Treating Arthritis With Medications
Meds are usually very effective in helping to ease joint pain and other arthritis symptoms. Thats because most of them help reduce inflammation the source of all that aching. Some types of medications may be used simply to ease joint pain, without doing much to combat inflammation.
Over-the-counter pain-relievers. These include Tylenol , and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Aleve , and Advil or Motrin . Acetaminophen may be best used in conjunction with some prescription medications and is generally safe for long-term use, according to 2012 research in The Open Rheumatology Journal. But the researchers also noted that, while NSAIDs can ease an arthritis flare-up, high doses and long-term use may also be harmful; the Food and Drug Administration cautions that NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding and kidney damage in some people.
Acetaminophen is the first line of defense against osteoarthritis, says Robert T. Keenan, MD, a rheumatologist at Duke University Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. He considers the medicine to be very safe if you dont have significant liver damage or other contraindications and don’t take more than the maximum dosage . It seems to work best before the pain starts and preventing the pain associated with increased activity, Dr. Keenan says.
Do Something For Yourself Each Day If You Can
Im a big believer in doing small things that make you feel a little bit better about your day, Deanna Kizis, 51, who was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis three years ago, tells SELF. The specific gesture can be unique to you; maybe you decide to treat yourself to the fancier ice cream at the grocery store or you spend five extra minutes to deep condition your hair. As long as its something that prioritizes your happiness, try to give it space in your schedule as a part of your psoriatic arthritis self care.;
For Kizis, picking flowers from her garden and finding the perfect spot for them in her home is a simple reminder that shes deserving of beautiful things, even if her headspace is trying to tell her otherwise. Ive reminded myself that Im worth a pretty flower in the middle of my day, and Im showing myself that Im worth a little bit of extra attention, she says. Little things like that really mean a lot to me, and I suggest them even to friends who dont have chronic illnesses, but who are going through a hard time.
More Approaches To Fight The Joint Pain Of Arthritis
Taking medication isnt the only way to treat arthritis pain. Other options include:
There are many arthritis treatment options available to you to help manage your pain, so dont despair you dont have to muddle through without relief. Just keep in mind that you may need to try a few different therapies before you figure out which arthritis treatments work best for you.
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Common Ingredients In Arthritis Pain Supplements
The default ingredient list of many arthritis pain supplements includes glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. However, manufacturers are not restricted to these ingredients. Here is a list of potential ingredients which should be clearly displayed on product packaging.
GlucosamineGlucosamine is a natural substance produced by the human body. It is usually found in joint fluids, bone marrow, and shellfish. It helps with the repair of cartilage damaged by inflammation. It can raise blood sugar levels in diabetics but is generally considered safe. There is no established therapeutic dose.
ChondroitinChondroitin is similar on a molecular level to glucosamine and is also found naturally in human joint tissue. Several reputable studies link the use of chondroitin with significant relief from osteoarthritis pain. It has some blood-thinning properties, so users taking blood-thinning medications or certain cancer drugs should caution.
MSMMSM is naturally found in green plants, but it is also produced in the human body. It is often touted as a miracle supplement that can help with a wide variety of medical conditions. The primary function of MSM in arthritis pain supplements is to deliver beneficial sulfur to damaged tissues.
TurmericTurmeric is a spice with a number of claimed health benefits. It is commonly found in prepared mustards and Indian food. As a supplement, turmeric is considered to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Are Arthritis Pain Supplements Safe And Effective
In terms of consumer safety, most arthritis pain supplements do not contain controlled substances or other prescription-strength medications. They are classified as food supplements, not medication. However, you should consult with your physicians before beginning a regimen of this type. Diabetics should be careful when using sugar-based ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin, and those with severe shellfish allergies should also use caution.
The effectiveness of arthritis pain supplements is a matter of debate. The beneficial effects may not appear for several months, as the body slowly begins to rebuild lost tissue or fluids. Anecdotal testimony from satisfied users indicates a noticeable degree of relief from pain and swelling, but these claims are not fully supported by scientific studies.
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Exercise And Physical Therapy
Exercise is essential for reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and slowing its progress. Exercise not only helps you manage your weight, but it also improves strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Low-impact exercises are less likely to put strain on a damaged joint. Experts strongly recommend tai chi for people with hip osteoarthritis.
Other options include:
Regular stretching can help relieve stiff, achy, or painful joints. Here are some tips to help you stretch safely:
- Start by asking a physical therapist for suggestions and guidance.
- Do all stretches gently and build up flexibility slowly.
- Stop if you feel pain.
- Increase intensity slowly.
If you dont feel pain after the first few days of an activity, gradually spend more time on it. At first, you may find it hard to stretch very far, but your flexibility will increase over time, as you practice.
Here are a few possible stretches:
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart or sit in a chair. Slowly lean forward, keeping your upper body relaxed. You should feel the stretch in your hips and lower back.
Lie on your back. Pull your bent knee up toward your chest until you feel a stretch. If your body allows it, use your other leg to deepen the stretch.
Extended leg balance
This is the same exercise as the knee pull, but you start from a standing position. Place one hand along the wall for support.
Here are some other stretches you can ask your healthcare provider about:
- standing hip flexors
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 spinal injection 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.
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Antidepressants For Osteoarthritis Pain
Your doctor may recommend the use of antidepressant medication to help treat chronic OA pain even if you donât have depression. Itâs not clear how it works, but brain chemicals affected by antidepressant medications may play a role.
One antidepressant, duloxetine , is FDA-approved for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain, including chronic osteoarthritis pain. Common side effects include nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, and constipation.
