients may utilize both over-the-counter and prescription-only options to counter the effects of the condition. These work by decreasing symptoms rather than by addressing root causes. Non-steroidal medications are especially effective when employed in tandem with physical therapy.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications used to treat knee arthritis include aspirin and ibuprofen – two common non-steroidal drugs. Naprosyn may also be used to treat arthritis of the knee, while more powerful prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medications must be sought from a physician.

Pain and Inflammation Injections

Where physical therapy and non-steroidal medications aren’t effective, steroid-based and other pain-focused injections are another minimally invasive treatment to explore. Steroid injections are highly effective, providing rapid but short-lasting results. Additional injections are therefore needed every month.

Knee arthritis sufferers may also wish to look into anti-inflammatory injections, including cortisone and hyaluronic acid. These are less fast-acting than steroid injections, but the results can last up to six months. 

Diagnosing knee arthritis is usually a straightforward process. For those concerned about arthritis in the knees, it is crucial to speak to a primary care provider. Providers will discuss treatment options, including non-invasive and minimally invasive options such as physical therapy, non-steroidal medications, and pain and inflammation injections.

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