The use of certain types of medical equipment in your daily life, can provide additional comfort in your activities. It can reduce your pain and relieve some of your joints, including your knee.
However, before using anything, you should talk to your doctor. He or she is the best person to guide you and advise you on its usefulness in the care of your osteoarthritis.
According to the model, orthotics are aimed at immobilising, supporting or partially correcting the movement of a joint. Thus, they help to guard against instability and enable resting the joint to reduce the excessive stress that can cause osteoarthritis.
There are currently three types of orthotics:
Simple braces are used in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and fingers. They do not allow straightening the joint, but provide stabilisation of the latter and can provide relief. Thus, they can be useful for people who are inoperable and who suffer from severe osteoarthritis.
Example of a simple orthosis: a reinforced or elastic knee brace.
Dynamic orthotics or splints are based on orthotics used in the sport. Mainly used in cases of osteoarthritis of the knee, they aim at straightening the joint. However, although in some cases a reduction of varus effect has been found, these results need to be confirmed.
Rest or immobilisation splints used for the wrist and especially the hand (osteoarthritis of the fingers and rhizarthrosis) enable placing the joint in a position that relieves stress and guards against deformity.
Orthopaedic insoles can be beneficial in relieving osteoarthritic pain in the knee, foot, ankles and hip. They help absorb shock and reduce the attack on the cartilage. These insoles are made to measure from a podiatrist.
For a patient with osteoarthritis of the knee, there are visco-elastic insoles which can absorb some of the shock waves transmitted to the defective joint and reduce overall stress exerted on this joint. Indeed, in the presence of knee osteoarthritis, your doctor will look for a posture defect (static) of your foot.
Thus, these insoles can be effective when the osteoarthritis affects the inside of the knee. They help relieve some of the stresses exerted during walking by changing the axis of the leg.
In the case of osteoarthritis of the hip, the use of a cane or crutch carried on the opposite side to the affected joint while you are out and about can have a beneficial effect on osteoarthritic pain and preventing the deterioration of your joints.
They enable unloading body weight while walking: the joints bear less weight reducing the constraints which helps prevent further damage to lesions and thus reduce pain after exertion.
Thermal compresses are generally used for temporary or daily pain relief.
Depending on the model, they allow applying heat or cold to painful areas. Thermal compresses are closed pouches filled with a gelatinous product capable of absorbing heat and cold and quickly and releasing it onto the painful joint for an hour.
These thermal compresses can be purchased in pharmacies or shops selling medical and paramedical supplies. (Non-refundable and reusable).
They have no curative effect in the treatment of osteoarthritis. However, applying them is likely to temporarily relieve a certain amount of osteoarthritic pain.