Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis Treatment
Arthritis treatment is based on the severity of symptoms and location of the joint inflammation. Oral medications and topical creams can help relieve joint pain. Physical therapy and activity modification can improve flexibility and joint health. Your doctor may recommend diet changes to eliminate foods that increase inflammation. Although there is no cure for most types of arthritis, early diagnosis and proper management are important, particularly for inflammatory types of arthritis.

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    Various medications are used to treat arthritis, usually by addressing pain and inflammation. Simple painkillers like acetaminophen can be used to take care of mild pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with both pain and inflammation. Some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, can be treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, which are used to slow the progress of the disease. Steroids can slow joint damage and reduce pain and inflammation, and they can be taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint. Topical creams that contain chemicals like capsaicin (the spicy chemical in cayenne pepper) or menthol may also be applied directly to the joint to treat the pain caused by arthritis.

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    A , Physical Therapy, answered

    Yes, physical therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. In addition, patients can also expect to regain mobility, and flexibility.

    Shoulder Arthritis is due to an abnormal wearing down of the cartilage that covers the bone (Osteoarthritis) or can be due to the destruction of the joint because of an autoimmune inflammatory process (Rheumatoid arthritis) or as a result of trauma to the joint (traumatic arthritis). The result is generalized pain, stiffness, inflammation, pain with movement, muscle weakness and abnormal movement of the arm as a compensation. Before physical therapy a physical exam and an X-ray to determine the extent of arthritic change should be performed to determine what the correct physical therapy intervention will be. The physical exam will look at muscle strength, what the passive (performed by the therapist) and active (the patient performs) motions are, postural changes, compensatory movement patterns, and flexibility of muscles and joint play of the shoulder. The X-rays will look at bony changes of the shoulder, i.e. narrowing or destruction of joints, and for formation of bone spurs/osteophytes.

    In addition, your physical therapist will prescribe the proper exercises to improve the strength and tone of the rotator cuff and muscles around the shoulder joint to decrease the stress to the arthritic joint and improve the functional use of one’s shoulder. The therapist may use modalities such as heat, ice, ultrasound and electrical stimulation, as well as employ manual therapy such as joint mobilization, therapeutic massage, and gentle stretching to help regain pain-free shoulder function. Upon regaining range of motion (“ROM”) and strength, the therapist will reeducate the patient in proper arm movement and the patient will also perform exercises at home to both maintain and progress gains attained in physical therapy.

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    A , Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered

    Homeopathy is an alternative treatment that gets to the core of arthritis. Changing your diet can also help. Ayurveda is another treatment method, use of herbs, spices and diet can help. In Ayurveda they believe that illness starts in your inability to digest food, if your digestion is working, many illnesses can be prevented or treated.

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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of

    Treatment for mild or moderate cases of big toe arthritis may include shoe modifications, orthotic devices, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. In some cases, however, surgery is the only way to eliminate or reduce pain.

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    A , Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    Take it easy after an injection for the rest of the day, and don't do more than a bit of light walking if the injection was in a weightbearing joint. After the injection, the joint might feel numb, and the pain can return when the anesthetic wears off. It may take 3 - 5 days to experience the steroid's maximum effect, although everyone responds differently.
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    A , Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    A growing body of evidence shows that avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) stimulates the production of cartilage, inhibits its breakdown, and decreases pain to an extent similar to non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but without negative side effects.
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    A , Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    The mechanism of action of topical pain relievers is an issue of some debate, and they may be underutilized because there has not been as much research about them as the other arthritis medications. Skeptics argue that very little of the active ingredient is actually absorbed through the skin, and that many topical solutions, including those that contain menthol, act by irritating the surrounding tissue, which increases blood flow to the joint or other painful area. This, in turn, would then presumably increase the elimination of inflammatory waste products.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    This is a great question for a number of reasons:
    • It's a common question for people with musculoskeletal injuries or surgery.
    • There's a good deal of uncertainty and misconception about the benefits and risks of exercise in a person with arthritis.
    • It demonstrates your desire to get back to exercising. I believe your motivation will help you recover from your surgery faster.
    Some details about your condition matter. How extensive was the surgery? How severe is the arthritis? What type of arthritis do you have?

    For nearly all types of arthritis, moving is better than not moving. It's true: "if you don't move it, you lose it." We tend to lose motion, strength and balance if we are not active. And a number of studies (though not all) that looked at the effect of running on the risk of arthritis suggest there is no clear increase in arthritis or other joint damage from running.

    So, my advice is this: you can start running as soon as your surgeon tells you it's okay. But start slow. Run for brief periods and at low speed. Over weeks and months, you should be able to resume your old running routine.

    A few words of caution to keep in mind:
    • This is probably not the time to start training for a marathon or begin highly competitive, high impact activities.
    • Every person is different. If running causes you significant pain or other problems, talk to your doctor. It may be time to find other non-weight-bearing exercises that do not stress your knees as much. Biking and swimming are good examples.
    • Make only small changes in your exercise routine. Start small and make no more than 10% changes each week. For example, increase your speed or how long you run (but not both) by 10% at a time.
    Most people in your situation are able to resume running over a short time. I hope you'll be one of them!
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    An estimated 50,000 people a year experience end-stage ankle arthritis, in which the ankle cartilage has worn away completely, causing painful bone-on-bone contact and some level of disability. Until lately, such patients have had only one surgical option: ankle fusion surgery. However, in the past 10 years or so, total ankle replacement surgery has been found to be a safe and effective treatment option for select patients with ankle arthritis. In many patients, total ankle replacement surgery substantially improves function, reduces pain, and allows for an improved quality of life. Patient mobility and quality-of-life factors contribute to longer independent living and to controlling overall healthcare costs.
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    A , Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, answered
    Rarely, after a steroid injection for arthritis, a joint can have a "post-injection flare" in which symptoms temporarily worsen. The flare will generally subside within 48 - 72 hours. If this happens to you, call your doctor for further care, and also to help rule out an infection.

    In addition to the effects on the joint, steroid injections can raise blood sugar levels, so people with diabetes need to be especially aware of this potential side effect and discuss it with their doctor. A steroid injection can change the pigmentation of the skin, making it lighter. This is a rare complication, but it is a potential problem, particularly in people with darker skin. There are other side effects, and some people are not good candidates for steroid injections. If you are taking a blood thinner, you may need to discontinue it prior to the injection. It is important to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your physician. If you do have a steroid injection, be sure to have it done by a qualified, experienced professional.
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