Sunday, February 18, 2007

Arthritis Treatment

What treatment options are available?

* Check with your doctor to confirm what type of arthritis you have. An X-ray will detect the presence of osteoarthritis.
* Take aspirin or NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) after a meal to relieve pain and inflammation. If you've had gastrointestinal bleeding or are over 65, consult with your doctor first.
* Rest to give injured tissues time to heal.
* Start a moderate exercise program to alleviate the pain and inhibit further deterioration by strengthening the surrounding bones, muscles and ligaments. Also, if you are overweight, exercising will help drop the extra pounds that are, no doubt, putting more stress on your joints.
* Heat or cold therapies may help alleviate the pain and inflammation.
* Corticosteroid injections are sometimes called for.
* Acupressure can sometimes relieve the pain as can massage or chiropractic treatment.
* Surgery is also an option for those suffering from severe arthritis. Damaged connective tissue in the joint is removed to allow new, healthy tissue to grow in its place. Sometimes the entire joint is replaced with an artificial one.