Millions of people have arthritis, and many of them suffer from the symptoms unnecessarily. An individual with arthritis might implement a variety of strategies; from exercising regularly to applying topical medication to seeing a physical therapist, a broad assortment of options may be helpful. When a person has suffered for some time, relief may seem like a dream that may never be fulfilled. In reality, countless individuals who have arthritis have been able to manage the painful symptoms of this common condition.
Certain medications may provide much relief to an arthritis sufferer. According to the Mayo Clinic staff, the best medications for arthritis sufferers “vary depending on the type of arthritis” that they have. Analgesics are often recommended to people who have this condition. Such medications don’t have an effect on inflammation, but they can help to minimize pain. People can also take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which, like analgesics, may be purchased without a prescription. These can be ingested, and they are also available in topical form. Other topical products contain capsaicin or menthol as an active ingredient, which can aid in diminishing joint pain. A physician may prescribe other medications.
In some cases, a doctor may suggest surgery for arthritis. Surgery for osteoarthritis is not usually recommended unless the pain has become quite severe and other methods have not helped. Surgery options for a person with osteoarthritis may include joint replacement, removal of some bone tissue, bone fusion, bone smoothing, or joint resurfacing. People who have severe pain from rheumatoid arthritis might also require surgery to experience true relief. Surgery options for a rheumatoid arthritis patient might include joint replacement, joint irrigation and smoothing, carpal tunnel pressure release, and spinal fusion. Surgery may not cure arthritis, but it might afford some alleviation from severe discomfort.
In the same way that the heat from a certain type of topical cream can yield some relief from pain, others forms of heat can result in pain alleviation, as well. As described by WebMD contributor Jeannette Moninger, even a warm shower may be therapeutic for someone with arthritis. This type of heat stimulates blood flow, and it also “relieves muscle spasms.” Another way to direct moist heat to the affected area is to sit in a whirlpool bath or a hot tub.
Seeing a Physical Therapist
Many doctors may suggest that an arthritis patient work with a physical therapist. Such a professional can devise a rehabilitation program that addresses the individual needs of a client. The methods implemented in such a program may include laser therapy, rehabilitative exercise, and body vibration therapy. A patient may be advised by a physical therapist to schedule sessions with a chiropractor or massage therapist, in order to complement physical therapy treatment.
Exercise is typically a major aspect of any rehabilitative program for an arthritis sufferer. In addition to exercising in a physical therapy office, a patient will likely be encouraged to stay active at home or in a gym. A physical therapist might suggest some of the exercises mentioned here, such as aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
Arthritis can be an unpleasant condition to live with, but it does not need to dominate a patient’s life. People who have arthritis need to get professional assistance if they want to combat the health issue in an effective manner. Speaking with an experienced professional may also help an arthritis sufferer to begin feeling better mentally and emotionally, as well as physically.