How is arthritis treated?
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general health. It will also depend on how what type of arthritis you have, and how severe the condition is. A treatment plan is tailored to for 1 last update 2020/07/07 each person with his or her health care provider.Treatment will depend on your symptoms, your age, and your general health. It will also depend on how what type of arthritis you have, and how severe the condition is. A treatment plan is tailored to each person with his or her health care provider.
There is no cure for arthritis. The goal of treatment is often to limit pain and inflammation, and help ensure joint function. Treatment plans often use both short-term and long-term methods.
Short-term treatments include:
- Medicines. Short-term relief for pain and inflammation may include pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs).
- Heat and cold. Pain may be eased by using moist heat (warm bath or shower) or dry heat (heating pad) on the joint. Pain and swelling may be eased with cold (ice pack wrapped in a thin towel) on the joint.
- Joint immobilization. Using a splint or brace can help a joint rest and protect it from more injury.
- Massage. Lightly massaging painful muscles may increase blood flow and bring warmth to the muscle.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Pain may be eased with a TENS device. The device sends mild, electrical pulses to nerve endings in the painful area. This blocks pain signals to the brain and changes how you feel pain.
- Acupuncture. Thin needles are inserted at certain points in the body. It may help the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals made by the nervous system. The procedure is done by a licensed healthcare provider.
Long-term treatments include:
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These prescription medicines may slow down the disease and treat any immune system problems linked to the disease. Examples of these medicines include methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, and chlorambucil.
- Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and swelling. These medicines, such as prednisone, can be taken by mouth (orally) or as a shot.
- Hyaluronic acid therapy. This is a joint fluid that appears to break down in people with osteoarthritis. It can be injected into a joint such as the knee to help ease symptoms.
- Surgery. There are many types of surgery, depending on which joints are affected. Surgery may include arthroscopy, fusion, or joint replacement. Full recovery after surgery takes up to 6 months. A rehabilitation program after surgery is an important part of the treatment.
Arthritis treatment can include a team of healthcare providers, such as:
- Orthopedist/orthopedic surgeon
- Primary care doctor (family medicine or internal medicine)
- Rehabilitation nurse
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Social worker
- Psychologist or psychiatrist
- Recreational therapist
- Vocational therapist
Living with arthritis
rheumatoid arthritis medications meshow to rheumatoid arthritis medications mes for There is no cure the 1 last update 2020/07/07 for arthritis. But it’s important to help keep joints working by reducing pain and inflammation. Work on a treatment plan with your healthcare provider that includes medicine and therapy. Work on lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of life. Lifestyle changes include:There is no cure for arthritis. But it’s important to help keep joints working by reducing pain and inflammation. Work on a treatment plan with your healthcare provider that includes medicine and therapy. Work on lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of life. Lifestyle changes include:
- Weight loss. Extra weight puts more stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.
- Exercise. Some exercises may help reduce joint pain and stiffness. These include swimming, walking, low-impact aerobic exercise, and range-of-motion exercises. Stretching exercises may also help keep the joints flexible.
- Activity and rest. To reduce stress on your joints, switch between activity and rest. This can help protect your joints and lessen your symptoms.
- Using assistive devices. Canes, crutches, and walkers can help keep stress off certain joints and improve balance.
- Using adaptive equipment. Reachers and grabbers let you extend your reach and reduce straining. Dressing aids help you get dressed more easily.
- Managing use of medicines. Long-term use of some anti-inflammatory medicines can lead to stomach bleeding. Work with your healthcare provider to create a plan to reduce this risk.