Popular Supplements For Arthritis: What You Need To Know
Learn which supplements and vitamins might help with arthritis symptoms, and what risks some can pose.
Several nutritional supplements have shown promise for relieving pain, stiffness and other arthritis symptoms. Glucosamine and chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, SAM-e and curcumin are just some of the natural products researchers have studied for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis .
Some of these natural remedies may offer arthritis symptom relief, especially when you use them in conjunction with traditional treatments. Heres the evidence on some of the most popular supplements used to treat arthritis, and how they work.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the most commonly used supplements for arthritis. Theyre components of cartilagethe substance that cushions the joints.
Research on these supplements has been mixed, in part because studies have used varying designs and supplement types. A large National Institutes of Health study called the GAIT trial compared glucosamine and chondroitin, alone or together, with an NSAID and inactive treatment in people with knee osteoarthritis . Glucosamine improved symptoms like pain and function, but not much better than a placebo. Yet a 2016 international trial found the combination to be as effective as the NSAID celecoxib at reducing pain, stiffness and swelling in knee OA.
How to Take Supplements Safely
Alternative And Complementary Medicine
A 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 40% of adults with arthritis have tried an approach outside of mainstream medicine, such as:
- Acupuncture: Thin needles are inserted into the skin to ease pain.
- Yoga and tai chi: Slow stretching movements aid in flexibility and range of motion.
- Massage: Therapists stroke and knead muscles to boost blood flow and relieve muscle tension and stiffness, which could also help the joints by improving mobility and pain.
- Homeopathic treatments: Small amounts of natural substances like plants and minerals are used to help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Naturopathy: Diet and lifestyle changes, stress relief, supplements, exercise, and counseling help heal the body.
- Mindfulness and meditation:Mind and body practices increase calmness and physical relaxation. Simple breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques can help to reduce anxiety and pain.
Research is mixed about the benefits of alternative and complementary medicine for arthritis pain. Studies show that acupuncture and massage offer possible short-term pain relief. And, mind-body practices like meditation, tai chi, and yoga could improve rheumatoid arthritis pain alongside traditional treatment options.
The 5 Main Classes Of Arthritis Drugs
A non-prescription medication sometimes called an over-the-counter or OTC medicine is any medication that you can buy without a prescription. Some medications to help over arthritis pain can be bought over the counter without a prescription. You are probably familiar with many of these, joint as acetaminophen e.
Please the with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any over-the-counter oral or topical NSAIDs. There are a number of other OTC creams and rubs available to help where is the best place to buy phentermine online arthritis pain. Some of these products contain salicylate as the active ingredient, whereas others contain capsaicin, pain or menthol. Topical agents may be used to help manage pain associated with OA.
They are not routinely used to manage inflammatory arthritis.
Non-prescription medications are typically taken over in pill form however, there are also a number of non-prescription knee creams and rubs that can be used to pain lessen the pain of medicine. Acetaminophen is primarily used to help alleviate the pain of OA. Acetaminophen for also be counter to the treat pain associated with inflammatory arthritis. The usefulness of acetaminophen in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis is limited as it does not help control the disease or prevent joint damage.
Read Also: How To Manage Arthritis In The Knee
Canola And Olive Oils
Skip the vegetable oil or corn oil and reach for these two varieties, which have a good balance of the omega-3 and omega-6 acids, both of which are essential fatty acids. Studies have found that a component in olive oil called oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to be especially good for heart health, too, Dunn says.
Medications Used To Treat Arthritis Symptoms
Arthritis medicines are generally very effective in helping people with arthritis to manage joint pain and other symptoms. Find out what types of arthritis medicine are available, and how they can help with your arthritis.
Arthritis can produce many symptoms and joint problems, including inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and certainly joint pain. But arthritis medicines are available to help ease nearly all types of arthritis aches and pains.
When your doctor is considering which arthritis medicine might be best for your pain, she has many options to choose from. Here, you’ll find information on common classes of arthritis medicines, what their potential side effects are, and how they can help you to manage joint pain and other arthritis symptoms.
Acetaminophen for Arthritis
Sold over-the-counter under the brand name Tylenol and others, acetaminophen is often one of the first medications recommended to manage pain, including joint pain caused by arthritis. If taken correctly, acetaminophen has no side effects. However, taking too much can lead to liver damage.
