Skip to main content

Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis (OA), most symptoms can be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. If these don't work, or if OA is affecting quality of life, surgery may be an option. The earlier OA is detected and treated, the better it can be controlled and joint damage can be minimized.

The goals of OA treatment include:

  • Pain relief
  • Maintaining the greatest possible mobility and function
  • Decreasing joint deformity
  • Slowing disease progression
  • Maintaining or improving quality of life

OA is different in everyone. Working with a healthcare team that is made up of doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals is important to help find the treatments that works best for each person.

OA treatment involves the following:

Lifestyle changesMedicationsSurgeryAlternative and complementary therapiesOther treatments

Revision Information

  • ACR issues recommendations on therapies for osteoarthritis of the hand, hip, and knee. Am Fam Physician. 2013;87(7):515-516.

  • Degenerative joint disease of the hip. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated November 17, 2014. Accessed December 1, 2014.

  • Degenerative joint disease of the knee. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated November 25, 2014. Accessed December 1, 2014.

  • Osteoarthritis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: Updated August 2013. Accessed December 1, 2014.

  • Sinusas, K. Osteoarthritis: Diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2012;85(1):49-56.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. TriStar Health does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.