Arthritis Treatment Options
When you have arthritis, you may feel that you can do nothing to reduce your pain and improve joint function. However, there are a variety of treatment options available to help manage the symptoms of this condition. Your Livingston Samwell Institute for Pain Management specialists will assess your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle to determine which option might be best for you.
There are different causes of arthritis, such as:
- Osteoarthritis: This cause is usually due to joint wear and tear, which leads to degeneration of the joint cartilage.
- Injuries: Traumatic injuries can also cause arthritis due to damage to the joint tissue.
- Autoimmune Disorders: Certain autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause inflammation of the joints.
- Obesity: Being overweight puts extra strain on the joints, which can cause arthritis. The weight can also cause inflammation in the joint tissues.
- Genes: Certain genetic disorders, such as hemochromatosis or Wilson’s disease, can increase the risk of developing arthritis.
Some of the symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling, and limited range of motion. When you experience such symptoms, seeking medical attention for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan is important.
It typically involves physical examination, imaging tests;
- X-rays: This imaging test uses X-rays to reveal changes in the bones.
- MRI Scan: An MRI scan can detect changes in soft tissues, such as cartilage and tendons.
- Ultrasound Scan: These scans can provide information about fluid buildup around joints.
Once a diagnosis is made, your doctor will create a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
The treatment options for arthritis may include:
Various medications are available to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. These can include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, corticosteroids, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).
Physical therapy can help reduce pain and improve joint function by strengthening the muscles surrounding the affected joints. It also involves exercises that can increase flexibility, range of motion, and coordination.
Surgery may sometimes be recommended to repair or replace damaged joints. This can range from minimally invasive procedures to complex joint replacement surgeries. Some of the surgeries used to treat arthritis include;
- Joint arthroscopy: This procedure involves using an arthroscope (a thin, flexible tube) to view the inside of the joint and make repairs.
- Osteotomy: This surgical procedure involves cutting and reshaping a bone to reduce pain and improve the range of motion.
- Joint replacement surgery: This surgery replaces damaged parts with artificial components.
Making lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce pain and improve joint function. Additionally, it is important to avoid activities that put a strain on your joints or cause discomfort.
Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga can help reduce pain and improve joint function. Additionally, these forms of treatment can help increase relaxation and decrease stress levels.
By exploring the various treatment options available, you can find a combination of therapies that works best for you and helps to relieve your symptoms of arthritis. With the proper care, you can manage your condition and live an active and healthy life.
Talk to your doctor at Samwell Institute for Pain Management about the best treatment option.