Types Of Osteoarthritis Medication
Different types of medication can ease osteoarthritic pain. Some are tablets and capsules that you swallow. There are some you can rub on your skin. There are some that are injected into the joints.
The most common ones are:
- analgesics , such as paracetamol
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as diclofenac gel and ibuprofen tablets
- topical therapies . You can buy gels and creams that reduce the pain. These include topical NSAIDs and capsaicin.
Some people also have injections of corticosteroid into their joints to reduce inflammation. These dont last long-term and can damage the joint if you have them more than once every 4 months.
If these medications dont work, your doctor may consider anti-depressants like duloxetine or an opioid medication.
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.
Treating Spinal Osteoarthritis May Take A Combination Of Therapies
Talk with your doctor about your neck and/or back pain to make sure your diagnosis is accurate and current. Remember that certain types of back problems are degenerative, meaning they may change, improve, or worsen with time. Management of your spinal arthritis pain may involve more than 1 medication or therapy. You have choices, and your doctor can work with you to find the right drug or combination of medications and therapies to ease your spinal osteoarthritis symptoms.
Choosing The Right Medication For Your Arthritis And Chronic Pain
Choosing the right medication for you can be a process of trial and error. Prescribing medication is partly science and mostly an art form. Everyones body chemistry is different, and what works well for one person, may not work at all for someone else. While studies indicate a drug works for a certain demographic, results in a controlled study environment are far from results that would be found in clinical practice.
The most effective medications are the ones that work on your pain. If you try a medication and you feel its not working, tell your doctor. If you have side effects from a medication, make sure you make your doctor aware.
Sometimes a medication may help with the pain, but have side effects that you cant tolerate. This is when it becomes an art form you may have to give up some pain relief to get rid of the side effects. Personally, I deal with the side effects to the Ultram because the relief I get from the drug allows me to live a fairly normal life. Not everyone can say the same about their medication.
Your lifestyle also plays a role in how pain medication affects you. If you eat junk and never exercise, you cant expect one little pill to get rid of all your pain.
For those who suffer from chronic pain, exercise can be very beneficial in alleviating some of it .
It is imperative that you eat right, exercise, take your vitamins , and your medications as directed. Pain medications cant help you if you dont help yourself first.
Starting And Raising A Family
If youre taking medicines for rheumatoid arthritis, let your healthcare team know if you want to start a family or youre worried about becoming pregnant while taking medicine.
Some medicines, such as methotrexate, leflunomide and biological treatments should not be taken by men or women while theyre trying for a baby.
Your heathcare team will work with you to try to keep your rheumatoid arthritis under control while youre trying to get pregnant.
Babies and young children are physically and mentally demanding for any parent, but particularly if you have rheumatoid arthritis.
If youre struggling to cope, it may help to talk to other people in the same situation as you.
You may also be able to get extra support from your health visitor or occupational therapist to help you manage your young family.
Pain, discomfort and changes in the way you feel can affect your sex life.
Your self-esteem or thoughts about how you look may affect your confidence.
Although many people find it difficult to talk about such private issues, there are resources that may help you.
Talking to your partner or GP about the impact of rheumatoid arthritis on your sexuality and sexual relationships may help.
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How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
The most common symptoms of arthritis are swollen, painful, and stiff joints. Your healthcare provider may diagnose you with arthritis based on your symptoms, but youll probably need additional tests to determine the exact type of arthritis you have. Here are some tests your physician may order:
- Imaging scans: X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can help show your doctor whats going on in your joints and bones.
- Blood tests: A blood test can tell your doctor if you have certain antibodies that indicate a particular type of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis.
A primary care physician can diagnose arthritis, but you might be sent to a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon if you have severe symptoms. Your doctor may ask you some of the following questions to help confirm a diagnosis:
- Do you have a family history of arthritis?
- In what joints are you experiencing pain, swelling, or stiffness?
- Are you currently taking any medications?
- Does anything make your symptoms feel better?
What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis
Symptoms vary depending on how many joints are affected and how severely they are affected. Symptoms also tend to build up gradually over time rather than come on suddenly and include:
- Pain and stiffness in the affected joints, particularly first thing in the morning or after inactivity. This tends to resolve within about 30 minutes of gentle movement
- Limited range of movement in a joint
- Affected joints may swell after extended activity
- Pain may also increase after activity or towards the end of the day.
Symptoms can differ depending on which joint is affected.
