Arthritis is a painful joint disease that prevents a person from living an active lifestyle. Because activity is limited, there are dangerous side effects of arthritis that arise from being sedentary. Obesity, heart disease and diabetes often become secondary health issues resulting from the inactivity that arthritis causes. Looking at available treatments and discovering one (or several) that are right for you is imperative to keep pain under control and prevent the onset of secondary health problems.
Medications for Arthritis
There are several forms of arthritis and each one responds to medication differently, just as each individual responds to medication in a different way. That means there will often be a lot of trial and error before finding the prescribed and/or over-the-counter medications that will work best for you.
OTC (over-the-counter) pain pills that can help ease the pain of arthritis include acetaminophen, aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen. Each of these OTC pain relieving medications work in different ways to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation, but they each have a side effect to be taken into consideration. Acetaminophen may cause liver damage and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may increase the risk if heart attack, stroke or bleeding inside the stomach.
Topical creams work well to reduce pain and swelling in a targeted area. One with a numbing agent and a warming agent often works best.
While not traditionally OTC, there have been many reports of CBD helping with arthritis. Ordering a CBD tincture online is a very simple process, so if all else fails, this is something you should definitely try.
Prescribed Pain Medication
Indocin and Celebrex require a prescription and are widely used with success to manage the pain of arthritis. Certain side effects accompany them as your prescribing doctor will discuss with you.
Corticosteroids work quickly and are good for short-term pain relief. But they can cause side effects like weight gain, high blood pressure and cataracts.
Biologics are a trial and error arthritis medications, since one biologic may work great for one patient and not work at all for another. Even if a biologic works for you at first, it may cease to work at any moment after taking. All biologics will temporarily weaken your body’s ability to fight off germs.
When pain can’t be managed to acceptable level with medication, surgery may be the next arthritis treatment step. Partial or full joint replacement for an arthritic hip or knee may bring the desired paint relief. Joint distraction, fusion and repair surgery are a few other options available for hands, elbows and other joints that are being ravaged by arthritis.
Exercise Pain Away
When joints are swollen, stiff and inflamed, moving around is the last thing you want to do. However, exercise may be the key to reducing pain and increasing energy.
Stretching exercises help to keep and/or regain mobility and range of motion that arthritis so frequently steals. Strength training increase muscles to help take stress off of joints and increase overall strength. Walking or swimming helps prevent joint stiffness and weight gain that is associated with arthritis.