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Arthritis treatments

Non-surgical Arthritis Treatments and Orthopedic Arthritis Surgeries

 Arthritis is an orthopedic condition that cannot be left untreated long because of the accompanying ever aggravating pain and limited motion. Arthritis means the acute or chronic inflammation of joints as a result of the traumatic or progressive breakdown of the cartilage (the covering surface that protects the joints from rubbing together). There are more than 100 distinct types of arthritis, therefore arthritis treatments vary accordingly. The most common types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis (cartilage damage evolves progressively with aging)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (auto-immune disorder, in which the body’s own immune system harms the cartilage and the bones)
  • Gout (caused by uric acid crystals)

Symthoms, however, are quite the same regardless of the type of arthritis:

  • Joints turn painful, red and swollen
  • The affected area becomes stiff and less flexible

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Arthritis Treatments

Arthritis treatments should be started in time, before the onset of more serious consequences such as deformed, bulging joints and difficulty in doing simple daily activities. Arthritis treatments target symptom relief and aim to improve the patient’s quality of life. In planning the treatment, patients have treefold options; home care, medication and arthritis surgery.

  1. Arthritis Treatments at Home
  • Apply hot or cold compresses
  • Use splints to protect your joints
  • Learn massaging techniques or program sessions with a physical therapist.
  • Yoga, other moderate physical exercise and regular streching are proven to be beneficial for inflamed joints
  • Control your weight with a balanced diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E
  • Avoid strenuous activity with the sore parts
  • Use topical creams and ointments that contain capsaicin and menthol to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Over the counter pain medicine and anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and Aspirin may help on the short run, but do not take them for a prolonged period

          2. Medical Arthritis Treatments

Corticosteroids fight agains inflammation, either orally taken or injected.

In case of autoimmune arthritis disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or in severe cases immunorepressants are prescribed to slow down the immune response.

Biologic response modifying medication block certain proteins that are responsible for the immune response, but they have quite serious side-effects to consider.

            3. Arthritis Surgeries

When life-style changes and medical arthritis treatments have failed to bring substancial improvement in the condition, several options exist for arthritis surgery. The aim of the surgery is to ease pain permanently without the adverse side-effects of medication and to restore or preserve the functionality of the limbs. Arthritis surgery may especially be beneficial when there is not just inflammation but the joint is also damaged structurally.

  • Parcial or total joint replacement offers a great surgical solution for hip and knee joint inflammation and serious damage. Patiens suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are the best candidates, whose damaged joints and tissues are removed and replaced with a prothesis. The artificial joints have a lifespan of over 20 years, after which the prothesis must be revised and changed.
  • Arthroplasty, joint or bone fusion is used to heal smaller joints. The procedure surgically connects and fuses two joints together. Pain relief and motion improvevent can be expected, however, the operated area will remain a bit rigid.

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