Nonpharmacologic treatments of osteoarthritis (OA) include education, weight management, and appropriate exercise, which may delay disease progression, reduce symptoms, and improve function. Nutritional supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been studied in OA, may benefit some patients, and have low toxicity. Pharmacologic approaches to treatment include nonnarcotic analgesics such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Intra-articular injection of glucocorticoids or hyaluronan may be useful for isolated joint involvement. Surgical joint replacement, especially at the hip and knee, can reduce pain and improve function in appropriate candidates.
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