Five scientifically proven new treatments that mean joint agony doesn't have to end in surgery

Mail Online | 10/1/2018 | Rachel Reilly For The Mail On Sunday
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Patients are waiting longer than ever for surgery to replace worn-out joints. Cash-strapped NHS trusts are increasingly refusing, cancelling or delaying operations, and last week health chiefs admitted the 18-week treatment target will no longer be met.

Although 160,000 hip, knee and ankle replacements are carried out each year in Britain, it is only the most desperate people who are offered a procedure.

Matters - Doctors - Painkillers - Injections - Steroid

To make matters worse, doctors often have little to offer beyond painkillers or injections of anti-inflammatory steroid drugs.

The situation can feel hopeless. But the reality is certainly not. These days, there are numerous medically proven alternative treatments that will end discomfort and immobility, and could even spare some patients from a joint replacement.

Surgery - Pain - Mobility - Quality - Life

‘Joint-replacement surgery can eliminate pain, improve mobility and restore quality of life, but it is not the only option,’ explains Mark Wilkinson, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Sheffield and a spokesman for Arthritis Research UK.

So what are the options for those who can’t have or are waiting for a joint operation, or don’t want to go under the knife? The good news is there are a host of treatments and procedures available to treat pain and improve mobility.

WHAT - Brace - Fabric - Plastic - Strap

WHAT: An ‘offloading’ knee brace is a fabric and lightweight plastic strap that exerts a gentle sideways pull to realign the joint, helping to restore movement and relieve pain.

HOW IT WORKS: In 2017, a joint study by Swansea and Cardiff universities found that 40 per cent of patients awaiting a total knee replacement felt they did not need the procedure after wearing an offloading leg brace for two years.

Pressure - Muscles - Muscles - Brace - Knee

Taking the pressure off the joint helps retrain the surrounding muscles to hold the joint correctly. But muscles are the best natural brace for the knee, so those wearing an offloading brace must stick to a rehabilitation programme...
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