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 , Internal Medicine, answered
    Osteo Bi-Flex is a supplement you can buy without a prescription. It claims to improve joint health, promote mobility, help renew cartilage, and lubricate joints. There is little evidence to support these claims. At best, you could expect this product to ease pain a little.

    Osteo Bi-Flex appears to contain chondroitin and glucosamine. It also has other compounds the company calls "Joint Shield," including an extract of Boswellia serrata.

    I could find no evidence to support the claims that the "joint shield" ingredients improve joint health.

    Studies have looked at chondroitin and glucosamine in the treatment of arthritis and joint pain. Most studies have looked at the sulfate form of glucosamine. (Osteo Bi-flex does not contain this form. It contains glucosamine HCL.) Some researchers think the "sulfate" part is important, and that it may be more effective than other forms of glucosamine.

    A large research study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It included more than 1500 people with osteoarthritis of the knee. They were given one of the following:
    • A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
    • Glucosamine and condroitin (either alone or together)
    • A placebo (a substance with no medical effect; sometimes called a "sugar" pill)
    Researchers found that only the NSAID showed significant pain relief compared to the placebo. Overall, there were no significant differences between the placebo and the glucosamine-chondroitin (either together or alone).

    A small group of people in the study had moderate to severe pain. In this group, the glucosamine-chondroitin did provide some reduction in pain. But glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (together or alone) was no better than the placebo in slowing joint damage and the loss of cartilage.

    There is other research that suggests that glucosamine reduces the knee pain of osteoarthritis about as well as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

    I don't think Osteo Bi-Flex can slow down joint damage or help rebuild cartilage. Personally, I would not spend my money on this product, based on the current scientific information.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    You can take a Slow Medicine approach to treating arthritis.

    When you are stressed out, the body's sympathetic nervous system switches on, putting you into fight-or-flight mode. This stimulates the adrenal glands and sets off a body-wide inflammatory response. This can worsen any existing inflammatory conditions, including arthritis.

    Therefore, a key to dealing with arthritis is an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Such a lifestyle is one that activates the sympathetic nervous system’s shut-off switch: the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the body's rest-and-digest mode.

    An anti-inflammatory lifestyle is one that nourishes, soothes and heals us. Your body, mind, heart and soul are connected. Which means your parasympathetic nervous system can be activated on the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual levels.

    Here are some ways to do that:
    • Eat nutrient-dense, whole foods.
    • Read thought-provoking books.
    • Spend time with those who make you feel secure and loved.
    • Meditate or pray.
    By going to your happy place on all these levels at the same time, you amplify the impact of each act, in a united effect that I refer to as “healthy multitasking.” An example is going for a walk (physical) in the forest (spiritual) with a close friend (emotional) and enjoying a meaningful conversation (mental).

    On the physical level, Slow Medicine also guides you on a balanced approach to strengthening your muscles and joints but not overusing them. For example, you could walk on a dirt trail instead of jogging on a cement sidewalk. Or, try gardening instead of lifting weights.

    Whether you want to prevent or manage arthritis, it is never too late to become mindful of how to move in ways that support the body instead of damage it.

    This content originally appeared on http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/slow-medicine-for-arthritis
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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 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.

  • 2 Answers
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    A Rheumatology, answered on behalf of
    There are some over-the-counter herbal remedies that include turmeric and other herbs that some people claim help arthritis. However, there is not enough data to make a formal recommendation. Some herbal remedies contain a mixture of herbs that may have unknown side effects.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Recognize your uniqueness. Everyone is different; you have your own unique symptoms and responses to everything, from activity to medications. Be aware of what works and what doesn’t seem to work for you.

    Work with your doctor to find what works for you. If one medication is not helping, ask to try another. If side effects are worse than the original condition, speak up. Be an active participant in your health care.

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  • 2 Answers
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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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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    In Japan, they've learned that turmeric, an antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory spice, helps with arthritis by soothing joints -- and it's even been shown to promote weight loss. Just add a half-cup of turmeric to a warm bath.
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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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.
  • 1 Answer
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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!