First aid treatments for Osteoarthritis

First aid for osteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is a degenerative disease which can affect many joints in the body. Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint. This causes inflammation resulting in pain, stiffness and loss of function.

The pain from osteoarthritis often occurs after movement/exercise and is relieved by rest, as a result it can affect many daily activities. 

Risk factors for developing osteoarthritis include previous trauma to a joint and being overweight. There may also be a genetic element. 

In this blog post we look at some simple home first aid treatments for osteoarthritis. 

Osteoarthritis first aid: Rest!

The pain from osteoarthritis is often relieved by rest. Resting the joint allows the inflammation to subside and prevent further damage. Planning regular rest breaks during the day/activities can help reduce the pain from osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis first aid: Heat / cold treatment

Simple heat and cold treatment can help the pain and stiffness in joints. 

Heat treatment is useful for joints which are stiff and immobile. Heat packs can be purchased at most drug stores or supermarkets. Be careful when using these for long periods of time as they can cause burns.

Cold treatment is useful for painful and inflamed joints. Once again, be careful when using these as they can also cause burns!

Osteoarthritis first aid: Painkillers

Simple painkillers can help with the pain of osteoarthritis and are often first line treatments. Always seek advice from a medical professional as some painkillers can cause side effects such as stomach problems. 

Topical painkillers (eg Ibuprofen gel) may be a possibility for people who are unable to take regular oral medication. 



John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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