NSAIDS for Arthritis
- Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
- Increased risk of a heart attack
- Kidney damage
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Wrist Hand Or Finger Splints
If youre going through a bad arthritis flare-up, using resting splints can help quiet the active inflammation and give you some relief, Dr. Osterman says. These are devices, usually made of plastic and secured with velcro, that temporarily immobilize the joint, which allows it time to rest, he explains.
Im only 22, but some of my fingers are already severely bent and fused from having juvenile arthritis. Splints are helpful for the pain and for helping keep them straight so hopefully they dont bend more, says rheumatoid arthritis patient Emma A., from Melbourne, Australia. My favorites are ring splints since they look like jewelry instead of a medical brace.
Fight Arthritis Pain Without Pills
These pain relief methods include creams, exercise, CAM therapies, footwear, nerve treatments and injections.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 76.2 million, or 26% of Americans, suffer from chronic pain and more than half of those have some form of arthritis or related condition. The question that plagues many of us is this: Cant something be done for arthritis pain besides pills?
While over-the-counter and prescription pain medicines can be effective if used properly, there are possible risks whenever you take a pill. So many people want to explore alternative pain relief therapies. Theres an array of options from electrical stimulation to meditation, topical creams to shoes.
Experts recommend theseoptions.
1. Topical Medications
What they are:Gels, creams and patches that are applied to the skin supply sodium channel blockers, such as lidocaine or prilocaine. Prescription NSAIDs that come in drops, gels, sprays or patches are also becoming popular. Popular OTC creams for pain relief include ingredients like capsaicin, menthol or camphor.
Pain they work well for:Sodium channel blockers work best for nerve disorders like diabetic neuropathy or neuropathic pain. Topical NSAIDs help relieve the pain and inflammation common in arthritis. Capsaicin is recommended for nerve pain as well as joint pain.
2. The Right Shoes
3. Steroid Injection
4. Exercise/Physical Therapy
6. Trigger Point Injection
Also Check: How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Your Skin
Orthotic Inserts And Braces
Some people find that wearing an orthotic insert, which fits into the shoe, or a foot or ankle brace helps to ease arthritis symptoms. By limiting the movement of the foot or ankle joint, an insert or brace may relieve pain and stiffness, making it more comfortable to walk.
Orthotic inserts are available in different sizes and levels of stiffness. They can be placed in the shoe to support different parts of the feet, depending on the location of your arthritis pain. Orthotic inserts help reduce the amount of stress put on arthritic areas of the foot by redistributing the weight of the body to other parts of the foot, providing pain relief.
Braces also come in different sizes and levels of support. Some are flexible and worn in addition to regular shoes, and others resemble a cast that covers part of the foot and ankle. NYU Langone doctors can advise you on the type of brace that best suits your lifestyle and the severity of your symptoms. If youre planning to spend the day in an environment that requires very little walking, for instance, a light brace may be all you need. If your job requires you to be on your feet all day, a brace with more support might be a better choice.
Some of the time, inserts and braces available at drugstores work well. If your doctor suggests that a brace or orthotic insert designed to fit the shape of your foot may be more effective, NYU Langone specialists can customize a brace or orthotic insert to ensure it provides the support you need.
Talk With Your Doctor About Stronger Pain Relief Treatments
What Is Ibuprofen And How Is It Used
Ibuprofen is one of a group of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . It’s widely used for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
Its available over the counter as tablets or capsules in doses of 200400 mg and can be taken up to three times a day after food. Some tablets are designed to release the drug slowly over a period of time, and some people find these helpful for night-time pain relief.
Higher doses of ibuprofen are available on prescription and can be used if you have rheumatoid arthritis or another type of inflammatory arthritis.
Ibuprofen is also available in lipid-based soft capsules. These can be bought from pharmacies and are as effective as prescribed ibuprofen in relieving flaring joint pain.
If ibuprofen doesn’t give enough relief from pain, or if you need pain relief over a long period of time, then you should speak to your doctor, who may be able to prescribe a stronger type of NSAID or a combination of drugs that will be more effective.
Ibuprofen can usually be used in combination with paracetamol or a compound analgesic.
How To Use Pain Medications Properly
There are two types of over-the-counter pain medications that can be used for osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever but not an anti-inflammatory. It may help with mild knee pain.
NSAIDs can be more effective because they both relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, they come with potential side effects and risks. NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach, which may lead to an ulcer or other stomach problems. They also can impair kidney function. Some NSAIDs can increase blood pressure. And theyve been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.
