Forms of Treatment for Arthritis

by Connie Limon - Date: 2007-04-18 - Word Count: 896 Share This!

Trying to figure out the best means to relief arthritis pain can be frustrating. You can make your arthritis pain worse with activities stressful to your joints and that require repetitive motion when you already have severe joint damage. If you have only mild joint damage, gentle exercise that includes stretching and muscle strengthening can improve arthritis pain.

Arthritis varies from one person to another. You will need to work with your doctor to determine the right solution and exercise program for your specific situation.

Activities such as jogging and playing tennis that put sudden pressure on involved joints are likely to make the symptoms of arthritis worse. Swelling and inflammation may increase. Exercises that strengthen your muscles protect your joints and reduce stress and joint damage should be of help to arthritis symptoms. Strengthening the muscles on the front and back of your thigh, which are the quadriceps and hamstrings; helps protect your knee and hip joints.

The key is to do what you can to stay physically active while taking into consideration the condition of your joints. You may be able to walk a good 30 to 60 minutes at a comfortable pace, but you probably will have to give up high-impact activities like running that puts a lot of stress on many different joints. Swimming or other water exercise may be a better choice for keeping active until you get toned if your joints are too painful for walking.

People with rheumatoid arthritis often have stiffness after rest. Movement tends to diminish some of the symptoms. If you experience excessive stiffness after sitting for a long time you can try adjusting your sitting position often to help prevent or lessen some of this.

You should call your doctor if new pain or persistent pain lasting more than several days occurs. Arthritis symptoms are often more effectively controlled if caught early. If your symptoms are most likely due to overdoing it and they disappear in a few days you probably do not need to call your doctor.

Medications for arthritis are relatively safe and well tolerated by most people. Keep in mind there is no medication that is completely free of possible side effects. If you experience regular arthritis symptoms you need professional advice from your doctor about which medications to take and how much.

Medications available include:

Other anti-inflammatory drugs

Most of the above drugs can be purchased over-the-counter and many of them do bring relief of minor and occasional arthritis pain.

A weekend tennis player, gardeners and other people with mild osteoarthritis can overcome some of the stiffness by taking an over-the-counter NSAID tablet for one or two days. I experienced some hip pain shortly after beginning a new walking routine. My doctor advised taking Ibuprofen just shortly before each work-out, which did alleviate the pain considerably.

If symptoms are prolonged and severe, joint involvement may be more advanced. Your doctor is the best source to decide the dosage that is right for you.

Alternative treatment for arthritis pain:

Heat, massage and stretching help relieve arthritis symptoms for many people. The best of these treatments should have your doctor or physical therapist's approval. These treatments have also been standard treatments and not so much "alternative" treatment for arthritis pain.

Many alternative preparations have not been adequately studied. Herbal treatments, for example, taken on a day that you might have felt better anyway, may convince you that the herb made you better. Arthritis treatments studies show as many as 30 percent of people taking an inactive substance improve at least temporarily.

Quality standards for over-the-counter alternative drugs do not exist.

It may take years to find an effective and safe medication for your particular arthritis pain. If you try a shortcut standard practice it may lead to harmful effects and wasted money, time and effort.

Botox Injections:

It is unclear at this time whether or not Botox injections improve pain and function in people with arthritis. Much more research is needed to evaluate the findings of a very small study that suggested injections with Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) may improve pain and function in people with arthritis.

The study reported improvements in pain and function in all participants, however the duration of these benefits varied from three to 12 months. The results were promising and there were no adverse reactions reported. There will need to be much larger, controlled and randomized trials to determine the safety and possible benefit of Botox injections for arthritis.

Antibiotics for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis:

Researchers continue to study the possibility that rheumatoid arthritis may be brought on by some form of infection. If this is true, it may be possible to prevent or stop the progression of the disease with antibiotics. Studies of the usefulness of antibiotic therapy have produced mixed results.

Effects of long-term use of antibiotics are unknown. Antibiotics have many potential side effects, some of which are very serious. More research is needed to determine if antibiotics can be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Source: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Disclaimer: *This article is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any kind of a health problem. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your health care provider about any kind of a health problem and especially before beginning any kind of an exercise routine.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box. Article written 4-2007.

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Author: Connie Limon, Trilogy Field Representative. Visit and sign up for a weekly nutrition and health tip. The article collection is available as FREE reprints for your newsletters, websites or blog. Visit to purchase an array of superior quality, safe and effective products inspired by nature, informed by science and created to improve the health of people, pets and the planet.

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