Learn about the various medications, supplements, and alternative treatments available to relieve pain caused benefits arthritis osteoarthritis. Responsive Channel Content 3 Column Template_091e9c5e813ec926_tmodules_css_535. Turmeric: Health Remedy in Your Spice Rack?
Why Are Women Still Dying From Childbirth? Several types of medications and other treatments can bring you relief. They may not get rid of your pain totally, but they can often ease it enough for you to do the things you want and need to do. There are many types of medicines to choose from, but like all drugs, each has its pros and cons. Talk to your doctor about them to decide what’s best for you.
Nondrug treatments are the first option for relieving OA pain. They have many benefits and few, if any, risks. Even if you need medication, it’s still important to make lifestyle changes, too. Exercise relieves joint pain and stiffness.
One study of people with knee OA showed exercise worked as well as anti-inflammatory pain relievers. But you have to do it regularly. Like most treatments, if you don’t stick with exercise, the benefits go away. Your routine should include cardio to keep your heart and lungs strong. Good low-impact options include walking, swimming, biking, tai chi, and yoga. Also include resistance exercises to build your muscles so they can support your joints.
And stay flexible with stretching moves. Check with your doctor or a physical therapist to make sure you’re doing the right type of exercise for you. If you’re overweight, slimming down will make a big difference in your OA. Weight loss greatly lowers the stress on your joints, especially knees and hips. It also relieves pain and helps your joints work better. Walking aids, such as canes, and knee braces also help, especially if your knee is out of alignment.
Splints can help with OA of the thumb. Ask your doctor or physical therapist about any other devices that may help. Acetaminophen can ease mild and moderate arthritis pain. But you have to take it carefully. Many other types of medications also have acetaminophen, so it’s easy to take too much without realizing it.
Make sure you don’t take more than 3,000 milligrams per day. NSAIDs also lower swelling and ease pain. Most healthy people can safely take them for short periods without any problems. But NSAIDs can raise your odds of having a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.
The FDA says people who’ve had a heart attack should be careful using NSAIDs because it raises their chances of having another heart attack. Also, NSAIDs keep your stomach from making substances that protect it from acids. After a long time, some people can get side effects like stomach irritation and bleeding. Your doctor may recommend you take a medication that decreases stomach acid to protect your stomach. Your odds for side effects are higher if you’re over age 75, take higher doses of NSAIDs, take them for a long time, or are on medications to prevent blood clots. Along with medications, there are supplements and creams that you can buy at the drugstore to relieve arthritis pain. Many people with OA use the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin.
For those with moderate to severe OA knee pain, the combination of the two may ease aches, although medical studies have not shown clear proof that they help significantly. If you choose to try it, take it for at least 3 months before you decide if it helps. There don’t seem to be any major side effects from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, but because they are supplements, the FDA doesn’t regulate them in the same way as drugs. That means it’s tough to be sure of the content and quality of supplements you see in stores. Though the benefit is still unclear, one study showed long-term use of fish oil supplements improved pain and function. Skin creams made from capsaicin, an extract from chili peppers, may help relieve mild arthritis pain. You may notice a mild stinging or burning feeling when you rub it on your skin, but it usually fades over time.
Cold or warm compresses on a painful joint a few times per week may also improve pain, swelling, and range of motion. Cold therapy may also help you feel better right after you exercise. You can ask your doctor for prescription NSAIDs — stronger than those you buy over the counter — to treat arthritis pain and inflammation. Like over-the-counter NSAIDs, taking these medications for a long time may cause serious side effects like a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and stomach irritation and bleeding for some people, especially in those who are older. If you take a daily , you should also talk with your doctor about whether it’s safe for you to take other NSAIDs. NSAIDs you rub on your skin, such as diclofenac cream, also work well for hand and knee arthritis and are less likely to cause side effects than pills that you swallow.
It relieves pain as well as other NSAIDs and also lowers inflammation. Some studies have shown that the drug is less likely to cause stomach bleeding. But like other NSAIDs, it can raise your chances for heart disease, and higher doses are riskier for your health. In special cases, strong pain drugs such as codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone can help people with OA pain. Due to their side effects, doctors prescribe them only for those with severe pain who can’t take NSAIDs or for those waiting for joint replacement. Your doctor will decide if you need these drugs to treat your pain.