Arthritis affects more than 45 million of people in the United States. Although doctors can’t cure this condition, there are number of ways available to relieve the pain and discomfort in arthritis patients. Proper rest and sufficient amount of physical exercise, pain killer medications and heat or cold therapies are just some of the possible treatments that can ease arthritis pain.
When looking for the right medication to manage the pain associated with arthritis, you should always seek the medical advice. Your doctor will help you to choose proper pain killer that will ease the pain in the joints. For patients suffering from mild arthritis pains, OTC (over the counter) pain killers usually do the trick. Aspirin, naproxen sodium or ibuprofen can relieve your pain if it’s not severe, but there are also some drugs designed specifically for arthritis patients you might want to try.
If OTC products fail, doctors may advise you to use immunosuppressant medications, like methotrexate or corticosteroids (prednisone). These drugs work by decreasing the activity of your immune system and therefore decrease and stop inflammation and pain in the joints.
Heat or Cold Treatments
Arthritis patients usually respond well to either cold or heat. What works for which patient should be fond out by the patient themselves. If your pain subsides with cold therapy, try some ice packs and apply them on the joints that hurt. The treatment should last for 20 minutes and can be repeated several times per day, if needed. Other patients respond to heat. Heating pads have proven to be exceptionally useful, and simply by using those on the affected joints for 20 minutes stiffness and pain can be relieved.
Patients suffering from arthritis often have very limited movement because of the pain. However, exercising has been scientifically proven method which increases flexibility of the joints and decreases the joint pain at the same time. Strenuous exercises are not advised for these patients, but walking, Pilates or swimming is something they can enjoy and benefit from. 30 minutes of physical activity every day is one of the best treatments for these people.
Exercising in warm water is very beneficial, especially in soaking bathtubs. The joints don’t experience the pressure, since the body weighs much less in water than on the ground. Because of that, many doctors advise their arthritis patients to start doing some stretching or even yoga positions in the warm tub. Consult your doctor and if he/she agrees, work out your hands, shoulders, thighs, calves and toes in the bathtub. Temperature of the water should be about 100 and 102 degrees, and some sea salts or Epsom salts added to the bath will also be of a great help.