Arthritis treatment options
Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. Your doctor may recommend a combination of treatments such as:
Medications used vary depending on the type of arthritis. Commonly used medications include:
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs]: NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. NSAIDs are also available in the form of gels and creams, which can be rubbed on the affected joint.
• Counterirritants: Creams and ointments containing menthol or capsaicin can be used over the affected area for pain relief. They relieve pain by interfering with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
• Steroids: Corticosteroids are administered as a pill or injection. While they help reduce pain and inflammation in the joints and slow joint damage, they have adverse side effects. They can cause weight gain, diabetes and thinning of bones.
• Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs [DMARDs]: These drugs save your joints from permanent damage by slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Side effects of DMARDs vary from drug to drug, but most can increase your risk of infections.
2. Physical therapy
Learning how to protect your joints is an important part of arthritis treatment. An occupational therapist can help you learn exercises that improve your range of motion and strengthen muscles surrounding the joints. They may also recommend splints for some types of arthritis.
If medications and therapy prove futile, your doctor may suggest surgery. There are two surgery options:
• Joint fusion: This is when two or more bones are permanently fused together. Bone fusion immobilises the affected joint, reducing pain caused by movement.
• Joint replacement: This is recommended for patients with a damaged arthritic joint. The damaged joint is replaced with an artificial one that helps preserve joint function and movement. Joint replacement can be done on the knee, hip, shoulder and ankle.
If you are looking for arthritis treatment London based, book an appointment with us today and let us help.