Nonsurgical Treatments for Degenerative Joint Disease & Osteoarthritis

There are a variety of nonsurgical measures that can be taken to slow the progression of osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, increase motion, and improve strength.

Most treatment programs include a combination lifestyle modifications, medications, and physical therapy.

One of the best treatments can be weight reduction, especially if the joints that are affected are weight-bearing joints (i.e., hips, knee, spine, or ankle). Other lifestyle medications include rest or changes in activities to avoid provoking the pain experienced by osteoarthritis.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are one type of medications that can help reduce inflammation. Sometimes, a stronger anti-inflammatory medication can be used called corticosteroids, which are injected directly into the joint. These have been proven to be effective in temporarily reducing pain and easing the limitations of osteoarthritis. If there is still limited improvement, there is another type of injection that can be used called viscosupplementation. This medication helps to restore the natural lubricating properties of the joint fluid (synovial fluid).

Physical therapy and/or occupational therapy may help to improve joint flexibility, increase range of motion, reduce pain, and strengthen the muscles and bone. Sometimes supportive or assistive devices may be needed to help with movement and walking, such as braces, splints, canes, crutches, or walkers.

Conditions Treated

These treatments are options if you or a loved one suffer from the following conditions:

Degenerative Joint Disease


We may perform one of the following nonsurgical procedures in response to Degenerative Joint Disease & Osteoarthritis:

Arthroscopic Procedures

Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at St. Vincent's Medical Center