If you have arthritis and suffer with pain, you’re not alone. Arthritis affects millions of people in the United States. The condition is most often associated with stiff joints, but it can also cause swelling, redness and tenderness. Symptoms for arthritis vary from patient to patient. Some experience a lot of discomfort for short periods of time, while others experience less pain more consistently.
Whether you have a lot of pain or just a small amount of discomfort, finding a treatment that alleviates symptoms is all that matters. Unfortunately relief from arthritis can be quite the process, and it’s important to have that expectation when figuring out a treatment plan. There are different types of arthritis and a patient’s pain tolerance can vary significantly.
Treatment for Types of Arthritis
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Everyone will eventually develop it with age. Osteoarthritis is caused by the natural wear of cartilage that surrounds the bones of joints. Once the cartilage wears down, the bones start to rub against each other, causing pain and discomfort. Joints that are most commonly affected by osteoarthritis are weight-bearing joints, including the hips, knees, neck, and lower back.
Finding a treatment plan for osteoarthritis can be a little tricky and it’s best to just keep trying until something works. One of the first options are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. Such medication can help with pain and swelling. However, sometimes ibuprofen isn’t enough, and patients may need a stronger medication. Physical therapy and exercise is another option that can provide relief from symptoms. If these treatments fail to provide pain relief, injections and even surgery may be needed.
A second type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. This form of arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which is when your body attacks itself. Symptoms are often similar to those of osteoarthritis, but fatigue and even fever may also arise. Symptoms typically will flare up with rheumatoid arthritis, lasting for several hours. In addition to ibuprofen and physical therapy, certain prescriptions can help with pain.
Stretching on a daily basis has produced positive results in patients with arthritis. Aerobics is another activity that helps prevent and reduce pain. A lot of patients find swimming and bike riding to be great exercises because they are easier on the joints. If you are overweight, losing weight can be helpful as it reduces the amount of stress on the bones. Applying heat and using ice packs are other ways to ease sore joints and minimize swelling.
If you think your pain is caused by arthritis and you’re unable to find pain relief, call us at 352-556-4823 to make an appointment with one of our physicians. We’ll help you determine the type of arthritis you have and get you on a treatment plan than works.
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