Joint Pain Series: 5 of the Best Joint Treatment Options Revealed
Deciding on the best joint treatment options will depend on several variables, including the location, severity and type of arthritis you have.
Before you jump to conclusions and assume you need joint replacement surgery, take a few minutes to read through this article on five of the best joint treatment options that are often effective without resorting to surgery.
Taking the Conservative Approach: 5 Joint Treatment Options
1. Natural Remedies: If your physician has caught the onset of your arthritis fairly early, you may benefit from several natural treatments that can soothe sore joints. Many patients report pain relief and less stiffness when they get a massage or acupuncture treatment, or when they do yoga or tai chi. The effectiveness of these methods varies greatly from patient to patient and they should always be implemented with the oversight and recommendation of a physician.
2. Lifestyle Changes: When a physician assesses an arthritic joint, the first set of treatment recommendations that they will usually make involve various lifestyle changes. This could mean asking the patient to lose weight, avoid certain activities or sports, or use a cane.
According to the Arthritis Foundation:
Dropping about 5% of body weight reduces pain and improves one’s ability to move, and losing 10% or more actually slows the disease process, according to a large trial of people with knee osteoarthritis.
3. Medication: Another first line of treatment often involves the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Acetaminophen may also be recommended for basic pain relief. Topical gels or lotions can work to stimulate sensory nerve endings in the skin, reducing pain signals through the nervous system. Your doctor may also prescribe COX-2 inhibitors if other over-the-counter medications cause issues with your digestive system.
4. Physical Therapy: Although not as effective in the advanced stages of arthritis, for patients addressing the early onset of osteoarthritis, a physical therapy regimen - or even a physician recommended stretching routine - can help the joints stay limber and strong.
5. Intra-articular Injections: These steroid injections, given directly into the joint, provide one of the best joint treatment options for short-term pain relief in patients with advanced arthritis. However, this treatment is usually only effective for a few weeks to three months and are usually limited to three or four a year. Injections are not considered to be a safe or effective long-term strategy for pain relief.
Even the best joint treatment options are sometimes just not enough. If all conservative methods prove to be unsuccessful in addressing your joint pain, then you should speak to your physician about the option of joint replacement surgery. For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.
Read more about that procedure and other topics related to joint pain in our article series featured below:
Joint Series - Blog 1: Why do I Have Joint Pain?
How do I Know if I Have Arthritis
Do I Need to See a Doctor About Arthritis
Joint Series - Blog 2: What are my Treatment Options for Arthritis?
Joint Series - Blog 3: Do I Need a Joint Replacement?
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