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.
When To See A Doctor
People experiencing arthritic pain may wish to speak to a doctor before purchasing a new mattress. While a suitable mattress may help with aches and pains, it should not be a substitute for medical treatment.
Treatment for arthritis can include medication, physical therapy, or surgery. People should discuss the benefits and risks of these treatments with their healthcare provider.
Here are some of the most common questions about mattresses, arthritis, and joint pain:
Best For Side Sleepers: Nolah Evolution 15 Mattress
This hybrid mattress features proprietary triple-zone coils, a breathable cover, and foam with a graphite infusion for cushioning and cooling.
The mattress has seven layers, comes with a custom firmness, 15-in thickness, and has a CertiPUR-US certification.
The mattress adapts to support body curves while keeping spinal alignment.
It comes with two free pillows, and a person can also opt to add accident protection coverage for an additional fee.
The company offers free shipping, a 120-night trial, and a lifetime warranty.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Five Worst Foods For Arthritis
What Are The Symptoms
RA sufferers are familiar with the severity of the pain associated with stiff and sore joints. Some describe it as having sprained all the joints in their bodies at once. Now imagine that with simultaneous fatigue, appetite loss, and feeling feverish, and you can easily envision how they are apt to feel downright lousy. Then to add insult to injury, some suffer through those episodes it for years and years. The most common signs and symptoms are:
* Swollen joints* Pain and stiffness in the joints, especially after periods of inactivity * Extreme fatigue
Even though RA is not life threatening, you will feel pretty miserable. And thats no way to live your life. Youll be searching for relief and relief that works.
Lifestyle Changes And Alternative Treatments
Certain lifestyle changes can help relieve the pressure on your spine and improve your overall outlook.
- eating foods that reduce inflammation
- quitting smoking
- reducing alcohol consumption
You may also benefit from working with a physical therapist. They can help you perform specific exercises that may restore lost range of motion in your lower back.
Pain from lumbar arthritis can also be treated by alternative or complementary medicine, especially in early stages. Acupuncture and chiropractic care felt in the lower back, but they arent long-term solutions.
Read Also: Can Stress Cause Flare Up Arthritis
What Can I Do
Learn about back pain and play an active role in your treatment. Not all information you read or hear about is trustworthy so always talk to your healthcare team about treatments you are thinking about trying. Reliable sources of further information are also listed in the section below. Self-management courses aim to help you develop skills to be actively involved in your healthcare. Contact your local Arthritis Office for details of these courses.
Stay active and healthy. Your back is designed for movement. Continuing with your normal activities or returning to them as soon as you can will help you recover from a bout of back pain. Some pain with activity is normal but does not mean it is causing harm. You may need to rest or reduce some activities when the pain is excessive. But resting for more than a day or two usually does not help and may do more harm than good. See a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist for advice about exercises to keep your back moving. If you are carrying extra kilos, losing weight with the help of a dietitian may be of benefit, as may be strategies to reduce stress and anxiety.
Learn ways to manage pain. There are many things you can try, including
Acknowledge your feelings and seek support. It is natural to feel worried, frustrated, sad and sometimes angry when you have pain. Be aware of these feelings and get help if they start affecting your daily life.
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.
- 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
You May Like: What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In Your Hands
Talk To Your Doctor About A Knee Brace
Often a knee brace can help. Theres evidence to show that even a simple compression sleeve can decrease pain, says Dr. Day. These are a good way to start because you can get one at the drugstore.
You can also talk to your doctor about a more customized unloader brace. These take pressure off a portion of the joint. The brace thats right for you will depend on the severity and location of arthritis, whether primarily in the inner or outer side of the joint or in the kneecap.
Spinal Cord Stimulation: An Alternative Or Adjunct To Medication For Spinal Osteoarthritis
If youve taken several medications for your spinal osteoarthritis with little relief, your doctor may recommend , also known as neuromodulation to help relieve your chronic back or neck pain.
Spinal cord stimulation generates mild electrical impulses that block pain signals from reaching your brain. Pain is perceived in the brain. Neuromodulation involves implanting a small generator either in your abdominal or buttock area and thin wires called leads into the spinal canal. Some patients are not candidates for SCS, such as people who are pregnant, have a heart condition, epilepsy or have an existing implanted device such as a pacemaker. If your doctor recommends SCS, the first step is a trial period where the system is temporarily worn outside your body. If your pain improves using the stimulator, the device may be implanted surgically.
For some patients, spinal cord stimulation also helps them reduce their dependence on opioids or other pain medications. If youre concerned about tapering or weaning off your pain medication, talk to your doctor about strategies that may ease this process.
Also Check: What Helps Arthritis In Toes
Physical Therapy For Back Arthritis Information Exercises And More
You cant move like you used to. The pain in your back has gone from uncomfortable to debilitating.
Or maybe you are frustrated by tingling and numbness in your arms and legs. You keep wishing there was something you could do about it.
Getting up every morning shouldnt be this hard. Tired of your stiff back keeping you from doing the things you love?
Physical therapy and fitness coaching can help you regain motion and manage symptoms of back arthritis.
Keep reading to find out how physical therapy for back arthritis can help you get back to enjoying life.
Natural Remedies For Arthritis Pain
Living with arthritis can be a rollercoaster both physically and emotionally. Many people with arthritis experience bouts of significant pain and inflammation, followed by periods of disease inactivity. Not knowing when arthritis pain will flare up can reduce your quality of life and take its toll on your mental health.
Being able to manage arthritis pain effectively is key to preventing debilitating symptoms from affecting your daily life. If youre looking for a toolbox of arthritis management techniques, here are six proven ways to help ease pain and inflammation caused by arthritis.
You May Like: How Do You Know If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
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.
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.
