...less medical jargon in a 'Quick Glance' format!
There are FIVE good Osteoarthritis alternative treatments beside medications that can help OA. Diet, nutritional supplements, exercise and splinting.
1.) Diet. Diet is very important, but it has less to do with what you eat than how much you eat. Being overweight worsens arthritis pain and disability. Rather than going strictly by numbers on a scale, doctors commonly use the body mass index to determine obesity. A BMI of 19 to 24 is optimal. If yours is higher, you should lose weight. To calculate your BMI and determine how close you are to your ideal weight range, take your body weight and multiply it by 703, then divide that by your height in inches squared. Let's say, for example, you are 5 foot, 4 inches tall (64 inches) and you weigh 150 pounds. Your BMI would be (150 x 703) ÷ (64 x 64) = 25.74, slightly overweight.
2.) Supplements. One of the most promising treatments for OA is the dietary supplement glucosamine. Taken in doses of up to 1,500 mg a day, glucosamine has been shown to reduce pain and possibly slow the progression of cartilage loss. Most studies have been performed with pharmacy-grade glucosamine, so it is important to find a high-quality product. If you see "GMP" on the label, you can be assured that the product has been manufactured using "Good Manufacturing Principles."
3.) Exercise. When the muscles are strong, they support better, so there is less stress on the joints themselves. As a result, movement is easier and less painful.
4.) Splints and braces. These devices used to support or stabilize a joint usually aren't a permanent solution by themselves. Braces and splints may be store bought or custom designed.
5.) Apply heat or cold packs, to aching joints. Soak in a warm tub or spa, or try practicing relaxation techniques. As a last resort, surgery can be done using minimally invasive techniques.