If you have been diagnosed or it is suspected you have an inflammatory arthritic condition the it is important to find the right specialise to treat it. Your GP should make a referral to an inflammatory arthritis specialist who can help you with your individual set of symptom and situation.
Inflammatory arthritis is a term which covers a rage of conditions. All the conditions effect the immune system and attack it in a way which causes pain, joint stiffness and damage. There are many forms of inflammatory arthritis but the most common forms are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
All of these conditions are also unfortunately classified as systemic. This means they effect the whole body and no form of inflammatory arthritis currently has a cure. Inflammatory arthritis stands out as different to osteoarthritis because the latter involves cartilage in the joints wearing away.
Treatment from your Inflammatory Arthritis Specialist
Treatment for your condition is something your inflammatory arthritis specialist will talk through with you. The treatment is tailored to the specific disease. It will usually involve at least some form of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to slow the progression of the disease and damage to the joints. Some conditions are also treated with steroids but this is less common. Further treatment beyond drug therapies may also be discussed.
Self-Management of Inflammatory Arthritis
Understanding your medication and sticking to the regime is key to managing the condition. However, you may also need to make some lifestyle changes. Certain foods can effect inflammation for example. Similarly, if you smoke or drink regularly these are habits you may want to give up. Further healthy lifestyle choices may include weight loss and exercise dependent on your condition and the thoughts of your inflammatory arthritis specialist.