If your joints are stiff, especially first thing when you get up in the morning or after sitting for a while, you may have osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative joint disease which is very common—over 27 million people in the U.S. alone have it.

Osteoarthritis, or OA, often tends to affect your knees and other important joints as you age, and it can become worse if you experienced a knee injury earlier in life. Normal, healthy knees are cushioned by cartilage, a tough type of body tissue, but for those with OA, this cartilage has begun breaking down. This is painful and can cause swelling and stiffness, making it difficult to move and negatively affecting your quality of life.

Traditional Treatment

A common method of treatment for knee arthritis is total or partial joint replacement surgery. This involves attaching artificial parts to your bones to replace any damaged areas. In fact, most of us probably know someone who has had this operation. However, not all knee replacements are highly successful, and studies show that some people who get them probably don’t need them. Also, knee replacements last only about 15 years, so if you get one before you’re in your 60s, it may wear out with time and you’ll need another one.

But what are the alternatives?

Non-Surgical Options

If you don’t need or don’t want surgery, there are some basic things you can do to help yourself. Simple, common-sense measures like staying active (even though it may be somewhat painful), keeping your weight under control and doing stretching exercises can help. Your doctor will probably recommend these options to you, but be sure to check first before beginning a diet or exercise program.

Your physician may also prescribe different kinds of medication, like pain relievers or even steroids for when the pain is severe. The problem is that these methods of managing pain are temporary, and it may be unhealthy for you to take some of these medicines over and over again.

However, there’s a different kind of treatment available that doesn’t just cover up the pain—it actually can help repair your knee without surgery. There is a lubricating material called hyaluronic acid that is naturally found in your joints. A doctor trained in this process will carefully analyze the structure of your knee and precisely determine the best place to inject this substance to help lubricate your joint, increase your movement and soothe the pain.

Make Joint Health a Priority

If you have chronic knee pain from osteoarthritis, it probably won’t get better on its own. In fact, ignoring it can cause more damage over time.

Don’t wait. Contact the health professionals at Flexogenix to see if a non-surgical option for your knee arthritis may be right for you.