According to a study in Arthritis Care & Research, people with hip and knee OA use oral pain medications far more than nondrug alternatives. Of the nearly 1,200 patients in the study, 70 to 82 percent took pain relievers; fewer than half tried physical therapy or other nondrug options. Most were overweight, and none got the minimum 150 minutes of physical activity a week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for good health.
That’s a problem, says Laith Jazrawi, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of sports medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “We know that compared to people who are sedentary, patients who are more active have less pain and better function.”