Arthritis, or joint inflammation, affects millions of people. Arthritis pain typically is a result of the actual inflammation of the joint or joints and the synovial tissue layer. The synovial tissue is the soft tissue that lines the joints of the body. Arthritis can cause strain on the ligaments, sinews, organs and muscles as well as contributing to fatigue. One or more of these symptoms can worsen the arthritic pain that is already present.
Arthritis pain can inhibit normal daily activity and impair a person's life making even the simplest activities uncomfortable or painful. There are many types of arthritis and all of them vary in severity. Acute arthritis pain is usually temporary and sporadic. Chronic arthritis pain is the occurrence of pain for a regular and extended period of time ranging from days to months to even years. In fact, some chronic arthritis pain can made it very difficult for some people to maintain a regular job.
Every arthritis patient experiences the pain associated with the disease differently. Sometimes the pain is aggravated and evident with redness, or a feeling of heat, in the joint areas. Other times there is swelling in the joint area, or just a constant pain that results from arthritic damage. Every patient's pain threshold is different and thus may cause them to seek help with the pain at different stage of the disease.
The activities that an arthritis patient performs could contribute to the pain, or could help alleviate the occurrence of pain. Many patients complain that once they get out of bed, they experience arthritis pain. Others complain that they experience the pain only after a series of activities that wear the joints affected by the disease. Depending on how much the pain bothers a patient and when, the patient and his or her doctor will discuss and come up with a personalized pain treatment plan.
There are several main ways of treating arthritic pain. Many patients benefit from just one form of treatment while others must undergo a series of treatments or a combination of treatments. It is very common for a patient to try one treatment before going on to the next.
Most often, arthritis is treated with medications - usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. These drugs are typically used for short-term relief and can easily alleviate the discomfort associated with inflammation. NSAIDs are the most common medications used for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Aside from medications, exercise is a very effective form of arthritis treatment. Regular exercise can help reduce the amount of joint pain and stiffness. While a person exercises, he or she promotes stretching, which is ideal for arthritis symptoms. Before engaging in an exercise plan, it is best to discuss it with a doctor.
A more extreme form of arthritis treatment is surgery. Usually, surgery is reserved for those patients with the most severe and extreme cases of arthritis. During surgery for arthritis treatment, the synovial tissue is removed, the affected joints repaired or - in the more severe cases - the entire joint replaced with an artificial one.