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What is the best treatment for arthritis? Before your physician determines what kind of treatment will be best for you, he/ she will have you undergo a physical exam. Your doctor will check if there’s any swelling on your joints, or if it’s warm or there’s a sign of redness. What is the best treatment for arthritis? You can also expect your doctor to see how well you can move your joints. Once he/she suspects that you have the symptoms of arthritis, you will undergo various laboratory tests to confirm diagnosis. In this article, you’ll learn what is the best treatment for arthritis? 

What is the Best Treatment for Arthritis: How to Diagnose

Laboratory Tests

What is the best treatment for arthritis? Lab testing involves analyzing different types of body fluids. This process can help pinpoint the specific type of arthritis you may have. Blood, joint fluid or urine are the most common types that are being analyze in a lab setting. In order to acquire a sample of a joint fluid, the physician or medical professional will numb and cleanse the area before he/ she inserts a needle in between joints in order to draw some fluid for testing.

What is the best treatment for arthritis? Imaging testing can surely help in pinpointing the problems in your joint that could be causing the symptoms. Below are some common examples of image testings:

X- Rays

X – rays that uses low levels of radiation can help not just visualize the bone but also show if there’s any cartilage loss, bone spurs and bone damage. Even if it may not reveal the symptoms of arthritic damage early on, it can still help track if there is any progression in the disease. 

Computerized Tomography (CT)

CT scanners are just like X – rays but the main difference is that it’s more in – depth because doctors can view the bone in different angles. It can also be use to combine the information that came from the cross – sectional views of the internal structures. It can help to view not just the bones but also the surrounding soft tissues.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging combines radio waves using a magnetic field. The magnetic field is so strong that it can produce more – detailed cross – sectional images. They can see tendons, ligaments, cartilages and other soft tissues surrounding the swollen area.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound uses high – frequency sound waves in order to see soft tissues, bursae and cartilages. Bursae are structure near the joint that contains fluid. Ultrasound is sometimes used as a guide when it comes to placing the needles for injections and joint aspirations.

What is the Best Treatment for Arthritis: Treatment

What is the best treatment for arthritis? Treating arthritis usually focuses on improving joint function and also relieving symptoms. You may need to try various treatments, or sometimes a combination of treatments before you determine what works for you.

Medications

The meds used to treat arthritis varies. It will depend on the type of the diagnosis. The most commonly used medications to treat arthritis include:

Painkillers

This medication has no effect on inflammation but it’s very helpful in reducing pain. Painkiller includes Tylenol which can be bought over – the – counter options.

For patients experiencing severe pain, doctors may prescribe the following painkillers:

  • Opioids
  • Tramadol
  • Hydrocodone

Opioids usually target the central nervous system in order to relieve pain. It is often used for long – term dependence but the side – effect is that it could cause physical or mental dependence and therefore can be addictive.

Non - Steroidal Anti - Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Non – steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce both inflammation and pain. NSAIDs usually include over – the – counter drugs such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen. Some types of these drugs can’t be purchased without proper prescription by the doctor.

There are also oral NSAIDs but it may cause stomach irritation for some patients. It could also increase your risk of stroke or even heart attack. Most patients purchase NSAIDs that come in gels or creams that can be rubbed in joints.

Counterirritants

There are different kinds of ointments or creams that contain menthol which is an ingredient that usually makes hot peppers spicy. If you rub these ointments on the skin over the aching joint, it can interfere with the pain signal transmission from the aching joints.

Biologic Response Modifiers

This is often used along with DMARDs. Biologic response modifiers are drugs that are genetically engineered. This usually targets different protein molecules that are involved in the immune response.

Corticosteroids

This class of drug help reduces inflammation and also suppresses one’s immune system. It can be injected directly on the aching joint or also taken orally.  

What is the Best Treatment for Arthritis: Therapy

What is the best treatment for arthritis? Physical therapy can work for some patients though it would still depend on the kind of arthritis they have. Exercise can also help strengthen the muscles that surround the joints and also improve the range of motion. However, in some cases, braces or splints may be needed.

Surgery

Your physician may suggest that you undergo surgery if in case conservative measures don’t work. This can include the following:

Joint Repair

In some cases, joint surfaces can be realigned to improve function or reduce the pain. This procedure can be performed by doing small incision on the affected joint.

Joint Replacement

This procedure can remove your damaged joint and replace it with an artificial one. This is mostly done to replace knees and hips.

Joint Fusion

This type of surgery is used for smaller joints like fingers, ankles, and wrists. It involves the removal of the ends of 2 bones in a joint and locking the ends together until it gets healed into a single unit. We hope this article answer your question, what is the best treatment for arthritis? Stay tuned for more of our blog posts!

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