Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Arthritis Treatment Options

Think the only thing you can do to help your arthritis is to take pain medications? Think your arthritis is only going to get worse as you get older? With today's medical advances, there are a wide range of arthritis treatment options available to those suffering from the condition.

Depending on the form of arthritis you suffer, doctors can prescribe medicine that can ease your pain, as well as actually keeping the disease from progressing.

For mild arthritis pain, most people generally start by treating their symptoms themselves using over-the-counter medications. There are a wide variety of creams, liniments, patches and oral anti-inflammatory and analgesics to choose from. Arthritis creams generally contain some combination of menthol, capsaicin and salicylate.

When applied to the painful area, these creams or liniments can relieve the aches and pains. However, these creams are temporary and must be reapplied often. The medicine in some of these creams can also be purchased in a patch form that gives a concentrated, continuous release of medicine so you don't have to reapply as often.

Oral analgesics, such as acetaminophen, are medicines taken by mouth that can help to reduce the pain of arthritis. Doctors often also recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, as an arthritis treatment to help reduce the inflammation and fever associated with arthritis.

For more severe arthritis pain, you may need to see your doctor for a stronger form of arthritis treatment. For the aches and pains of osteoarthritis, which results from the normal aging process, your doctor can prescribe prescription strength NSAID, or even a narcotic pain medication if he feels your level of pain warrants it.

For some suffering from osteoarthritis, joint replacement surgery is an option your doctor may suggest. Most often joint replacement surgeries replace the joints in the knees and hips with plastic or metal joints.

Although this procedure is considered a major surgery and a successful recovery requires intense therapy, many are well pleased with the results of joint replacement when they find they can return to their normal activities with little or no arthritis pain.

For those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, which results from the body's immune system turning on the body and destroying the cartilage that cushions the joints, there are several prescription medications available.

For this condition, your doctor may prescribe an immunosuppressant medicine or a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug, both of which can help slow the progression of the disease. These are also several new rheumatoid arthritis treatments which have been very successful in decreasing the symptoms of the condition.

These medicines, called biologics, generally come in an injectable form and are injected either once weekly or every other week. These medicines have been proven in clinical trials to help improve physical function as well as keeping joint damage from becoming worse in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

From mild to severe arthritis, there are arthritis treatment available for all. While some medicines simply relieve arthritis pain, some can actually help keep the condition from becoming worse.

If you suffer from the pain of arthritis, see your doctor to find an arthritis treatment that is right for you.

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