Find the Right Treatment for Your Arthritis Pain
Arthritis is a painful condition that affects millions in the United States – especially people of older age. It is typically responsible for causing stiff joints, but arthritis can also be associated with swelling, warmth, redness, and tenderness. Some types of arthritis cause a lot of pain and swelling for short periods of time while other types present less pain that is more constant.
Regardless of the type of arthritis you may be facing it is important to receive treatment that alleviates pain and any other symptoms. Finding the right treatment for your arthritis pain isn’t easy. In addition to pain tolerance varying from patient to patient, the type and severity of your arthritis can make it tricky to find helpful treatment. But at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine we have an experienced team of orthopaedic specialists that can pinpoint your arthritis pain, determine its cause, and recommend beneficial treatment.
Types of Arthritis and Treatment
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and everyone will develop it as they age. It is caused by the natural wear of cartilage (tissue) that pads the bones of joints. Once cartilage wears down the bones rub against each other and this is the primary cause of pain. This type of arthritis is most commonly felt in weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, neck and lower back.
Treatment for osteoarthritis varies and it often takes time to find which treatment works best. Some patients find nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, to be very helpful in reducing pain and swelling. While some patients find rest to be the best solution, others experience symptom relief through exercise and physical therapy. Often injections are used to remedy the pain of arthritis. If a patient is refractory to conservative measures, there are multiple surgical options available.
Another type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease where your body attacks itself. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis often include pain, swelling and stiffness – lasting for several hours. People with rheumatoid arthritis commonly experience fatigue and may even have a fever when symptoms flare up.
There are treatments available for rheumatoid arthritis that can ease pain, reduce swelling and even slow down joint damage. In addition to NSAIDs, there are a multitude of other pharmacologic options available which will require a prescription from your doctor.
Exercises that are recommended for people with arthritis include stretching and aerobics. Many patients find swimming and riding a bike helpful because these exercises are easy on the joints. When patients with arthritis pain are overweight, such exercises are great for weight loss and easing stress on the bones. Applying heat and ice packs to sore joints may also help with pain and swelling.
Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine routinely helps patients detect the source of their arthritis pain and assists them in finding a treatment regimen that works. To find a treatment plan that works for you, please visit our website to request an appointment or call 904-825-0540 today!