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Short Term Relief Treatments For Arthritis

May 27, 2008
Arthritis comes in different forms such as rheumatoid, osteoarthritis or others. This condition affects many people around the globe with 1 in 100 getting affected. People within the age bracket of 30 - 50 are most likely to get this condition. Unfortunately a cure for this condition has still not been found. The current medication only provides temporary relief. Therefore an arthritis patient needs to use medication on a regular basis to get pain relief. Arthritis involves pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints. This pain can get worse during flare-ups. The aim is of this article is to offer the reader several approaches that can help provide pain relief in the short and long term.

Short term pain relief methods will involve managing flare-ups and reducing pain. Medications are commonly used to control pain and reduce inflammation. Some examples of possible medications include aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications NSAIDs. Moist heat and coolness are other very common short term pain relief methods often employed by arthritis patients. Your physician will inform you about whether to choose hot or cold methods to improve the position. Moist heat can be obtained through warm baths and showers on the joints which can provide temporary pain relief.

Coolness can be supplied by using ice or cold items such as vegetables wrapped in a towel and placed on the inflamed spot. This can help in cooling down the flaring effect and can provide relief for 10 - 15 minutes. Joint immobilization is important in cases where the joints are deeply affected by arthritis and putting more pressure on the joints can be harmful. This method involves using devices to aid in moving around such as crutches or walking canes. This will help in avoiding putting much pressure on the joints. Massage is another popular method, used for a whole range of purposes including arthritis treatment. Massaging can help increase blood flow. This can also help bring additional warmth to muscles.

Long term pain relief methods are employed when the extent of the damage caused by arthritis is very deep and management of the disease in the long term is essential. Similar to short term relief, there are medications for long term relief as well. NSAIDs such as aspiring and ibuprofen can be used to decrease inflammation and pain in the joints. Disease-modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine can be used to slow down the effect of the disease and correcting abnormalities in the body caused by it.

Corticosteroids are another way to control flare-ups in the joints. They are more powerful then NSAIDs and therefore contains strong side effects if used for an extended period of time. These include weight gain, easy bruising and making the body more vulnerable to infection. Also, in the long term it is essential to lose some weight. Simply put it, more weight will put more pressure on the joints causing more pain.

Exercise can help reduce some body weight and therefore reducing the overall pressure exerted on the inflamed joints. As mentioned earlier, exercises are vital to improving the flexibility and mobility of the joints. Patients can choose from a whole range of exercises available to them such as swimming, walking, jogging and other low impact exercises. However patients will need to establish their condition and take part in exercises that is least physically imposing. In extreme cases where the damage caused to joints is irreparable or very deep, it is advisable to undergo a surgery.

Patients with pediatric arthritis and other rheumatic diseases can undergo either a repair or replace surgery. A repair surgery will involves correcting a deformity and removing fragments in the joints. If the joints are damaged beyond repair, then the joints can be replaced with artificial joints.

It is important to see a physician before carrying out any of the methods. The physician will provide specific approaches that will be best suited to the condition of the patient. To improve the effectiveness of the medication, it is important to be constant with each method and establish a good routine. Additionally, you must contact your doctor or physician on a regular basis to keep him/her fully informed.
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