Arthritis is the general term for conditions causing pain and inflammation of the joints. The Arthritis Foundation reports osteoarthritis as the most common form of the condition. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage between your joints breaks down. Symptoms of the chronic condition include pain, inflammation, stiffness and the inability to move joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes the lining of the joints in the hands and feet to swell. No cure exists for either type of arthritis; however, a variety of treatments can help with arthritis pain.
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Consider taking medications. Begin with medications that have the least amount of side effects, suggests MayoClinic.com. Start with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen sodium. Discuss taking stronger prescription medications as the arthritis progresses. Additional drugs used to treat arthritis include narcotic pain killers and corticosteroid injections. Taking these medications puts you at risk for severe side effects, including drug dependence and additional joint damage. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may take immunosuppressant medications such as azathioprine or cyclosporine. A decrease in the body’s response to fighting illnesses can occur.
Use ginger as a natural, alternative treatment to stop arthritis pain, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center. Drink fresh ginger juice, extract or tea to decrease arthritis inflammation. Massage ginger extract onto the arthritic joint to decrease pain. Chop fresh ginger root and simmer in a pan for several minutes to create a poultice. Allow the ginger to cool and spread it onto gauze or a cloth and apply to your affected joints.
Ask your medical doctor for therapy recommendations, advises MayoClinic.com. Work with an occupational and physical therapist to learn ways to use your joints without creating additional pain. For example, use gripping tools to pick up items if you are experiencing pain in your hand. Discuss common everyday activities causing joint pain with your therapist so new techniques can be explored. Consider taking a class that teaches arthritis skills at a local medical center.
Practice stretching and range-of-motion exercises to increase mobility and decrease joint pain. Create an exercise plan with your medical doctor or therapist beginning with simple stretching exercises and eventually leading to more involved aerobic physical activity, advises the University of Maryland Medical Center. Stop exercising or decrease activity if your joint pain is severe or if discomfort lasts for more than two hours after your session.