Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage and the formation of new bone in the joint, leading to pain, stiffness, and loss of joint mobility. While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, a variety of treatments are available to help manage the pain, swelling, and other symptoms of the disease. These treatments include medication, physical therapy, exercise, heat and cold therapy, assistive devices, and lifestyle changes.
This is the most basic treatment for patients with osteoarthritis. They are usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which may be available as tablets or capsules and have a slow onset of action (taking up to an hour) and a long duration of action (up to ten hours). These drugs work by inhibiting enzymes that create inflammatory mediators and cause pain.
For example, patients can use aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen to control their symptoms. They are sometimes used as oral medications and can also be prescribed in topical preparations applied to the skin over the affected joint.
Steroids can be injected into joints to reduce inflammation. This is used mainly in cases where symptoms have been resistant to other treatments. They are also used when severe joint pain causes significant mobility problems. They are not recommended in cases where there is minimal or no pain or when there’s fear of damage to the cartilage tissue.
Steroid injections provide more extended relief of the symptoms, but they should be applied regularly to maintain the effects.
Duloxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that was approved for the treatment of depression in adults, but it is also used to treat neuropathic pain. If you have damage to the nerve structures along with the joint and the cartilage, you will probably have an additional source of neuropathic pain that we need to treat with this type of antidepressant.
Duloxetine modulates brain chemistry and relieves pain that is constructed by the brain through disparate connections with nerve terminals.