Arthritis treatment

If you have arthritis, it is important to work with your doctor in choosing the appropriate arthritis treatment that will work best for you. Treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis and include medication, physical and occupational therapy, lifestyle changes such as exercise and weight control, as well as dietary changes or supplements.

The first step to getting the right arthritis treatment is to establish which one you have. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, gout, and fibromyalgia. The main objective of treatment is to relieve inflammation and associated pain, with as small a therapeutic risk as possible. Medium to long-term goals are to slow disease progression, prevent work disability, enhance quality of life and maintain functional independence.

Your preference and lifestyle play a key role in choosing the appropriate treatment, of which there are non-drug and drug options. Physical exercising of the affected joint can have noticeable improvement with long-term pain relief. It also helps to maintain the health of the joint, and contributes to your overall health. Diets high in marine oils from cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna have been shown to reduce the inflammation of arthritis. Massage on joints with neem oil has reported improvement in chronic and acute cases.

Drug options include the use of non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. While they are effective at reducing inflammation, they each come with their assortment of side effects. It is important to make sure you are educated as much as possible about the drug you are on. Get to know both the generic and trade names, your reason for taking it and its effects, both the positive and negative, as well as how and when to take it. Ensure that you take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribed. Never change your dosage on your own. Your doctor should follow you up on a regular basis, so if the treatment you are on is ineffective or there are newer drugs on the market he will let you know.

You will want instant relief, but give your medication some time to work. If you are not sure how long the wait is meant to be then ask your doctor when to expect results. If there are children around the house it is advisable to keep your medication out of reach or get childproof containers. Make sure you label them clearly because there may be harmful reactions between certain medications of you take them together by mistake. For the same reason you should always tell your doctor which other medication or supplements you are taking.

The effective arthritis treatment plan should include a combination of conventional medicines, effective alternative treatments such as exercise, joint protection, changes in diet, rest, and lifestyle changes. It is advisable not to expect medication alone to do the job. Make sure you continue to go for your medical follow-ups to achieve adequate control of arthritis.

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