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Arthritis Treatment & Surgery

Arthritis Treatment & Surgery

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis. Your range of motion may also decrease, and you may experience redness of the skin around the joint. Many people with arthritis notice their symptoms are worse in the morning.

The main goal of treatment is to reduce the amount of pain you’re experiencing and prevent additional damage to the joints. A number of different types of medication treat arthritis:

  • Analgesics, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), are effective for pain management, but don’t help decrease inflammation.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil) and salicylates, help control pain and inflammation. Salicylates can thin the blood, so they should be used very cautiously with additional blood thinning medications.
  • Menthol or capsaicin creams block the transmission of pain signals from your joints. Immunosuppressants like prednisone or cortisone help reduce inflammation.

Eating a healthy diet is important for weight loss. Choosing a diet with lots of antioxidants, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, can help reduce inflammation. Other inflammation-reducing foods include fish and nuts.

Regular exercise will keep your joints flexible. Swimming is often a good form of exercise for people with arthritis because it doesn’t put pressure on your joints the way running and walking do. Staying active is important, but you should also be sure to rest when you need to and avoid overexerting yourself.