Know About Treatment Options for Arthritis
Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. There are over 100 types of arthritis and related conditions, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Most forms of arthritis are believed to be caused by a fault in the immune system that causes the body to attack its own tissues in the joints.
At this time, there is no known cure for arthritis. However, treatment is available for the condition, and its purpose is to limit pain and inflammation and preserve joint function. Below you can find more information on the various treatment options for relieving arthritis pain.
Medications are often used to decrease inflammation and promote pain relief. The most common medications used to treat arthritis are acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. It’s important to use these medications as prescribed, as they do have risks.
There are also prescription-strength drugs that doctors may prescribe, particularly if your symptoms are being caused by an underlying disease like lupus. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), for example, treat inflammatory forms of arthritis. They ease symptoms, slow progression and help patients lead full and busy lives.
PT can help people with arthritis get moving safely and effectively. For arthritis patients, the goals of physical therapy are to improve mobility, restore use of affected joints, maintain fitness, increase strength and preserve the ability to perform daily activities. Physical therapy sessions are typically short, usually an hour or so, and personalized to the patient’s needs.
Corticosteroids are often used to treat arthritis because they relieve pain and inflammation. Patients can take steroids orally (i.e., prednisone) or as an injection. Overall, cortisone injections carry less risk than oral steroids because they target the affected area and provide immediate relief. Oral injections, on the other hand, go into the system and can cause weight gain, diabetes and osteoporosis.
PRP is becoming more common for treating arthritis, especially osteoarthritis. PRP injections are administered directly into the affected joint to reduce pain, improve joint function and possibly slow progression. The injection contains the patient’s own blood, though it contains a higher number of platelets found in normal blood. These platelets are what aid in healing.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy is something easy that patients can do at home. It involves alternating between something hot (shower, moist towel, heating pad) and something cold (ice pack). Heat eases pain and loosens up the joints and muscles, while cold numbs pain and reduces swelling.
These are some of the most common treatment options for arthritis, but they certainly aren’t your only options. Your doctor may also recommend wearing a brace or splint, getting a massage or trying TENS therapy. Jersey Rehab specializes in treating arthritis. Schedule an appointment with our pain management specialists to learn about the different therapies we have under one roof!