Because of the risks, Dr. Day cautions against using NSAIDs regularly over long periods of time. Instead, she uses NSAIDs for her patients in two ways. First, people who have a flare-up of pain can take them regularly for three to five days and then stop. Second, they can be used over the long term, but only occasionally, maybe a couple of times a week as needed.
If youre taking NSAIDs several times a day for long periods of time, Dr. Day advises reducing their use by maximizing the other treatment strategies. She also suggests trying a topical NSAID, such as diclofenac , which has fewer potential side effects.
Opioid pain relievers are discouraged for long-term treatment of chronic knee pain. The milder narcotic tramadol might be appropriate for occasional use in some people, says Dr. Day.
Read Also: What Causes Arthritis Flare Ups In Hands
Stay Active To Prevent Stiffness In Your Joints
Pain And Other Symptoms Of Spinal Osteoarthritis
The intensity and type of pain people experience as a result of arthritis in the spine varies from mild to severe, and occasional to episodic to chronic. Each type of pain is treated differently. Of course, it is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Learn more about the range of osteoarthritis symptoms.
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Does Aspirin Help For Menstrual Cramps
Aspirin may help menstrual pain. It is in a group of drugs called salicylates. It works by reducing substances in the body that cause pain, fever, and inflammation. Aspirin is used to treat mild to moderate pain, and also to reduce fever or inflammation. It is best taken with food and a glass of water.
Even though aspirin and Ibuprofen are both NSAIDs and work similarly, there are several differences between the two drugs and they are not considered interchangeable. Continue reading
The Role Physical Therapy Plays In The Process
Physical therapy is definitely beneficial. Improving range of motion and strength in the knee are helpful, but physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis has a large focus on strengthening the hips, explains Dr. Day.
Weak hips put more pressure on the knees. If your hips are strong, when you get up from a chair or go up and down stairs your knees have less work to do.
Everyone with knee osteoarthritis should consult a physical therapist, according to Dr. Day. Not only will you be taught the right kinds of exercises, a physical therapist also provides valuable instruction about using assistive devices and modifying activities to reduce pain.
Also Check: What Is The Best Cream For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Make Sure Your Doctor Knows About All Medications Vitamins And Supplements
Talk to your doctor about which pain medications are best for you. Be sure to let your doctor know what other medications you are taking, even for other health problems. Besides other drugs you take, tell your doctor about any vitamins, supplements or herbal products you use. This can help you to avoid drug interactions. Here are other .
Ways To Manage Arthritis
There are a lot of things you can do to manage your arthritis. The day-to-day things you choose to do to manage your condition and stay healthy are self-management strategies and activities. CDCs Arthritis Program recognizes five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.
Practice these simplestrategies to reduce symptoms and get relief soyou can pursue the activities that are important to you. These strategies can even help you manage other chronic conditions you may have, such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity.
Use these 5 strategies to manage your arthritis at any age.
Join a self-management education workshop, which can help you learn the skills to manage your arthritis and make good decisions about your health.
How can a self-management education workshop help me?
Learning strategies to better manage your arthritis can help you:
- Feel more in control of your health.
- Manage pain and other symptoms.
- Plan and carry out valuedactivities, like working and spending time with loved ones.
- Reduce stress.
- Improve your mood.
- Communicate better with your health care provider about your care.
Learn about CDC-recognized self-management education programs that improve the quality of life of people with arthritis.
Stay as active as your health allows. Some physical activity is better than none.
Unsure about what kind of activity is safe?
The focus of arthritis treatment is to
Find A Community That Understands
Theres no reason to go through a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis or long-term journey alone. With the free PsA Healthline community, you can join a group and participate in live discussions, get matched with community members for a chance to make new friends, and stay up to date on the latest Psa news and research.
Use Assistive Devices Like Canes Or Tools With Wide Grips
What Other Risk Factors May Increase Your Likelihood Of Experiencing Ra
* Gender: Women are much more likely to suffer from this autoimmune disorder.* Weight: Overweight individuals are more prone to developing RA.* Smoking: If you smoke, you are more likely to develop RA, and if you develop it, your symptoms may be more pronounced than those who do not smoke.* Age: RA is more likely to hit you in middle age * Environment: Certain environmental exposures have been found to elevate your risk of RA, including exposure to asbestos and silica.