Nearly 33 million adults in the United States alone live with the effects of osteoarthritis.
Much like other conditions of pain which affect the extremities of the body, osteoarthritis is a condition that often manifests in the knee, fingers, and toes of patients who have been diagnosed with it.
The causes of osteoarthritis are fairly distinct and must be treated as an entirely separate type of chronic pain condition because osteoarthritis is a wear-and-tear condition that happens over time with joints.
Unlike other conditions that have a specific starting element or trigger event like an infection, osteoarthritis develops over time and there’s no effective solution to prevent this from happening.
However, there are effective solutions for treating the symptoms associated with this condition.
Neuragenex has pioneered the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management to do just that—bring an effective treatment solution to patients suffering from chronic osteoarthritis pain and who are looking for options before going down the path of surgery.
Is Osteoarthritis A Treatable Condition?
The question which must first be answered by patients is whether osteoarthritis is a legitimately treatable condition, or will it simply be a situation for management of symptoms where the patient is going to be seeking a pain relief solution for life. Can a chronic condition so elusive and misunderstood have an effective treatment?
The fact is, just about any pain condition is treatable, to some degree, with a range of therapies. Whether a treatment is safe, effective, or affordable relies on the subjectivity of the patients and their physicians.
However, for osteoarthritis, treatment efficacy and safety vary depending on the patient’s willingness to explore and procure said treatments.
For many, invasive surgeries like knee replacement is out of the question, and most will turn to nonsurgical options for treatment before turning to surgery. The reality is that there are many treatments and therapies that can last a long time and successfully manage the chronic symptoms of osteoarthritis.
At the very least, it is a solid strategy to put off surgery and knee replacement as long as possible.
The Lack Of Nonsurgical Treatments Available
When we speak of nonsurgical options for treatment, we must consider that these treatments are not always effective (nor recommended) for many patients who suffer from the pain of any condition.
However, for osteoarthritis, seeing how it has affected, and continues to affect, millions of adults in the United States alone, there has been comprehensive research done in search of a treatment or a cure that does not involve extensive and invasive surgery.
Unlike many other conditions of pain, cases and prevalence of osteoarthritis have remained steadily increasing among American adults and is still one of the top health concerns among patients and providers.
The growing number of cases has contributed to a steady and persistent level of research into a treatment for the condition and this should be a welcome relief for anyone seeking said treatment.
Unfortunately, research within the medical community concludes that effective treatment for osteoarthritis is elusive and often lacks the efficacy desired by both patients and their doctors.
There are newer regenerative options in recent years that are starting to gain repute among physicians, but for this article, we will stick to the concept of Neurofunctional Pain Management as a treatment model for osteoarthritis.
Professor Brandt On The Lack Of Effective Treatment Options
With the need for effective nonsurgical treatment of osteoarthritis being sought by patients, even professionals in the medical community like Professor Brandt are frustrated at the lack of effective options available to their patients.
Professor Brandt– after surveying the available options, their limited benefits, and many side-effects, states that “. . . we surely need better and safer drugs to treat OA [osteoarthritis] symptoms” (2004).
The last thing osteoarthritis patients want to hear is that the symptoms they are attempting to treat with better and safer drugs are met with sometimes worsening side effects.
Throughout the survey of treatments, Professor Brandt also concludes that some drugs had little to no effect in a clinical trial when compared to the effects of a placebo.
It is perhaps most disconcerting to hear this statement which sums up the entirety of Professor Brandt’s concern:
“Despite enormous increases in our understanding of pain mechanisms and of the metabolism, biochemistry, and molecular biology of articular cartilage . . . our track record for the development of more efficacious drug treatment for OA [osteoarthritis] is discouraging”.
This is not to say that treatments do not exist for osteoarthritis; in fact, there are several. The issue that Professor Brandt brings succinctly to the forefront is the issue of efficacy.
Throughout the survey of treatments, Professor Brandt also concludes that some drugs had little to no effect in a clinical trial when compared to the effects of a placebo. It is perhaps most disconcerting to hear this statement which sums up the entirety of Professor Brandt’s concern: “Despite enormous increases in our understanding of pain mechanisms and of the metabolism, biochemistry, and molecular biology of articular cartilage . . . our track record for the development of more efficacious drug treatment for OA [osteoarthritis] is discouraging”. This is not to say that treatments do not exist for osteoarthritis; in fact, there are several. The issue, which Professor Brandt brings succinctly to the forefront, is the issue of efficacy.
