Arthritis pain can influence what you do every day — try not to let it. Taking control starts with understanding
THE BASICS OF ARTHRITIS
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis or minor arthritis, affecting nearly 27 million Americans.
Minor arthritis symptoms can come and go and include pain, stiffness and swelling, and decreased range of motion. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can change over time. If you experience pain, see your doctor for a diagnosis and follow his/her instructions.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about combining several treatment strategies to get maximum arthritis pain relief.
WHAT’S BEHIND IT?
When it comes to figuring out what causes arthritis, it really depends on the type of arthritis you have. Minor arthritis can be caused by an injury to the joints, which can break down the cartilage — connective tissue that protects the joints by absorbing stress. See your doctor to develop a pain management plan specific to your arthritis diagnosis.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
Don’t be afraid to combine several treatment strategies to get maximum arthritis pain relief. Just be sure to discuss with your doctor all the new treatments you’d like to try; here are a few options to discuss with your doctor:
- Medication. Prescription and over-the-counter medications, like Aleve can help ease minor arthritis pain when used as directed. Just make sure you always check with your doctor before taking any medication.
- Physical therapy. The exercises involved in physical therapy can help make the muscles around the affected joint stronger. Be sure to check out other supporting therapiesthat can complement your treatment.
- Hot and cold packs. This is an inexpensive, convenient way to get quick relief from pain and stiffness.
- Surgery.In some cases, surgery may be a good treatment option. Hip and knee replacements are the most commonly performed surgeries for arthritis. Sometimes joint fusion surgery can be performed in severe cases of arthritis in the fingers or wrists.