When people with osteoarthritis are in pain, they tend to reach for oral pain relievers instead of non-drug treatments such as physical therapy, according to new research. That’s despite most guidelines, which recommend trying non-medication treatments first for OA pain.
The research found that out of nearly 1,200 patients with osteoarthritis, none got the minimum recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Also troubling to researchers is that nearly 30% of people took opioids for chronic pain, despite most doctors not recommending the drugs. Most medical organizations and guidelines recommend exercise, weight loss and physical therapy as first-line treatments for osteoarthritis.