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Arthritis Treatment

mature couple jogging Treatment of arthritis includes prescription medications such as anti-inflammatories and painkillers, joint injections, surgery, physical therapy, biofeedback, various nutritional supplements, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, herbs, and others. The goals of treatment are to provide pain relief, increase motion, and improve strength.

OTC medications. Useful remedies include soothing topicals (e.g., mentholatum) and anti-inflammatory topicals. Aspirin, Advil® (ibuprofen), and Aleve® (naproxen) are widely used to control pain and inflammation. Tylenol® (acetaminophen) may be used to control pain. However, not all sufferers can tolerate the side effects of long-term use of those medications in high enough doses to control pain and inflammation. Patients with ulcers, asthma, kidney, or liver disease may not be able to safely take anti-inflammatory medications. Many new prescription medications have been developed that are generally safe and effective.

Glucosamine is available over the counter. Recent research suggests that is can be used to help in the body's repair of damaged joint surfaces. Improved mobility and lessened pain were reported for many patients when glucosamine was taken as directed over an extended period of time. However, research has yet to conclusively confirmed the benefits of glucosomine.

Injections of liquid cortisone directly into the joint may temporarily help to relieve pain and swelling. It is important to know, however, that repeated frequent injections into the same joint can damage the joint and have undesirable side effects.

Prescription medications that are popularly used to control inflammation and/or pain include:

  • Celebrex® (celecoxib) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that inhibits COX-2, an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain.

  • Ultram® (tramadol) is a narcotic-like pain reliever that is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Exercise. One of the most important things to remember, and one of the most neglected, is the need for exercise. The arthritic joint needs movement to prevent stiffening and to enhance circulation of blood, which brings nutrients to the area.

What's Ahead? We hear a lot about cancer and heart disease, but more attention is deserved to be given to arthritis. Arthritis is probably the most common disability disease.

As our population ages, we can expect arthritis-generated costs in suffering and medical expense to mushroom. Hopefully, there will be a proportional increase in research into slowing the progression of this non-fatal but potentially disabling disease. We will attempt to provide a useful source of information for staying updated on current arthritis management and treatment.

See more on Arthritis: Causes of Arthritis

What’s Ahead? Because of the chronic nature of some arthritis and our aging population, it is expected that an increase will be seen in the numbers of seniors diagnosed with arthritis. We will be attempting to provide a useful source of information for staying updated on current prevention and treatment approaches.

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The information about senior health presented here is not meant to be medical advice nor to act as a substitute for medical advice. Serious side-effects, including death, could result if one were to take any prescription medicine without the supervision of a physician.

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