Doc Talk #88 – Arthritis



Dr Dan and Jamieson talked about arthritis in this show, specifically osteoarthritis – the commonest form of the condition.

We discussed exactly what arthritis is, ways to reduce your risk of arthritis and management of the condition.

From a lifestyle perspective, avoiding excessive weight is one of the most important ways of reducing your risk of arthritis, and also reducing pain if you have arthritis. Maintaining good levels of physical activity and exercise also important.

Weight loss of 10% can lead to a 50% reduction in pain

We talked about treatments including exercise, weight loss, heat/cold ad walking adids/braces, as well as topical treatments such as anti-inflammatory creams and capsacin. We touched on cortisone/steroid injections, as well as some less proven treatments including acupuncture and chondroitin/glucosamine. Keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) is generally NOT beneficial for osteoarthritis, and injections of hylauronic acid are also probably not helpful.

Certain other fashionable treatments including platelet-rich-plasma and stem cell treatments need to be considered experimental, with very little evidence to support their use.

Knee X-ray image by James Heilman, MD [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Here is a link to the GLAD program in Canada, an evidence-based exercise program for arthritis.


We’d like to put a word in for Matthew Piccaver’s book “Everything Your GP Doesn’t Have Time To Tell You About Arthritis” – an excellent guide to the condition, available in paperback and on Kindle.