Arthritis pain comes from inflammation in the joints and with age, it starts to get worse. But can arthritis be cured permanently? The answer is no. Most of the treatments of arthritis pain are mainly focuses on relieving the symptoms of arthritis and improving joint function with a comfortable range of motion. Your doctor might suggest several different treatments, or combinations of treatments so that you can determine what works best for you. Let’s take a look at some of the most common treatments for arthritis pain.
Medications used for treatments of arthritis
Treatment options largely depend on the type of arthritis. Typically doctors suggest taking anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers for arthritis pain relief. However, some medications used for the treatments of arthritis may cause side effects, and natural approaches to pain relief are becoming more popular nowadays. Some of the most commonly used pain relief medications for the treatments of arthritis include:
Analgesics: An analgesic or painkiller, that help reduce arthritis pain, but have no effect on inflammation.
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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs can treat the symptoms of arthritis like pain relief and inflammation, but they can’t cure it. They are available as both as over the counter and prescription only drug.
Counterirritants: A cream or ointment that contains menthol or capsaicin, mostly used on joints that are close to the surface of the skin, such as the joints in the hands or knees for arthritis pain relief.
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): It acts by altering ( slowing or stopping your immune system from attacking the joints.) the underlying disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis) rather than treating the symptoms only.
Biologic response modifiers: These genetically modified drugs are called game changer in the treatment of arthritis. They work in conjunction with DMARDs to target specific parts of the immune system that fuel inflammation.
Corticosteroids: Also sometimes called glucocorticoids is one of the most effective drugs used to relieve arthritis pain and symptom.
Therapy for arthritis pain management
Typically there are two types of therapy available for arthritis pain management – physical therapy and occupational therapy. Physical therapy may help sometimes by improving the range of motions by releasing stiff joints and strengthening the muscles surrounding joints. On the other hand, occupational therapy trains you on how to reduce pressure from your joints while carrying out day to day activities.
In severe cases, surgery may be required for treatments of arthritis. Traditionally there are three types of surgeries are done for arthritis treatment:
- Joint repair surgery smoothes or realigns the joint surface to reduce and improve range of motion.
- Joint replacement surgery mostly is done on hips and knees, where the damaged joint is replaced by an artificial one.
- Joint fusion is mostly done in smaller joints where doctors remove the ends of bones and weld them into one.
Natural cure for arthritis pain
Natural cures are becoming more and more popular nowadays for treatments of arthritis, as they don’t have any side effects. Here’s some of them:
Weight Management: By losing weight one can reduce the stress on his/her joints. By reducing your weight you will not only enjoy pain relief, also slow down the damage of the joints.
Exercise: Exercise has two benefits – one it will help you lose weight and two it will improve your range of motions. Not all exercises are suitable for arthritis patients, like walking and running will only put more pressure on your joints. Low impact exercises like water aerobics, strength training & stretching are more useful to them.
Hot & Cold Therapy: Both hot & cold therapy is helpful for arthritis pain management. A warm shower in the morning help relieves joint stiffness where cold treatment like relieving joint pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Acupuncture: Many people believe that acupuncture is helpful for treating arthritis by rerouting the energy of patients body and restoring balance.
Fatty Acids: Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acid (Fish oil supplements) and gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA (evening primrose, borage, hemp, and black currants seeds) are believed to be useful for arthritis management.
Massage: Arthritis Foundation suggests, regular massaging of arthritic joints can help with pain relief, reduce stiffness and improve your range of motion.
Herbal Supplements: There are many kinds of herbal supplements available on the market that claim to reduce arthritis pain such as Boswellia, bromelain, devil’s claw, ginkgo, stinging nettle, thunder god vine. If you are planning to use them, always talk to your doctor first.
Home remedies: There are some herbal remedies for arthritis pain available as well like, cinnamon, oregano, pineapple, ginger, licorice, turmeric, willow, flax seed, stinging nettle, rosemary etc.
Improve overall diet to manage arthritis pain
Try to consume more and more of foods that are high in sulfur (onions, garlic, asparagus and cabbage), bone broth, high antioxidants (especially fruits and vegetables) and high fiber (ancient grains, soaked legumes/beans and nuts and seeds) while avoiding inflammatory foods (excess sugar; hydrogenated oils, gluten, flour products and wheat products).
Increase calcium intake: Calcium is bones element. Increase calcium intake by having diet with rich dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt can prevent or slow down bone damage. Non-dairy foods like broccoli, salmon, spinach, black beans, peanuts, almonds, sardines and sesame seeds are also great source of calcium.
Increase vitamin intake: Vitamins C and D have been shown to support healthy joints. Vitamin D specifically may prevent arthritis.
Foods to avoid: Consumption of high amount of sugar, dairy products, alcohol, salt and preservatives should be avoided, because these foods may increase inflammation.