- Knee joints: moving the knee causes a grating or scraping sensation
- Hip joints: Pain may radiate down the inside of the knee or thigh or be felt in the groin or buttock area
- Fingers: Bony growths may occur inside the joint causing the joints to become swollen, tender and red
- Inflammatory arthritis of the hand: All day stiffness may be noticed early in the disease
- Feet: Swelling and pain may be felt at the base of the big toe or around the ankles.
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Methotrexate And Other Traditional Dmards
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are used used to slow or stop rheumatoid arthritis by suppressing the immune system. The generic names for commonly used DMARDs include:
Biologic drugs target and prevent a specific reaction from happening, stopping the inflammatory process.
This class of medications, called biologic response modifiers, is technically a subset of DMARDs. They may be used with traditional DMARDs or as an alternative to them. Biologics:
- Disrupt certain parts of the cascade of events that lead to RA inflammation and have the potential to stop the disease process.
- Increase a persons risk of infection and tend to be expensive. Because of these potential downsides, biologics are used when methotrexate or other DMARDs prove insufficient or cause unacceptable side-effects.
- May become less effective and/or cause worsening side effects over time. The doctor and patient can work together to monitor changes and decide if and when switching medication is advisable.
Testing for TuberculosisBefore taking any type of biologic medication, a person must be tested for tuberculosis. People who have latent tuberculosis carry the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium without having tuberculosis symptoms. If a person with latent tuberculosis takes immune-suppressing biologic medications the bacterium can multiply and cause symptomatic tuberculosis.
Other Otc Pain Relievers
Along with medications, there are supplements and creams that you can buy at the drugstore to relieve arthritis pain. People may also use topical treatments along with other medications.
Many people with OA use the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. For those with moderate to severe OA knee pain, the combination of the two may ease aches, although medical studies have not shown clear proof that they help a lot. If you choose to try it, take it for at least 3 months before you decide if it helps.
There donât seem to be any major side effects from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, but because they are supplements, the FDA doesnât regulate them in the same way as drugs. That means itâs tough to be sure of the content and quality of supplements you see in stores.
Though the benefit is still unclear, one study showed long-term use of fish oil supplements improved pain and function.
Skin creams made from capsaicin, an extract from chili peppers, may help relieve mild arthritis pain. You may notice a mild stinging or burning feeling when you rub it on your skin, but it usually fades over time. Test the medication on a small part of your skin to make sure youâre not sensitive to any of the ingredients.
Cold or warm compresses on a painful joint a few times per week may also improve pain, swelling, and range of motion. Cold therapy may also help you feel better right after you exercise.
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What Otc And Prescription Drugs Treat Spinal Osteoarthritis
Over-the-counter and prescription medications for spinal arthritis are usually the same as those taken to treat joint-related arthritic pain in the hips and kneesunless the diagnosis is rheumatoid or another type of inflammatory arthritis. For patients with symptoms of pain or numbness affecting the arms or legs, a may be considered.
Today, people with spinal arthritis have access to different types of pain medications that can be taken or applied to relieve pain. Some require a doctor’s prescription, some do not. However, do not assume that just because a drug is available without a prescription, or over the counter, that it is safe for everyone.
What Is The Best Treatment For Arthritis
Painkillers, along with physical therapy, is usually considered the best treatment for arthritis in the early stages. However, if the patient is unable to continue their daily activities, then the surgical option is recommended at the particular painful joint to give relief to the patient.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapists can work with patients on exercises to reduce pain and improve their range of motion. Patients with arthritis have a hard time performing physical activities, but exercise can relieve arthritis pain and lessen joint damage.
- Exercise can also help to lose weight that will put less stress on the joints. Exercises such as stretching, muscle strengthening and aerobics can help patients to stay fit. It also increases flexibility, range of motion and lubrication in their joints.
- Exercises involving lifting weights can build muscle strength, which can help a person to manage daily activities.
- Exercises also strengthen the heart and lungs and can reduce fatigue besides increasing the patients stamina.
- Typical aerobic exercises such as walking, running, riding a bicycle, swimming, or using a treadmill can cut down calories. Walking and water aerobics are considered the best exercises for arthritis patients.
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
If you prefer a natural approach to treating arthritis, or would like to explore complementary options, it’s imperative that you tell your healthcare provider what you want to try . There are many alternative treatment options that, while popular, are not verified for effectiveness and safety.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health , reports on the effectiveness of some CAM treatments for arthritis:
Be wary of dietary supplements or herbal treatments sold for arthritis relief. You could experience dangerous side effects or drug interactions and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that many are tainted with prescription drugs.
