Many physicians may advise and recommend that patients with damaged or arthritic joints try a series of treatments that are considered noninvasive; that is, does not require surgery. Treatments such as physical and occupational therapy to increase range of motion and mobility and decrease pain may be utilized. Medications to reduce inflammation or swelling (steroids and nonsteroidal agents may be used) to also increase range of motion and decrease pain and often times, specific pain medications may be used in conjunction with these anti-inflammatory agents.
A more aggressive treatment would be steroid injections (this is where a needle is inserted into the affected joint and a steroid agent is injected). This can decrease pain and increase range of motion, but is a temporary means of managing the damaged joint and the associated symptoms.