Osteoarthritis Pain Relief and Management
Osteoarthritis pain relief can be achieved through a combination of medication, physical therapy or surgical procedures, depending on the severity of the symptom and on the sufferer’s general health. In patients with incipient forms of the rheumatoid variant of this disease, osteoarthritis pain can be reduced using over the counter and home remedies as well.
Osteoarthritis affects the structure and functioning of one or more joints, this can include the muscles, the bones, and ligaments that form their anatomical structure. This ailment manifests through a varying degree of cartilage loss accompanied by the formation of bone cysts, this last process is indicative of the fact that the joint tries to remodel and repair by itself. Both the destruction of the cartilage and the repairing stage are associated with arthritis pain.
Typically, osteoarthritis pain affects the hips and knees, the wrists and the hands, the lower back and the neck region, so finding an efficient arthritis pain management plan is essential for reducing the impact of this debilitating illness on one’s daily life and activities.
Home and Over the Counter Remedies
Natural treatments are usually preferred by rheumatoid diseases sufferers as they are non-invasive and have fewer side effects and interactions compared to conventional medical solutions that are available for obtaining osteoarthritis pain relief.
Products like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin are largely used by people dealing with arthritis, as they are pretty efficient in reducing not only the pain but also the joints inflammation. While some patients prefer taking oral medications, others opt for creams and gels containing these active ingredients, as topical ointments may provide quicker relief in certain cases.
Another alternative when it comes to home remedies for arthritis pain consists of taking hot or cold showers or of applying ice packs, heating pads or warm compresses onto the inflamed joints. This last method can be very effective in reducing osteoarthritis knee pain for example, but unlike over the counter medications, warmth and coolness only treat the symptoms of this ailment and not the root cause, so they only provide temporary relief.
Although not really a treatment, weight loss can also be helpful in arthritis pain management, as overweight people are more prone to developing rheumatoid diseases due to the increased pressure exerted on the joints in the lower half of the body.
Medication and Surgery for Osteoarthritis Pain Relief
Arthritis sufferers are often prescribed analgesics as short-term solutions, as these drugs are able to provide effective relief although they don’t reduce inflammation. In case of severe pain and inflammatory processes, stronger medications such as codeine or cortisone may be recommended. Very efficient in reducing osteoarthritis pain, these drugs have one major disadvantage and this is the high risk of dependence that they carry. Also, some sufferers may experience insomnia, digestive problems and nausea after taking strong painkillers, so the physician may limit the frequency and quantity one can use each month or year.
In case none of the less-invasive methods works, surgery may be recommended for restoring the affected joint’s mobility. Commonly, surgery is used for replacing the inflamed wrist joint (procedure called arthroplasty), for realigning bones in the painful joint or for fusing them in order to obtain a more stable wrist (technique called arthrodesis). Despite surgical procedures being extremely efficient in eliminating osteoarthritis knee pain, improving the functioning of the affected hip or restoring the hands mobility, these treatments have their limitations so they can’t be applied to all situations where joints are affected by this inflammatory process.
Joint replacement for example can be used for knees, hips, ankles, shoulders, elbows and hands; the procedure through which the bones are realigned is suitable for knee, while arthrodesis is a solution for ankles affected by this illness. Still, when it comes to achieving osteoarthritis pain relief in the lower back or neck regions, non-invasive therapies are usually the preferred alternative.