Treatment Options for Arthritis

So what do you do next, after being diagnosed with arthritis, well, the next thing to do is to figure out the best treatment plan.  Your health care provider will work with you to come up with the best options that will work for your condition.  There are more than a hundred different kinds of arthritis, so a combination of treatments may be necessary.

The most common treatment option for arthritis is medication.  Medications are very effective in reducing joint pain, as well as, other arthritis symptoms.  There are pain medications that are strictly for reducing joint pain, while anti-inflammatory medications will also reduce inflammation which often is the cause of joint pain.  These medications can be purchased over-the-counter, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen.  Topical creams, gels, and ointments can also ease arthritis pain.  You can also purchase glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, that work very well.

Some conditions may require a higher dose of medication which can be gotten by prescription only.  These medications can include a higher dose of naproxen, steroid medications, cox-2 inhibitors, prescription strength pain relievers, cortisone injections and maybe a disease modifying drug.

Physical therapy is a treatment option that can relieve arthritis pain and improve mobility.  Physical therapy can consist of massage, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and icing.  Physical therapy can help reduce pain by strengthening the muscles that support the joint.  This therapy is recommended to improve your range of motion and reduce joint stiffness.  Physical therapy can take time for improvement and it may not be for everyone.  You should allow at least three to six months before discussing another option.

Other treatment options for arthritis pain may be hot and cold therapy.  This therapy is used to reduce inflammation that causes joint pain.  It offers immediate relief but is only a temporary fix and one may find they have to constantly keep reapplying this method.  However if it is used in conjunction with other treatments it can be beneficial for the quick relief it provides.

Weight loss can benefit joint pain, especially in the hips and knees.  By losing weight, you are taking pressure off the weight bearing joints which can reduce pain.  Exercise can help you lose weight.  Exercise can also be beneficial for treating pain, reducing inflammation, and improve range of motion, especially in osteoarthritis sufferers.  By exercising you can also improve the health of your joint, which will improve function and reduce pain.

Surgery is usually the last resort option, except in certain conditions.  If the joint is damaged beyond repair then surgery would be the best treatment option.  Usually doctors will try other options before resorting to surgery.  If no other treatment option works then surgery is the answer.

Arthritis may not be cured but the symptoms of arthritis are treatable by these and other options.  You can manage, prevent, and possibly cure the symptoms of arthritis to keep a healthy body, an active lifestyle, joint pain free.  Talk with your doctor, dietician, specialist about your condition to find the best treatment option for you so you may accomplish just that.