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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    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
    The primary advantage of topical medications is that they are usually the least invasive option because you don't ingest them, which decreases the risk of side effects. For example, topical capsaicin has been shown to be helpful when applied 4 times daily.

    Consider all that has to happen for the painkilling ingredient in a swallowed pill to reach your sore joint(s). It reaches your stomach, where it is digested before being absorbed into your body in your intestines. The medication is now in your bloodstream, and will reach essentially all of the cells in your body, most of which do not need it. Finally, it must be broken down and metabolized by your liver and/or kidneys, and the resulting products of the breakdown excreted. This long journey can lead to a variety of systemic side effects, including injury to the stomach (a common problem), liver, and kidneys, as well as other parts of your body, depending on the medication ingredients. By contrast, a topical analgesic has minimal, if any, systemic absorption. It bypasses the digestive tract altogether.
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    If you’re among the majority of Americans who are overweight or obese, slimming down can significantly slow the progression and ease the pain of joint degeneration. In fact, according to the Arthritis Advisor, you can reduce knee stress by 40 to 80 pounds with a mere 10-pound weight loss. That may sound like a lot, but it’s estimated that the knee actually supports four times the body weight when you’re walking, so a 10-pound loss can reduce the load at least fourfold. In addition, French researchers have linked the joint distortion caused by osteoarthritis to a hormone called leptin that’s released by fat cells, and they have discovered that the higher the body mass index, the higher the concentration of leptin in the joints.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    What are the natural treatments for arthritis?

    Natural treatments for arthritis include maintaining a healthy weight and diet, exercising, using topical creams, and taking specialized supplements. Watch rheumatologist Natalie Azar, MD, discuss these natural treatment options for arthritis.

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    If you have arthritis of the knee, knee replacement may be necessary if pain is limiting your activity. The recommendation for knee replacement surgery is usually based on a person's symptoms, age and general health. Someone who has already been diagnosed with arthritis of the knee will often undergo injections in the knee, such as a steroid or hyaluronic acid, to help with pain. If these injections become less helpful or not helpful at all and the pain is limiting your activity, you may be a candidate for knee replacement.
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    A , Pain Medicine, answered
    If you have arthritis, you will benefit greatly from exercise, particularly weightlifting. A study conducted at Tufts University found that people with rheumatoid arthritis could safely increase their strength by up to 60 percent with a modest training program. Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also reported improvements in osteoarthritis when patients combined weight training with aerobic exercise. Depending on your type of arthritis, certain exercises can help to keep your joints healthy. These include: aerobics (low impact), biking (takes pressure off knee and ankle joints), knitting (hands), playing piano (hands), resistance training, stretching, swimming, tai chi, walking, and yoga.
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    A , Healthcare, answered

    In arthritis, moist heat offers many benefits including:

    • relieves pain
    • relaxes tight muscles
    • loosens stiff joints
    • increases flexibility

    Moist heat makes it easier to exercise the arthritic joints and can allow movement of stiff joints to increase. The moist heat also allows the joint exercises to be easier and more effective. Be sure to do this application twice every day, without fail. Start with 15 minutes each morning and evening. If necessary, you might have to get up a few minutes earlier in the morning before your day starts, then use this again before bedtime. Your commitment of time and effort will be definitely worth the improvement you will feel and with the moist heat, you will feel some improvement in pain and stiffness almost immediately.

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    Arthritis management usually starts with your primary care doctor. This doctor can guide you through your various treatment options.

    Specialists who treat arthritis include:
    • orthopedists
    • pain specialists
    • physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors
    • rheumatologists
    • spine specialists
    • sports medicine specialists
    Other healthcare professionals may provide arthritis care.

    They include:
    • acupuncturists
    • chiropractors
    • occupational therapists
    • physical therapists
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    How effective are steroid injections for regular relief of arthritic pain?

    Steroid (cortisone) injections are most effective for acute inflammation of a joint/tendon, or as adjunctive therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. Watch rheumatologist Natalie Azar, MD, discuss the efficacy of steroid injections for arthritis pain.


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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    There are anti-inflammatory supplements like fish oil and borage oil that have been shown to allow reduction of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most crippling types of arthritis. Fish oil works even better in combination with extra-virgin olive oil to reduce inflammation.