Treatments for Arthritis

Treatments for Arthritis

Arthritis is a very painful condition that can feel debilitating at times. It is caused by the swelling and tenderness of joints and is very common as people age. There are two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the padding between bones starts to break down, which causes pain for the affected person. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when a person’s immune system attacks their joints, causing pain. Living with arthritis can be very difficult. Fortunately, there are many treatments available to help those living with arthritis be more comfortable.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis. Once it occurs in a person’s body, the main hope is for symptom management. Common symptoms of arthritis include swelling at the joints affected, pain, stiffness, redness, and decreased range of motion. Some of the main risk factors for developing arthritis include genetics, age, being female, some previous joint injury, or obesity. After developing arthritis, people may notice they have difficulty with fine movements in their hands or have trouble walking or sitting up properly.

 

After arthritis is diagnosed in a patient, the main course of action is symptom management. Managing symptoms can help an affected person continue to lead a normal and good quality of life. Over the counter pain killers may be used in the beginning stages. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills such as Advil may help to reduce pain through the reduction of swelling around the tendons. As the pain worsens, some people may be prescribed prescription pain pills. However, this course of action is typically reserved for the most severe cases due to the addictive nature of opioids.

Physical therapy can be helpful for people who have arthritis. Consistent physical therapy can help with range of motion in the affected joints. In more severe cases, surgery may be considered. Surgeries typically consist of joint repair, joint replacement, or joint fusion. Surgery should only be used in severe cases because it is not always guaranteed to reduce pain. In some cases, surgery can lead to even more pain than before the operation.

Stem cell therapy is a relatively new treatment for arthritis offered at some clinics. Stem cells are thought to work by replacing damaged tissue within the joints. When combined with plasma rich platelets, stem cells have an even better chance of working at a faster rate. While the treatment is not yet widespread, it does show lots of promise for the future, as acting as an alternative treatment to surgery.

Many people will experience arthritis of one or more joints at some point in their lives. Left untreated, it can be very painful and debilitating. However, there are a plethora of treatments available for patients to regain normal movement, reduce pain, and have a good quality of life. It is important to visit a physician as soon as arthritic symptoms begin. Catching it early is an important step in avoiding surgery. As medical research advances, stem cells are sure to be used more and more to treat conditions such as arthritis. They provide a unique new way for the body to heal itself and allow the affected person to live pain-free.

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