7 Innovations That Could Change Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis, often referred to as the "wear and tear" arthritis, is a painful and debilitating condition that affects more than 10 million people in the UK alone. It can make simple, everyday tasks seem like insurmountable challenges. Fortunately, the field of medicine and technology is continually evolving, providing new hope and relief for those living with osteoarthritis. Here are seven incredible innovations that have the potential to forever change how osteoarthritis is managed and treated.
1. Regenerative Therapies
One of the most promising advancements in osteoarthritis treatment is the development of regenerative therapies. Stem cell therapy, for instance, offers the potential to repair damaged cartilage and reduce inflammation. This groundbreaking approach not only addresses the symptoms but also promotes healing from within, improving the overall joint health of patients.
2. Customised 3D-Printed Implants
In the world of orthopaedics, 3D printing has opened up new horizons for individually tailored implants. For osteoarthritis patients in need of joint replacement surgery, these implants are a game-changer. They are designed to perfectly fit the patient's anatomy, resulting in improved joint functionality and a reduced risk of complications post-surgery. This innovation is all about enhancing comfort and reducing pain.
3. Smart Wearable Devices
Technology has made its mark in the fight against osteoarthritis with the introduction of smart wearable devices. These devices, like smart knee braces, can monitor and support joint movements. They provide real-time data and insights, helping patients better manage their condition and avoid unnecessary strain. Whether it's through reducing the risk of falls or preventing overuse, these devices empower individuals to regain control over their lives.
4. Advanced Pain Management Tools
Chronic pain is one of the most challenging aspects of living with osteoarthritis. Fortunately, the world of pain management has seen incredible innovations. In recent years, neuromodulation techniques, such as spinal cord stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation, have proven effective in reducing pain levels for osteoarthritis patients. These non-invasive therapies offer an alternative to medications, which often come with side effects and the risk of addiction.
5. Bio-Lubricating Technologies
Osteoarthritis is the wear and tear - and often eventual breakdown - of the cartilage that acts as a cushion between the joints. By bio-lubricating the cartilage, much as you would oil the moving parts of a car or bike, it allows the joint to move more freely, reducing stiffness and pain in the process. There are ways of doing this such as Intra-articular injections. These work by injecting substances such as hyaluronic acid directly into the joint to help the joint move more freely. This is exactly how drug-free FlexiSEQ works but as a topically applied gel rather than by directly injecting. By using unique Sequessome, or SEQ Technology, FlexiSEQ helps those living with osteoarthritis find a way to move their joints more freely, with users often finding ways to undertake more physical movement, which further reduces the impact of osteoarthritis.
6. Telemedicine for Osteoarthritis Care
The digital age has revolutionised the way we receive healthcare. Telemedicine is now making it easier for osteoarthritis patients to connect with healthcare professionals, even from the comfort of their homes. Telehealth platforms, such as PushDoctor, allow for remote consultations, monitoring, and treatment adjustments, making it more convenient and accessible for individuals to receive the care and guidance they need.
7. Virtual Reality Rehabilitation
Virtual Reality (VR) has emerged as a valuable tool in the rehabilitation process for osteoarthritis patients. VR-based exercises and simulations are designed to improve joint flexibility, strength, and mobility. They make physical therapy engaging and enjoyable, motivating patients to stay consistent with their rehabilitation routines. Key to this is often gamifying the rehab experience to ensure patients feel rewarded for achieving key goals in their recovery process. This innovation not only speeds up the recovery process but also enhances the overall quality of life for those living with osteoarthritis.
Have you encountered some amazing innovations that have changed your experience of living with joint pain and osteoarthritis? Let us know what they are on Facebook.