Arthritis or inflammation of the joints is a debilitating condition that can be painful in the long term if not treated. However, with lifestyle changes and drugs, a massive difference can be made not just on the physical pain but also the psychological pain of restriction of motion experienced by patients.
The joint, or the distance between two bones, when inflamed, leads to arthritis. It’s comprised of wear and tear of cartilage which provides a cushioning effect to the joint and acts as a shock absorber. When it’s damaged, redness, pain, restricted ability to maneuver, stiffness, and swelling occur. There are several types of this inflammation. Reasons can be wear and tear with age, broken bone, disease like in gonococcal arthritis, or an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system fails to recognize its tissue and attacks it like systemic lupus erythrematosus.
When the inflammation fails to resolve with therapy, it becomes persistent, Osteoarthritis being the most common of its type. However, an individual should not lose confidence as therapy strategies do exist. Lifestyle changes are started with low impact aerobics, training for muscle tone, and a few exercises to improve flexibility of motion. Physical therapy may also be recommended included using massage with ice or heat. Splints are utilized to support joints which lose their position.
This is particularly true for rheumatoid arthritis. Other straightforward things to keep in mind aren’t to remain in one position for quite a very long time and avoid positions that exacerbate the painful joints. Try to get rid of weight, especially if the joint pain is from the feet or legs. Get an adequate amount of sleep to reduce flare ups. Meditation to reduce stress may also help.
Eat a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables to meet the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin E. Additionally it is suggested to consume foods enriched with omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, herring, flaxseed, rapeseed oil, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. However, these changes alone can’t make a difference in addition to drugs can, but the medications will need to be tracked for their side effects, especially if used over an extended time period.
Over the counter drugs like acetaminophen are the first choices, the surplus of that causes liver damage. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs serve as pain relieving agents like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. These have the potential risk of stomach ulcers, intestinal bleeding, heart attack, stroke, and kidney impairment and must be used with caution. There are a number of prescription medications also available if the above regimens don’t work. Biologics are contained in this class, which improve the quality of life for the patients but aren’t without side effects. Steroids may also be used, which can be applied directly into the joint or given orally. Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic medications are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Immuno suppressants are used as a last resort.