Treatment for arthritis tries to control the pain, minimize joint damage, and improve and maintain function as well as the quality of life. There are an array of medications and lifestyle strategies available to help people suffering from varied forms of arthritis. Some of the treatment options include:
- Non-pharmacologic therapies
- Physical therapy
- Physical activity
- Splints or joint aids
- Patient education and support
- Weight loss
- Surgery or joint replacement
Non-inflammatory forms of arthritis, like osteoarthritis, are generally treated with the help of pain-reducing medications, physical activity, weight loss if the person is overweight, and self-management. Medications often depend on the type of arthritis. Some of the commonly used medicines include:
To reduce pain, but have no effect on inflammation. Example: Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Tramadol (Ultram), Oxycodone (Percocet, Oxycontin) or Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab).
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
To reduce both pain and inflammation. NSAIDs include over-the-counter or online, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). Some NSAIDs are available in the form of creams, gels or patches which can be applied to specific areas.
By rubbing menthol or capsaicin-containing creams and ointments over a painful location, pain signals can be modulated.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
To treat Rheumatoid arthritis, they slow or stop the immune system from attacking the joints. Example: methotrexate (Trexall) or hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil).
Used along with DMARDs, these are genetically engineered drugs to target various protein molecules involved in the immune response. Example: etanercept (Enbrel) or infliximab (Remicade).
Inflammation is reduced and the immune system is suppressed by corticosteroids. Example: Prednisone or Cortisone.
A healthy, balanced diet with regular exercise, avoiding smoking and alcohol can help with arthritis.
Foods to eat
There is no particular diet that treats arthritis, but some types of food can help reduce inflammation, including:
- nuts and seeds
- fruits and vegetables
- olive oil
- whole grains
Foods to avoid
Some foods should be avoided by persons who have arthritis. For example, Nightshade vegetables, like tomatoes, contain a chemical called solanine, which is linked with arthritis pain.
Self-management of arthritis is very important. Some of the key strategies include the following, also these habits can help to manage arthritis conditions:
- Being physically active
- Not being overweight
- Getting routine check-ups
- Protecting the joints from unnecessary strain
- Being organized
- Managing pain and fatigue
- Balancing activity with rest
- Eating a healthful diet
- Improving sleep
- Caring for joints
Doctors will often recommend the following forms of physical therapy that may help with mobility.
- Warm water therapy
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
Researchers suggest doing physical activity to people with arthritis, at first they might experience some pain but with time it will benefit them. Some of the physical activities that are suggested by taking precautions Include:
These activities will an individual to live a healthy and good life.
There are a large number of natural remedies that have been suggested for different types of arthritis. Some research supports the use of devil’s claw, Rosehip, and Boswellia, from the frankincense tree to treat arthritis, while, some suggest the use of certain herbs like turmeric, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and green tea. However, these herbs are not well researched for their effectiveness. Also, these herbs are available in supplement form as well. Anyone who is willing to use these natural remedies for any type of arthritis should talk to the doctor first, otherwise, it might prove risky.