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Medications for Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is the medical condition caused by inflammation ofjoints in your body. Usually, it also affects the surrounding tissue, such asmuscles, ligaments and bones. There are different types of the disorder, and themost common are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Lupus and psoriasisless commonly affect the joints.

Joint consists of different parts, including: cartilage, synovium(the membrane which produces synovial fluid to lubricate the joint) and jointcapsule. Damage on any of the parts of the joint can cause pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. The immunesystem attacks the healthy cells of the joint and causes synovium inflammation. Thisinflammation leads to redness, swelling and pain of the joints.

Osteoarthritis is caused by aging. With years, cartilage ofthe joints gets worn off. The bone is directly connected to the bone, and thefriction causes pain. Infections or joint injuries may speed up the process andlead to osteoarthritis in young people.

Risk Factors

Rick factors for developing arthritis are usually the age,genetic predispositions, preexisting joint problems, weight and sex. Elderly peopleare more likely to develop this condition, especially older women, who usuallysuffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Weight also plays an important role inarthritis. Obesity causes much more pressure to the joints and lead to joint stressand damage. Athletes or people that had previous joint injury are more prone toarthritis than the other people.

Treatment for Arthritis

Patients suffering from this disorder usuallytake analgesic to reduce the pain. The most common are tramadol (Tylenol),acetaminophen (Ultram) and narcotics, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) or oxycodone(Percocet).There are also counter-irritant medications,including capsaicin from the chilies and menthol.Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (ibuprofen,naproxen, Aspirin, etc) affect inflammation and ease the pain. These medicationsare available as tablets, gels and creams. The downsides are side effects:digestive problems and possibility of a stroke and heart attack. Corticosteroids, such as prednisolone andcortisone, taken orally or injected to the joint, can also decrease the arthritispain. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) aremethotrexate (Trexall) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil). These medications affectthe immune system and disable it to attack healthy joint tissue. Biologics are TNF blockers: etanercept (Enbrel)and infliximab (Remicade). These drugs also modify immune system.

Alternative Approaches

These alternative treatmentsusually include the use of acupuncture, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation(also known as TENS) or supplements containing glucosamine and some other substances.

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