Melanie C. Barron, Bernard R. Rubin. Managing Osteoarthritic Knee Pain. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2007;107(suppl_6):ES21–ES27. doi: .
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Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis seen in primary care practice. 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. Although osteoarthritis is traditionally thought of as a noninflammatory type of arthritis, inflammatory mechanisms can be present. Therefore, management of osteoarthritic pain involves both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic modes of therapy. Nonpharmacologic approaches include osteopathic manipulative treatment, physical therapy, exercise, use of assistive devices, and weight reduction. Pharmacologic options may be topical, intra-articular, or oral in route of administration and include acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and opioids. Patients often benefit from combinations of therapeutic modalities. Although pain relief is a chief motivator for patients with osteoarthritis to seek medical attention, a secondary benefit of successful treatment is slowing the decrease in patients' quality of life.
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