Sufferers of arthritis have many options for treating the condition. Since everyone responds differently, it can take time to find the blend of treatments that works best for particular symptoms. In most cases, it’s a combination of natural remedies, lifestyle changes, therapies, medicines, and medical treatments.
Arthritis is a joint disorder triggering inflammation, affecting the movement of body parts, and accompanied by varying degrees of pain. It is most common among women although it occurs in men and children. Aging is another factor that increases its likelihood of appearing.
While arthritis isn’t life-threatening, certain types of arthritis are progressive and medical treatments are selected explicitly for the symptoms. In all cases, treatment options are ongoing processes that may need to be changed or adjusted over time. The more a person learns about arthritis, the better equipped they are to manage the condition.
Signs can appear gradually or suddenly. One predominant sign is the duration and severity of each incident. Experiencing joint pain, stiffness or unusual swelling that lasts beyond a week or increased frequency of episodes is not healthy. It’s time to see the doctor.
Added to these early signs are fevers, gland swelling, or fatigue. These are signals that the internal body functions may not be operating correctly. Depending on the severity of symptoms, arthritis can affect other body organs including the heart, eyes, lungs, kidney, and skin. Any of these symptoms can worsen making it difficult to perform daily activities like walking or climbing stairs. They include:
It’s a fact, exercising improves the range of motion and strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints. Physical therapy like stretching, or swimming offer benefits to soothe the symptoms of arthritis and keep the bones healthy. Take it slow and easy. Don’t overdo the workout. Hot or cold compresses may offer temporary relief at home.
Lifestyle changes include proper nutrition and learning to manage the emotional stress of daily life. Diet isn’t going to cure arthritis, but adequate nutrition plays a significant role in supporting the body’s defense systems to help prevent and minimize the effects. Consider sessions in yoga, tai chi or learn how to meditate. These activities can relax the mind and body.
Many try to self-treat the condition using over-the-counter nonprescription medications or supplements. Before making any changes that affect one’s health, check with a doctor. Be sure to work with professionals when participating in therapeutic activities. Therapies can help to prevent further irritation to the joints, the surrounding muscles or more severe injury.
As for medical treatments, there is no single fix for everyone. It depends on the health status of the individual, the symptoms, and the severity of the pain. Traditional (prescriptions) medications may provide some relief, but like all medicines, there are side effects. It’s important to talk with a doctor to determine the proper dosages and frequencies to manage the pain and keep mobile.
A doctor can explain the advantages of these joint patient procedures. For some, the benefits may only be temporary. Joint injections are used to deliver drugs to relieve the pain and swelling. Joint aspiration uses a thin needle to remove excess fluid to help reduce the pain and improve movement.
Surgery is recommended for severe cases where the symptoms or damaged joints have not responded to other treatments. Before considering surgery, speak with the doctor. You need to understand the possible precautions and complications before and after surgery. Sometimes, joint replacement is necessary to remove damaged hips or knees joints. Smaller joints in the wrist, ankles or fingers may benefit by fusing bone ends, strengthening the bones as they heal.
Overall, it’s important to understand that health and well-being are tied together, with beneficial changes based on sound advice and a few lifestyle adjustments.
Learn more about living with arthritis and what methods of improvement work best for the condition or the immediate circumstances. Be sure to provide the doctor or therapist with as much information as possible before starting a new health routine.