Osteoarthritis treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions
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Can a doctor treat osteoarthritis on Maple?
Yes. In some cases, a doctor from Maple will be able to offer an osteoarthritis diagnosis by discussing your symptoms and evaluating your condition.
The doctor may request you to visit a clinic to receive a physical exam and check the affected joints for tenderness, redness, swelling or reduced flexibility. As well, the doctor may request imaging (X-Ray, MRI) or lab (blood, joint fluid) tests in order to confirm the diagnosis.
Can I get a prescription on Maple?
Yes, our physicians can prescribe medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.
You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (also called degenerative joint disease) is the most common form of arthritis. It affects millions of people worldwide.
Typically, this disease is associated with the breakdown of articular cartilage in joints. It can occur in almost any joint across the body, though it most frequently affects weight-bearing joints like spine, knees and hips.
Is osteoarthritis an inflammatory disease?
No, but in some cases it can cause inflammation.
Although there are other forms of arthritis that are listed as inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis), technically osteoarthritis is considered a ‘wear-and-tear’ form of arthritis.
As osteoarthritis progresses, bone fragments can break off and irritate the smooth lining of a joint (synovium), causing inflammation. As well, osteoarthritis x-ray tests sometimes detect synovitis (inflammation of the synovium), even when the joint cartilage appears normal.
What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?
Common osteoarthritis symptoms include:
- Bone spurs (hard bone fragments that feel like lumps around a joint)
- Pain or achiness
- Grating sensation when using the joint
- Loss of mobility
What causes osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis causes can be traced to the deterioration of the cartilage, which cushions the ends of bones in your joints.
Eventually, if the cartilage deteriorates completely the bones will rub directly against the joint walls, reducing flexibility and causing discomfort.
There are a number of osteoarthritis risk factors which can increase your chances of developing the disease, including:
- Gender (this condition is more common in women)
- Joint injuries
- Repetitive stress on joints
- Bone deformities
- Age (risk increases with age)
- Some metabolic disease causing increased levels of iron
How is osteoarthritis treated?
While there is no osteoarthritis cure at this time, there are a number of osteoarthritis treatment guidelines that can help minimize symptoms when followed.
Osteoarthritis treatment options include:
- Medicinal options (Acetaminophen, Duloxetine, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Therapy treatments (Physical, occupational)
- Surgical (Joint replacement, bone realignment, cortisone or lubrication injections, joint fusion, arthroscopy)
How can osteoarthritis be prevented?
There are a number of things that can be done to assist with osteoarthritis prevention, particularly in those already at high risk for developing the disease.
Some commonly suggested techniques for reducing osteoarthritis and joint inflammation include:
- Exercise regularly
- Lose weight
- Movement therapies
- Braces (to assist with weight distribution)
- Insoles for shoes
- Applying heat and cold alternatively when sore
- Applying capsaicin on sore joints
- Using assistive devices to maintain healthy movement patterns
What is Maple?
With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare app for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.
You simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.
Our doctors can assess symptoms, and provide treatment, including prescriptions as necessary.
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