Rubin BR. Management of Osteoarthritic Knee Pain. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2005;105(suppl_4):S23–S28. doi: .
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common forms of arthritis seen in primary care practice. The pain associated with this condition is the chief complaint of most patients, prompting them to seek medical attention. Pain can originate from the synovial membrane, joint capsule, periarticular muscles and ligaments, and periosteum and subchondral bone, among other sources. Osteoarthritis is traditionally thought of as a noninflammatory type of arthritis; however, inflammatory mechanisms can be present. Therefore, the management of osteoarthritic pain involves nonpharmacologic modes of therapy as well as pharmacologic agents. Nonpharmacologic therapeutic modalities include osteopathic manipulative treatment, physical therapy, exercise, use of assistive devices, and weight reduction. Pharmacologic options, categorized as topical, intra-articular, or oral, include acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, and cyclooxygenase type 2 inhibitors. Patients often benefit from use of a combination of these therapeutic modalities.
Although pain relief is a chief motivator for patients with OA to seek medical attention, a secondary benefit of successful treatment is to delay the decreased quality of life associated with osteoarthritic pain.
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