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Common Arthritis Treatment And Management Methods

by Brett Mills

Arthritis refers to a group of illnesses that cause joint inflammation and pain. Common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The severity of the disease varies with each patient, with common symptoms including joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The condition has no cure, but some treatments help ease pain and slow its progression. These treatments may include:

Prescription Drugs

Physicians prescribe different kinds of drugs to arthritis patients depending on the form and severity of arthritis they have and the symptoms they intend to treat. The primary purpose of such medications is pain relief and improving joint movements. Patients can receive the medication by ingesting pills, rubbing creams or gels on inflamed joints, or injections into stiff joints. Common drugs used include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce pain and tackle inflammation corticosteroids that minimize joint stiffness and delay joint deterioration.   


Before resorting to medications or surgery, arthritis patients can engage in physical exercises to help slow down the progression of the disease. Physiotherapy can reduce joint pain by building muscle around inflamed joints, thus offering improved support to the joints and increasing mobility. Physiotherapy sessions also provide an opportunity to learn techniques that can help carry out ordinary activities without aggravating the severity of the disease. A physiotherapist also teaches patients with arthritis about negative postures to avoid and ways to reduce the load on weak joints. The therapist may also suggest remedies like joint braces and handlebars in washrooms to ease movement. Lastly, physical therapy and exercise help patients reduce weight, lowering the amount of strain the body places on joints.   


In severe arthritis cases where physiotherapy and medication do not offer relief, surgery may be necessary to restore joint function or offer pain relief. The surgery can involve joint repair, replacement, or joint fusion. Joint repair involves bone straightening to reduce pain when moving. In contrast, joint replacement involves removing damaged joints and replacing them with artificial joints made of steel, ceramics, or plastic components. In addition, joint fusion is usually performed on wrists, fingers, and toes and involves cutting the ends of two bones at a joint and fusing them into one using removable screws.  

Alternative Methods

Alternative arthritis treatment options include supplements like glucosamine that relieve pain, reduce swelling, and improve joint mobility. Acupuncture is another option that can offer pain relief, hence lowering a patient's reliance on medications. Additionally, hot and cold therapy provides temporary pain relief. Heat therapy includes taking warm baths and showers, which decrease joint rigidity, while cold therapy reduces inflammation. Thus, patients should schedule a doctor's visit for proper arthritis treatment.

Keep these tips in mind when looking for an arthritis treatment clinic near you.