Diagnosing and Treating Osteoarthritis Online
Osteoarthritis, also known as wear and tear arthritis, occurs when cartilage breaks down, causing friction between the bones. Cartilage, a rubbery material that covers the bones, provides shock resistance for the joint. Osteoarthritis occurs when this cartilage begins to lose elasticity and deteriorates over time.
The condition can be caused by a number of factors including overuse, injury, genetics, obesity, and aging. Although osteoarthritis can occur in almost any joint, it’s often diagnosed in the hands, neck, and large toe, as well as the weight bearing joints (e.g. knees, hips and spine).
Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but the symptoms can be effectively managed.
During a video consult on Amwell your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to osteoarthritis. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if this is needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Treatment for osteoarthritis is different depending on the severity.
Options for treatment of osteoarthritis may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Certain exercises
- Physical therapy
- Heat and cold therapy
- Weight management
- Cortisone injections