Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation or degeneration of the joints. There are more than 100 variants of arthritis reported. However, joint pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of arthritis. It can affect people of all ages, sexes, and races and is said to be the leading cause of disability worldwide. Arthritis is most common in the weight-bearing joints like the feet, knees, and hips, as well as the joints of the hands, wrists, and lower back.
As arthritis is a degenerative condition, symptoms tend to worsen with time. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for arthritis, which means the pain can last a lifetime. Amidst these challenges, there are many treatments and techniques to manage the condition. In this article, we will explore seven remarkable approaches to alleviating arthritis pain and managing the symptoms.
Medications For Arthritis
It is important to continue medications prescribed by your physician. Commonly prescribed arthritis medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are used to relieve pain and inflammation; corticosteroid medications, which can be taken both orally or through injection to reduce inflammation and joint damage; and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to slow the progression of arthritis and prevent damage to joints and tissues.
Most of these medications have side effects, so it is wise to consult a doctor before taking them.
It is also noticed that over-the-counter medicines can help manage arthritis in the initial stages. They include oral medicines and topical pain relievers like lotions, creams, and patches that can be applied directly to the affected region. Topical pain relievers have fewer side effects than oral pain relievers, as they affect only limited parts of the body.
Surgery For Arthritis
Surgery is usually recommended when other conservative measures fail to manage the condition. They include surgeries for joint repair, joint replacement, or joint fusion. These treatments can significantly reduce pain and improve the function of joints.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
✅ Managing Weight And A Healthy Diet: Excess weight may put extra stress on weight-bearing joints, causing extreme pain and inflammation. Thus, losing weight reduces the stress on these joints, improves mobility, and prevents future joint injuries. A healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help you maintain a healthy weight and boost your immune system. A plant-based diet containing antioxidants is also helpful in reducing inflammation.
✅ Staying Active: Regular exercise is a great way to manage the symptoms of arthritis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person with arthritis is recommended to get at least 150–300 minutes of moderate or low-intensity exercise a week. The low-impact exercises include walking, cycling, swimming, and water activities. Regular physical exercise can help people with arthritis manage their weight, keep the joints flexible, strengthen the bones and muscles, and reduce pain.
✅ Heat And Cold Therapy: Both hot and cold treatments can help manage the symptoms of arthritis. Heat treatments relax the muscles and stimulate blood circulation, which promotes joint and muscle healing and eases aches. This treatment includes taking warm showers or using electric blankets or heating pads. On the other hand, ice treatments help ease pain and reduce swelling. Ice treatment options include applying gel ice packs or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to the affected or painful joints. And Ice should never be used directly on the skin.
Therapy And Alternative Medicines
✅ Acupuncture: It is an ancient Chinese medical practice that involves inserting thin needles at specific points on the skin to block pain signals. Acupuncture helps restore the balance of the body and relieves pain in patients with arthritis. It can be beneficial alongside other treatments and has fewer side effects.
✅ Yoga And Tai chi: Tai chi is a traditional Chinese practice that utilizes movements and positions to ease the body and mind. Yoga, an ancient practice that is now practiced worldwide, coordinates mind and body through meditation, breathing exercises, and asanas to reduce stress and relax the body. Both tai chi and yoga allow slow movements that may improve the flexibility and mobility of joints.
We have discussed some strategies to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and provide relief so you can carry out your daily activities. But always talk to your healthcare provider before trying any remedies, regardless of whether they involve medication or not, because some of these may pose serious harm to your health or reduce the effect of other treatments.