Treatment Options

Physical Therapy

The goal is to get you back to the point where you can perform normal, everyday activities without difficulty.

  • Preserving good range of motion is key to maintaining the ability to perform daily activities.
  • Physical therapists provide exercises designed to preserve the strength and use of your joints.
    • Show you the best way to move from one position to another.
    • Teach you how to use walking aids.

Walking Aids

Your doctor may recommend a cane, walker or brace.


  • Analgesics, pain relievers, may provide temporary relief of arthritis pain. Aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen are traditional pain relievers.
  • Topical pain relievers are another option. Over-the-counter patches, rubs and ointments can provide quick pain relief for people with arthritis that is in just a few joints — such as a hand — or whose pain isn't severe.


Glucosamine and chondroitin may relieve joint pain.

  • Occur in the body naturally; vital to normal cartilage function.
  • Researchers are also studying chondroitin for use in making medicines more effective and helping to prevent blood clots (anticoagulant).
  • Not FDA approved.
  • Warrant further in-depth studies on their safety and effectiveness, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
  • May help osteoarthritis pain and improve function.1, 2

Some studies indicate that glucosamine may help as much as ibuprofen in relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis, particularly in the knee, with fewer side effects.3

Side Effects

These arthritis supplements are generally well tolerated. However, side effects can occur. The most commonly reported side effects are:

  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Heartburn.
  • Increased intestinal gas.

See your doctor for complete information.