Doctors sometimes prescribe a tricyclic antidepressant such as amitriptyline, desipramine , and nortriptyline for chronic pain. These are most often taken near bedtime because they can make you sleepy. Other side effects include dry mouth, nausea, weight change, and constipation.
All antidepressant drugs carry a boxed warning of higher risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. Anyone starting antidepressant drugs should be monitored closely for any unusual behavioral changes, suicidal thinking and behavior, or worsening of a psychiatric disorder.
Arthritis Treatment Options Explained
Arthritis medication can do a lot to keep joint pain in check, but there are many more ways to manage your condition.
Once youve been diagnosed with;arthritis, its time to determine the best way of treating it. There are many different options you and your doctor just have to figure out what works best for you and your particular symptoms. And sometimes, a combination of therapies offers the best relief from the joint pain of arthritis. Read on to find out which ones can work for you.
How Do Arthritis Pain Supplements Work
The basic mechanism behind arthritis pain supplements is tissue repair. Osteoarthritis and other medical conditions cause painful inflammation and degenerative tissue damage primarily in the joints. As the body loses its natural lubricants and protective cartilage, the nerves, muscle tissue, and bones can become inflamed and painful to the touch. Prescription pain medications usually address inflammation and swelling, but they do not always address the loss of fluids, cartilage, and bone tissue over time.
This is where arthritis pain supplements enter the picture. Natural ingredients ordinarily produced in the human body, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, are supposed to encourage the regrowth of cartilage and other protective tissues. MSM is a sulfur-based substance that penetrates inflamed tissue and helps ease inflammation. Other ingredients found in these supplements may also help improve overall bone density, restore lubricating synovial fluids, or reduce inflammation.
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 doctor what you want to try . There are many alternative treatment options that, while popular, are not fully endorsed for effectiveness and safety. Supplements and herbal products also pose the potential for dangerous drug interactions.
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 sold for arthritis relief. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that many are tainted with prescription drugs. You could experience dangerous side effects from these supplements.
The 10 Best Foods To Eat If You Have Arthritis
If you have arthritis, you know just how devastating this condition can be.
Arthritis is a term for a class of diseases that cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It can affect people of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds.
There are many different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is one type, which develops in joints with overuse. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your joints (
Fortunately, there are many foods that can ease inflammation and may help relieve some of the joint pain associated with arthritis.
In fact, one survey found that 24% of those with rheumatoid arthritis reported that their diet had an impact on the severity of their symptoms (
This article will look at 10 of the best foods to eat if you have arthritis.
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.
Ive Heard That The Nsaid Celebrex Doesnt Affect Your Stomach Cant I Just Take That
Its true that celecoxib is much less likely to cause GI symptoms, and thats because its the only NSAID that blocks COX-2 alone. Other NSAIDs block COX-1 and COX-2. The issue is that COX-1 is also involved in protecting the stomach lining from the acid the stomach produces.;
Its the decreased amount of COX-1 that contributes to NSAIDs GI side effects.
However, Celebrex isnt the appropriate choice for every patient, Dr. Bhatt says. For one thing, Celebrex is expensive, and depending on your insurance, it could be difficult to get approval, he explains. Companies want to see that youve tried other drugs first.
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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Tips For Using A Cane
When using a cane, remember the following tips:
- Ensure the cane isnt too tall or short. You shouldnt slump or slouch over when using a cane. Its height should come to the top of your wrist.
- Use the cane on your strong side. If your affected hip is your right one, hold the cane with your left hand. When you step forward with your right leg, the cane will provide support. Practice moving your affected leg and the cane at the same time.
- Advance the cane an appropriate distance. Move the cane about 2 inches to the front or side of you. If its too far from your body, you might lose balance.
A physical therapist can help you develop a safe technique.
Your insurance company may cover the cost of these aids. Your healthcare provider can write a prescription for these mobility aids to help in the reimbursement process.
Top 4 Supplements To Treat Arthritis Pain
Choosing the right supplement to ease your arthritis pain and inflammation can be confusing. Which supplements are most effective? Of the many types of supplements available in stores and online, the following 4 have been well-studied for their ability to treat arthritis pain:
Research suggests curcumin, found in the spice turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties and has the potential to reduce arthritis pain.
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Make Your Own Heat Pad
Fill a cotton sock with uncooked rice grains and seal it. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. When it cools down slightly but is still nice and warm, place it on sore, stiff joints. Your DIY heat pad should stay warm for about half an hour. The rice grains will shape to your body and provide soothing heat. If you have lavender or another fragrant herb on hand, toss it in with the rice grains for an additional relaxing aromatherapy treatment, too. Check out these other;home remedies for arthritis even doctors recommend.
Home Remedies For Arthritis But Only One Works
Arthritis is a common disease affecting millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of new cases are identified each year in the United States.
When you are suffering from arthritis, it quickly becomes clear that its not just joints that are affected. RA can also cause severe fatigue, fevers, weight loss, anemia, in addition to causing additional problems throughout the major organs . Sufferers often experience dry mouth, dry eyes, shortness of breath, damaged nerves, malaise, and small skin lumps, just to name a few.
So, how do you get relief? If you would prefer not to take prescription medications nor undergo surgery, there are several natural home remedies that have some reported rates of success in treating symptoms of RA. Want to know whats so great about these methods, in addition to getting some relief from your symptoms? The products used in these natural remedies are very easy to find. The following seven treatments are the most common homeopathic remedies. Bear in mind that response to these remedies will be different for each individual as the disease presents and progresses differently in each individual. Make sure to discuss with your doctor any home remedies that you are considering as they may interact with your body and prescription medications in ways that you did not realize.