Ways to Get Relief from Arthritis Pain - Alpha Male Nation
What’s the most effective treatment for arthritis?
If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, you shouldn’t feel discouraged – as there are several treatment options, ranging from prescription drugs to homeopathic approaches which can help you manage pain and fatigue.
Whether you opt for a medication regimen, surgery or a natural alternative, it’s essential to make lifestyle choices which will aid in your recovery. Self-management is key in understanding and counteracting the symptoms of this disorder. By addressing the physical and mental implications of arthritis, as well as making healthy, long-term lifestyle choices, you can take charge of your treatment plan and find what works best for you.
Here are a few beneficial habits you should pick up in order to reduce pain and improve mobility – stay physically active, eat a nutrient-rich diet, improve sleep patterns and balance activity with rest.
By taking small steps you can make a big difference in how much arthritis affects the quality of your life. You can also develop a support network of family and friends in order to determine the best course of action and to track your progress over time.
Medication used to treat arthritis
Medical treatment will be provided according to the type of arthritis affecting your body. One of the most common options is analgesics, which will reduce physical pain, but will have no far-reaching effect on the subsidiary inflammation.
Most likely you will be prescribed acetaminophen (Tylenol), hydrocodone (Vicoprofen, Norco), narcotics (OxyContin, Percocet) or tramadol (Ultracet, Ultram). Another treatment option is corticosteroids like prednisone and cortisone, which suppress immune responses and reduce inflammation.
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs are the most widely-used treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, counteracting the immune system’s attack on the affected joints. Plaquenil and Trexall are the most common DMARDs prescribed. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also useful in reducing both inflammation and pain, but may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as cause stomach irritation.
Most common NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Certain counterirritants like creams containing capsaicin or menthol are also useful in reducing the severity of joint aches. There are also genetically engineered drugs which target proteins involved in immune responses – for instance, Enbrel and Remicade. This type of medication is generally used in conjunction with DMARDs.
Are you a candidate for joint surgery?
If you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, but your joint pain is still debilitating, surgery may be an option worth considering. If you have explored all other available treatment option, experience increasingly disabling pain and are prepared to go through post-surgery rehabilitation in order to regain mobility and muscle strength, then surgery is the next step.
However, it is important to recognize that a surgical intervention is a major and costly event, with its own risks which need to be taken into consideration. For instance, certain rheumatoid arthritis medication may increase surgical infection risk in patients, whereas smoking poses certain dangers when it comes to total hip or knee replacements.
There have also been reports of metal allergies (raising the risk of an unfavorable outcome for metal joint implant surgeries), as well as reported post-surgery complications in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Understanding your joint procedure options
One of the most common surgeries performed for patients with arthritis is arthroscopy – a procedure which uses specialized instruments, small incisions, and a tiny camera in order to repair damaged cartilage and fix tears in the soft tissue, as well as remove adjacent broken pieces of cartilage.
While this surgery is very likely to improve range of motion and reduce physical discomfort, there is still not enough research to determine if it can prevent the further deterioration of the joint.
- Joint resurfacing
Another option is joint resurfacing, which involves replacing one of the three compartments of the knee or the hip socket with an implant or a metal prosthesis or cup. This procedure involves a higher complication rate than conventional implants, but can improve function with daily activities and reduce pain.
- Total Joint Replacement (TJR)
This involves replacing the damaged joint with an implant manufactured from combinations of metal and plastic, which mimics the flexible motion of the natural joint. This procedure is generally recommended for patients with severe joint pain that isn’t alleviated by other treatment options.
However, it’s important to note that all artificial joints can eventually wear and tear, requiring revision surgeries, in which the failed or infected implant is replaced with a new, functional one.
This procedure involves cutting and removing bone or implementing a wedge of bone near a damaged joint. Used for patients younger than 30 as an alternative to total joint replacement, osteotomies can prevent further damage and delay the need for a joint replacement.
Managing arthritis without medication
There are several lifestyle choices you can make which can greatly aid in managing the symptoms of arthritis. The most effective alternative treatment for this disorder is adopting a nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory diet.
By limiting foods which promote inflammation and consequently trigger joint pain, you can reduce pain and improve mobility, while remaining drug-free. Some of the most prominent categories of food which can set off or aggravate inflammation include saturated fats (found primarily in animal products such as pork, beef, lamb, poultry, dairy), simple sugars (found in soft drinks, candy, fruit juice, cookies, most refined carbohydrates), fried foods (calorie-dense, high-fat foods like donuts, French fries and fried chicken) and trans fats (found in hydrogenated oils and processed, highly refined foods).
The best foods that fight arthritis
Following a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds is essential in managing arthritis. Some of the best super foods used to lower inflammation in the body are Omega 3-rich fish (salmon, herring, mackerel), high-protein soybeans or tofu, fruits rich in anthocyanins (cherries and berries), citrus fruits packed with vitamin C, healthy oils (like olive oil), broccoli, beans (chock-full with fiber, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium) and foods from the allium family (onion, garlic and leeks).
Natural remedies for arthritis
There are several supplements and herb extracts that you can experiment with when it comes to alleviating arthritis symptoms. These products contain high quantities of proteolytic enzymes, which cleanse the blood, dissolve scar tissue, counteract inflammation and boosts cardiovascular and immune function.
The most widely-used supplements include bromelain (extracted from pineapple), papain (attacks tumor cells, boosts the immune system and also helps with digestion issues like chronic indigestion and bloating), turmeric extract (rich in antioxidants which trigger and destroy the free radicals that contribute to pain and swelling in the body), ginger extract (widely used in Asia for over 2,500 years, reduces pain and inflammation), devil’s claw and Boswellia extract.
Other popular supplements and herbs include Cat’s claw, curcumin, flaxseed, Ginko Biloba, MSM (organic sulfur compound), pine bark, St. John’s Wort, primrose, DHEA (an androgen steroid hormone) and black currant oil.