Read Also: Does Alcohol Make Rheumatoid Arthritis Worse
Strengthening Program For Low Back Spinal Arthritis
First, a word of caution: You should work with your health provider to be sure these exercises are right for your condition, and that you are performing them correctly. The exact version, along with the exact number of sets and reps you should do, may vary according to your spine condition, any other medical conditions you may have, and how fit you are. The following is for general reference only.
For these exercises, it’s best not to do them in bed. Use a mat or blanket on the floor.
How Is Arthritis Diagnosed
If you experience arthritis symptoms, whether its OA or RA, please schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic physicians in Palm Springs or the Coachella Valley area. Aside from reviewing your symptoms, your doctor may also conduct a physical exam and/or request an X-ray and some laboratory tests to understand the cause of your arthritis pain and to provide the best treatment options possible.
Don’t Miss: Is Arthritis In The Knee Curable
Additional Back Arthritis Treatment: Acupuncture
While there is limited research as to how acupuncture works, many sufferers of arthritis report feeling better after just one session. It might seem silly to use thin needles to stimulate blood flow and decrease inflammation, but many patients have surprising results with acupuncture that just isnt possible via other means.
Not only does acupuncture reduce inflammation in the body, it can help relieve arthritis pain without needing to turn to painkillers. Scientists believe it works by triggering nerve signals, sending them along the spinal cord into the brain. The brain then sends pain-killing neurotransmitters to help the body cope, which can reduce the feeling of pain. Its not that the arthritis disappears, but the body is able to deal with it better.
Spinal Arthritis Pain Relief: Massage
As one of the most well-known ways to reduce tension in the body, massage is one of those natural treatments that goes beyond feeling good during the massage. During a massage, a massage therapist can help you release deep tension in your neck and back, and that can help reduce inflammation and pain long after you leave. Like acupuncture, it also increases blood flow, bringing rich nutrients to your aching joints and muscles.
But thats not all. Massage can also help treat spinal arthritis naturally by releasing hormones to help decrease anxiety and boost your mood.
Don’t Miss: What Is Arthritis Of The Spine Called
Why Do I Have Ra
What is causing your joint pain? RA is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders result from your immune system mistaking your normal cells for foreign cells and attacking/destroying them. When your immune system attacks the lining of the membrane surrounding your joints , inflammation occurs. The constant inflammation of the synovium thickens the membrane lining and wears away the cartilage and bone in your joints, causing the physical pain you experience.
The tricky thing about RA is that doctors are still unsure of what the underlying cause is. While genetics seem to be a contributing factor, the baffling mystery is that the majority of people suffering from RA have no family history of it.
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.
Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Arthritis Pain. Arthritis Foundation Web site. https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/other-therapies/electrical-stimulation-knee.php. Accessed October 29, 2018.
Also Check: How Can You Prevent Arthritis
Exceptional Multidisciplinary Care For Spinal Arthritis
The UH team of spine specialists have the expertise and experience to provide patients with the highest level of care for spinal arthritis. In fact, our spine program is one of only 20 programs in the country to be designated a Center of Excellence by the National Spine Institute.
We draw upon the expertise of a wide variety of clinical specialists to devise personalized treatment plans for each patient who comes to us for care. Your team may include:
- Orthopedic surgeons
Alternate Remedies For Rheumatoid Arthritis
More and more people are moving toward homeopathic treatments instead of relying on overpriced prescription medications and costly surgeries many of which individuals, especially those without insurance, cannot afford. Not only that, many people are becoming wary of putting so many manufactured chemicals in their bodies on a regular basis. It seems like everything we ingest nowadays is somehow engineered instead of natural. Perhaps returning to nature is a better alternative than the usual go-to treatments. Well discuss the use and effectiveness of seven natural remedies for RA. Well also share what our research has found as far as success rates go.
1. CinnamonProponents of cinnamon in alleviating symptoms of RA contribute its healing powers to the anti-inflammatory qualities of cinnamon bark. In addition, cinnamon is noted to help with aches and pains, especially when they are worse with cold or cold weather.
The Problem? Cinnamon in large doses can be detrimental to your health. In addition, cinnamon has been found to have potential harmful effects to pregnant women and may negatively react with your bodys natural blood clotting as well as interacts with any blood thinning medications you are taking.
2. Willow BarkWillow bark, as the name quite literally says, is the bark off of willow trees. This bark has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties which assist with pain relief. In fact, it has very similar qualities to everyday aspirin.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Treat Gout Arthritis
Is Walking Good For Arthritis In Back
Despite all the workouts available, walking remains a tried-and-true form of exercise. Not only is it low-impact for achy joints, it also provides cardiovascular benefits. When considering back pain from arthritis, follow some simple rules to get the most out of your walk: Wear comfortable walking shoes.
How Arthritis In The Back Is Diagnosed
Diagnosing arthritis in the back begins with taking your medical history and doing a physical exam of your back and legs to assess your mobility/flexibility and make sure your nerves are working properly. The doctor will ask questions about:
- Where the pain is occurring
- How long the pain has lasted
- What the pain feels like/how severe it is
- What situations/activities make the pain feel better or worse
- How the pain is affecting/limiting your daily function
Imaging tests are usually needed to help confirm a diagnosis of arthritis. X-rays are typically the first imaging test ordered. They can joint damage/bone spurs, but cannot show damage to soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, or bulging discs. Other tests may be ordered to look for changes or damage that is not visible on X-rays. These may include MRI, CT, ultrasound, bone scans, or other tests as needed. The gold standard to diagnose arthritis in the back is actually an injection called a medial branch block, but its not often necessary, says Dr. Kirschner.
Other blood tests may look for genetic markers associated with axial spondyloarthritis, such as HLA-B27, or antibodies associated with rheumatoid arthritis .
Don’t Miss: Where Do You Get Rheumatoid Arthritis