Remember the time when you could climb stairs easily or the time you didn’t need to give a second thought to whether you could open a jar or turn a doorknob? But when these simple tasks leave you in pain, the condition is described as arthritis, a condition which leaves your joints swollen and painful and makes the simplest of everyday tasks a struggle .
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a painful condition marked by the inflammation in the joints. This condition is a combination of over 100 different diseases that destroy joints, bones, and other connective tissues by hampering physical movement. Arthritis is referred to as the condition of the elderly, but children can also be affected by the same. Researchers have explained in their studies that one in five adults in the United States is affected by arthritis. Moreover, the condition also affects people irrespective of races, groups, and cultures, but is more common among women as compared to men.
Common forms of arthritis include:
• Osteoarthritis- Osteoarthritis is a degenerative arthritis. Tenderness, joint pains, and stiffness are some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Symptoms frequently appear in the hips, knees, and hands.
• Rheumatoid arthritis- A chronic illness which is very painful and can last for years without any symptoms is rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune condition that affects various body tissues and organs. Rheumatoid arthritis leads to substantial loss of functioning if not treated accurately. This condition affects the hands and wrists, but can also affect other areas and joints of the body.
How to treat arthritis?
There is no cure for either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. But treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis. Treatment options include physical therapy, lifestyle changes, medications, and joint replacement surgery. The prime goal of treatment is to reduce joint inflammation and pain, which can only be possible through certain medications. Medicines to treat arthritis maximize the joint function by preventing joint destruction.
Multiple options are available to treat the condition. They include:
Natural home remedies to treat arthritis:
Home remedies to treat arthritis include lifestyle changes such as changing sleeping patterns and eating habits, and losing weight.
A person suffering from arthritis can perform mild exercises as performing preferred exercises can help in treating joint swelling, relieving stiffness, reducing pain and fatigue. By performing exercises, he/she may be able to improve his/her muscle and bone strength. Your health care team can prepare the exercise program to include the following:
• Range of motion exercises for flexibility
• Low-impact aerobic activity
• Strength training for muscle tone
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Additionally, your health care provider may suggest physical therapy, which includes the following:
• Hot and cold therapy– Doctors may recommend the patients to take long and warm showers especially in the morning, as doing this eases stiffness in joints. Furthermore, doctors also recommend the patients to use a heating pad at night to keep their joints loose. Cold treatments are also regarded as one of the best natural home remedies to treat arthritis. If the patients want to get effective cold treatment, they are advised to apply a bag of frozen vegetables to painful joints for quick relief.
• Massage- According to doctors, massage acts as a natural home remedy to treat arthritis as doing regular massage of arthritic joints can help reduce pain and stiffness. Massaging may also improve the range of motion. In order to get the perfect massage, you need help of a physiotherapist.
Medicines to treat arthritis:
There are various types of medication that your doctor may prescribe to treat arthritis. The treatment begins with medications that pose fewest side effects. Your doctor may prescribe medicines depending on the type of arthritis. He/she may advise you to take Acetaminophen as the first line of treatment to treat osteoarthritis, whereas for inflammatory arthritis, your doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including Ibuprofen.
In order to treat rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may prescribe disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) like Methotrexate. This medicine acts on the immune system and slow down the progression of the disease.
If medication and home remedies don’t provide effective results, surgery is the only option left for the patient. Your doctor may talk to you if you need to undergo surgery to replace the joint or improve its alignment. After your consent the doctor may perform arthroscopy or joint replacement therapy, as per the condition.
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