Who Can And Cannot Take Sulfasalazine
Adults and children aged 2 years and older can take sulfasalazine.
Sulfasalazine is not suitable for some people. To make sure its safe for you, tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to sulfasalazine, aspirin, or any other salicylates such as methyl salicylate or choline salicylate
- have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medicine
- have a rare blood condition called porphyria
- have any problems with your kidneys or liver
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding
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Overview Of Medications Used To Treat Spinal Arthritis A Common Cause Of Back Pain Also Called Osteoarthritis Or Spondylosis
The type of arthritis that more commonly affects the spine is osteoarthritis, also called spondylosis. Other types of arthritis that are inflammatory in nature include rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Here, youll learn about medications for osteoarthritis that affects your neck , mid back , and/or low back .It is not uncommon for arthritic neck or back pain to be accompanied by other symptoms, such as tingling sensations, numbness, or muscle spasms. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
What Are The Best Medicines For Arthritis Pain
As there are hundreds of choices available in the market, choosing the best medicines for arthritis pain can be quite tricky. To help you out, here are five of the most popular and well-loved products you will find on and offline.
- Penetrex Pain Relief Therapy
- PRIMAL Joint Support and Anti-Inflammatory Joint Support Soft Capsules
- Our rating
- Aleve Easy Open Arthritis Caplets
- Our rating
This is an all-natural product that has ingredients like turmeric, ginger, boswellia, and vitamin D. It also has Celadrin. PRIMAL likewise boasts of minerals like zinc, copper, selenium, and manganese, which are essential for natural health and protection.
It is gluten, wheat, and dairy-free and does not contain artificial ingredients, fillers, and binders.
PRIMAL works two ways: reducing and preventing inflammation and improving your well-being and overall health.
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What Are The Precautions Of Arthritis Medicine
Even the best medicines for arthritis pain can have side effects. As such, it is important to exercise precaution.
Some of the side effects you need to watch out for are as follows:
For acetaminophens dizziness, nausea, constipation, vomiting, and lightheadedness for prescription-strength acetaminophens. Non-prescription acetaminophens have no side effects when taken as directed. Taking in more than the prescribed dosage, however, can lead to liver damage. It will also help if you consult with your doctor before taking acetaminophen to make sure that it will not react with whatever other medication you are seeking.
For corticosteroids bone loss, cataracts, increase blood sugar levels and elevated levels of blood fats.
For NSAIDS edema, stomach upset, possible increased blood clots risk, stomach ulcers, increased risk of stroke and heart attack, heartburn.
For DMARDS increased susceptibility to infections, and stomach upset. Some brands have certain side effects, too.
For biologics when biologics are injected, one can develop an adverse or adverse reaction to the injection such as swelling and redness nausea, rapid/weak pulse, vomiting, and difficulty in breathing.
All these side effects can be prevented and managed if you consult with your doctor first before choosing any product.
What Really Causes Arthritis
There are many kinds of arthritis and each has different causes. Osteoarthritis, the most common arthritis in the U.S., is known as wear and tear or older-age arthritis. Injuries, infections, birth defects and obesity are some causes of osteoarthritis. Many other types of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, are autoimmune diseases where the immune system mistakenly attacks the joints causing pain and inflammation. Other types of arthritis, like gout, are caused by inflammation due to microscopic crystals depositing in the joints.
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What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis is a general term for inflammation in joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that occurs in joints on both sides of the body , which helps distinguish it from other types of arthritis.
In addition to affecting the joints, rheumatoid arthritis may occasionally affect other parts of the body, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, nerves, or kidneys.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that patients immune system is overreacting against itself. The result can cause some or all of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Side Effects Of Nsaids
Use of NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, particularly in higher doses. However, the most common side effects of NSAIDs are heartburn, indigestion, abdominal or stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. You can reduce the risk of side effects by taking the medicine with food or milk.
Other possible side effects include:
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Aleve Tablets Fast Acting All Day Pain Relief For Headaches Muscle Aches
- For 25 years, aleve has provided temporary relief of minor aches and pains due to backaches, muscular aches, headaches, minor arthritis and other joint pain, menstrual pain, toothaches, and the common cold.
- Aleve is proven better and lasts longer on pain than tylenol.
- Use for minor arthritis pain.
- Data on file.
- Aleve is an over the counter , nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drug designed to deliver continuous pain relief at the site of pain.
- Only aleve works at the site of pain all day with just two pills.