- Primary healthcare physicians are your first line of defense. They take care of most osteoarthritis patients—primarily those with mild-to-moderate osteoarthritis.
- Physical therapists, also called physiotherapists, work with patients to improve joint function and reduce pain with methods other than medications, including various exercises, relaxation techniques, and applications of heat and cold.
- Occupational therapists teach osteoarthritis patients how to protect their joints, minimize pain, and conserve energy. They also train patients on how best to carry out the everyday tasks.
- Nurses, registered or nurse practitioners, help patients understand and manage their osteoarthritis and overall health on an everyday basis. They help design, explain, implement, and track treatment plans, and they act as liaisons between the patient and the doctor.
- Physiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in patient rehabilitation. They mostly use methods other than medications to help patients regain as much function as possible and make the most of their remaining physical potential.
- Orthopedists are surgeons who specialize in the treatment of diseases of bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. They perform surgical procedures such as joint injections and joint replacement on osteoarthritis patients.
- Rheumatologists are internists who specialize in treating arthritis and related conditions that affect joints, muscles, and bones. They typically take care of rheumatoid arthritis and the more difficult and advanced cases of osteoarthritis.
- Psychologists help patients cope with difficulties in the home and the workplace that result from their conditions. For patients with chronic pain, treatments such as behavioral and cognitive therapy can be valuable additions to the use of medications.
- Social workers assist patients with social challenges caused by disability, unemployment, financial hardship, home healthcare, and other needs resulting from their conditions.
A Answers (1)
RealAge answeredThese healthcare professionals treat people with osteoarthritis: