Arthritis can be a painful and inconvenient disorder to live with, fortunately there are a variety of treatments available today to help alleviate many of the symptoms. With early medication and treatment you can even delay or even avoid permanent joint damage that arthritis can cause.
At Joint Health Arthritis Clinic we are dedicated to educating patients and working with them the find a treatment plan that fits their specific needs. Using a mixture of treatments throughout one’s life will usually yield the best results.
Medication: The most common forms of medicinal treatment for arthritis are Disease Modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) such as Methotrexate. They can sometimes have harmful side effects so it is common to take frequent blood tests while on them.
Another form of medication used to treat arthritis are simple anti-inflammatory drugs which can bought over the counter. These types of medication work well but over time they can cause stomach problems and they may cause complications when mixed with other drugs.
It is important to speak with your doctor before taking anti-inflammatories to treat your arthritis. A third medication option available is corticosteroids, the active ingredient in these drugs closely resemble cortisol which is a naturally occurring hormone.
Clinical tests have shown them to be quite successful in suppressing inflammation and they are regularly used as part of arthritis treatment regiments
Surgery: Thought of mostly as a last resort, joint surgery involves replacing the affected joint with a prosthesis. When damage to the cartilage and surround synovial membrane has become so sever that it hinders regular movement, joint surgery may become an option for you.
As with any surgery, there are possible risks and complications involved and it is an important decision that is best discussed with your doctor.
Massage therapy: Massage therapy for arthritis helps by both loosening up the joints and promoting the production of endorphins (a naturally occurring hormone that reduces pain.)
Although massage is not proven to prevent cartilage loss, it is a useful treatment to supplement your medication as loosening up the joints and relieving pain will help prevent swelling and allow you continue daily activities without concern.
Alternative treatment: There are many types of alternative treatments for arthritis, the most basic being proper diet and exercise. When the body has to carry around excess weight, it puts un-needed stress on the joints and thus increasing the risk for symptoms of arthritis.
So by simply maintaing a proper body weight you are already helping to prevent arthritis. Exercise that is aerobic and “low impact” will have the best results, high impact exercise is sometimes harmful to joints.
Stretching and working the joints that are afflicted by arthritis will also help to reduce symptoms. Natural herbs can have a beneficial effect on joint health, however they are usually tested by the FDA and do not have guaranteed results.