chapter  36
22 Pages

Osteoarthritis

Physicians in primary care practices have a signicant number of patient visits in which the patient has complaints of musculoskeletal pain or joint dysfunction. A signicant percent of these patient visits involve joints that are compromised by osteoarthritis (OA). Visits for OA-related pain are even more common in specialty practices such as physiatry, orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and sports medicine. The usual approach of prescribing nonsteroidal anti-inammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and pain medications does not adequately address the problems that most patients have in regard to dysfunction of their joints. It may also not adequately slow the breakdown of cartilage. NSAIDs and pain medication can have signicant side-effect proles. Nutritional approaches to OA can decrease pain and improve function. There is also evidence that the use of nutritional therapies may slow progression of OA. This chapter provides a clinical approach to this highly prevalent condition.