Nutraceuticals: A Common Nonsurgical Treatment
One of the most common and nonsurgical treatments for osteoarthritis is the use of nutraceuticals. Nutraceuticals are dietary supplements that claim to improve the life expectancy and health care of an individual when used in tandem with healthy foods.
The general assumption of nutraceutical efficacy works in tandem with the patient’s willingness to live a healthy lifestyle. The specific nutraceuticals that treat osteoarthritis include glucosamine and chondroitin methylsulfonylmethane.
The efficacy of these treatments has been debated among peers in the medical community for decades. Notwithstanding, Dr. Begum Yurdakok Dikmen, a Turkish physician counters that nutraceuticals have been introduced as a form of treatment over the centuries and that many suffering from osteoarthritis look to them for a solution.
Dr. Dikmen On The Quality And Safety Of Nutraceuticals
In a study on nutraceuticals done in 2016, Dr. Dikmen grappled with the fact that “[r]egulations regarding the quality and safety of nutraceuticals are still being debated . . .” (2016). This is in part due to the medical community’s skepticism of nutraceuticals being seen as an alternative medicinal treatment for osteoarthritis.
However, Dikmen states that nutraceuticals are still being considered by governmental bodies that will continue to “. . . develop strategies together with the public to enlighten the benefits supported by solid scientific evidence”.
Understandably, skepticism continues to be a persistent hindrance for the use of nutraceuticals in the treatment of osteoarthritis. This skepticism lies not only in physicians with patients who suffer from osteoarthritis but in the patients themselves.
Many would rather consider a lasting treatment that they know will work for them before ingesting a nutraceutical with which they are unfamiliar.
Dr. de Andrade On The Effect Of Nutraceuticals On Pain Management
A study conducted by Marco Antônio Percope de Andrade M.DPh.D. concluded that glucosamine hydrochloride, a nutraceutical, “ . . . had no effect on pain management” (2015) when it came to treating osteoarthritis.
Dr. de Andrade confirmed that results from more familiar sources for nutraceuticals such as avocado and soybeans were less conclusive and “. . . may have positive effects on the knee and hip OA [osteoarthritis], but long-term results could not be confirmed”.
These conclusions on the benefits of nutraceuticals are both disappointing and frustrating, especially for those who are seeking relief from pain. While some patients who suffer from osteoarthritis may feel a small amount of relief from the pain when using nutraceuticals, lasting relief will not be found.
Introducing Hyaluronic Acid Viscosupplementation
In the year 2000, a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of another nonsurgical treatment known as hyaluronic acid (HA) viscosupplementation was conducted.
While the clinical trials of viscosupplementation were in their infancy, Dr. John Watterson found that “. . . the lack of systemic side effects and the potentially lasting effects make it an appealing option” (2000). The process of viscosupplementation is best described as a loosening and relaxing of the joints that feel stiff and rusted over.
This nonsurgical option uses a safe compound called hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid has been USDA approved for decades and Dr. Watterson attests to this benefit by stating that “[t]he US Food and Drug Administration approval of hyaluronic acid as a device has avoided the need for meeting the more stringent criteria for approval as a drug”.
Decades later, the use of hyaluronic acid in viscosupplementation has remained an effective and affordable solution to treat osteoarthritis.
Neuragenex incorporates the use of hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation in its Neurofunctional Pain Management program to treat knee pain. This treatment for osteoarthritis in conjunction with the pain-relieving and health restoration efforts of Neurofunctional Pain Management protocols that use high pulse electrical stimulation, electroanalgesia, and specialized hydration therapies that address nutritional vitamin and mineral deficiencies, are an excellent therapy model for patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
Neuralgesia And HA Viscosupplementation
Neuragenex has developed a proprietary treatment protocol called Neuralgesia, which incorporates the high-pulse electrical stimulation and specialized hydration therapies mentioned above, while also utilizing hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation for osteoarthritic knees.
While viscosupplementation relieves and loosens the joints affected by osteoarthritis, Neurofunctional Pain Management treatments further reduce the pain and attempts to restore the primary and underlying health condition of the patient so the pain relief effect can last as long as possible.
Many patients experiencing the symptoms of osteoarthritis report pain relief after only one session with Neuragenex. Patients often experience greater mobility, strength, and requisition of the motor skills they used to enjoy completing their daily tasks.
Hundreds of patients experience relief from pain that is almost instant, and treatment is simple. Patients who suffer from chronic pain from osteoarthritis report relief after starting our Neuralgesia treatment sessions.
Relieve Your Pain. Gain Quality Of Life.
This is why the mission statement of Neuragenex is to magnify quality of life. It’s not just getting out of pain; it’s achieving a better quality of life, a magnified quality of life.