Living with Arthritis Pain

By: Riley Hendersen

One of the most important factors of living with arthritis is learning to successfully manage the joint pain and stiffness that inevitably comes along with the disease. Luckily we live in a time period where there are many good treatment options for arthritis pain ranging from over-the-counter creams to prescription injections which can actually help to stop the disease's progression. Lifestyle changes, such as exercise, may also help to decrease arthritis pain.

For mild arthritis pain, an over-the-counter cream or non-prescription analgesic may be all you need. There are a variety of capsaicin creams on the market that seem to temporarily relieve mild arthritis pain. Although they generally have a combination of ingredients which includes capsaicin, which is the ingredient in chili peppers that makes them hot. When applied to the skin, these creams deplete a pain neurotransmitter called substance P. This temporarily desensitizes the area to pain. The relief from these creams is temporary and the product must be reapplied regularly. Also over-the-counter products like acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen are also excellent for reducing swelling or inflammation of arthritic joints.

If your arthritis pain becomes more severe and begins to interfere with your daily routine, your doctor may prescribe a prescription medicine to help your condition. These medicines can range from prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to medicines containing a narcotic pain relief agent if your doctor feels your arthritis pain is severe enough.

There are several treatment options available for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is the form of where the body's immune system attacks the joints causing arthritis. Doctors can also prescribe immunosuppressant drugs which will help slow the body's attack on itself. New drugs called biologics are also available for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Biologics can decrease arthritis pain in those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Your arthritis doctor will probably also talk to you about lifestyle changes that can help relieve your arthritis pain. These lifestyle changes can include things such as rest and relaxation, proper diet and exercise. Contrary to popular belief, exercise is important for those suffering from arthritis. Range of motion exercises can help relieve joint stiffness as well as maintaining normal joint movement.

Weight-bearing or strengthening exercises help increase muscle strength which in turn protects and supports the joints. Aerobic exercises can help those suffering from arthritis lose weight, which helps by taking stress off injured joints. Some studies also show aerobic exercises may actually help to reduce joint inflammation associated with arthritis.

There are many things you can do to help you live successfully with your arthritis pain. These things include activities, such as exercise, or rest and relaxation. You may also choose an over-the-counter pain medication or ointment to help relieve aches and pains. In the case that your arthritis pain becomes severe, your doctor may prescribe a prescription pain medication to help ease your aches. Whatever form or severity of arthritis pain you have, there is a treatment option available to help you live successfully with your condition.

Rheumatology
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