Rheumatoid arthritis refers to a chronic progressive disease that causes inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformities and immobility, especially in the figures, wrists, feet and ankles.
This condition has been classified as one of the major health concerns among seniors. The article will take a look at ten treatment methods for rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Methods
1. Inflammation Medication
Taking medication that controls inflammation goes a long way in treating rheumatoid arthritis. This is especially so due to the fact that inflammation is the major characteristic and concern of this condition. The drug methetrexate is highly recommended.
2. Pain Medication
Since severe pain is yet another serious condition of rheumatoid arthritis, pain medication is a common treatment method.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the best drugs for acute pain. The stronger the pain, the stronger should be the pain reliever to be used.
Drugs such as opioids are used in cases of severe pains. When using pain relievers, caution should be taken due to their high potential in building up tolerance, which may lead to abuse and dependency.
There is a scientific proof that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, and that their continued use could ultimately help to find permanent relief. A good source of these fatty acids is cold water fish and fish oil supplements.
4. Weight Management
It has been proven that a healthy body weight is significant in helping one cope with pain. An overweight condition on the other hand increases the amount of medication a person will need to take in control of inflammation, and is therefore a clear recipe for drug tolerance.
Massage reduces the pressure build-up on the areas prone to inflammation. When done regularly, there are higher chances of reduced pain and a greater range of motion on the affected parts.
As a condition characterized by pain, it would appear as if exercise would be the last recommendable remedy for rheumatoid arthritis.
However, non-impact or low impact exercise such as swimming, cycling or walking is known to reduce pain. Water aerobics and yoga are also recommended.
Orthoses refer to medical aids that can help support and protect the limbs. These aids basically work by reducing pressure build-up on the target areas, therefore preventing any chances of inflammation.
Some of them include paddled insoles for the shoes, braces or joints that keep the joints in proper alignments; as well as special gloves for the hands and fingers.
The efficiency of these aids is normally determined by their size and ability to fit tight.
8. Heat And Cold
Heat is necessary in muscle relaxation while cold helps to dull the sensation of pain. Relaxing in a hot bath as well as applying hot ice packs are recommended remedies.
Acupuncture is necessary as it helps stimulate the body’s natural painkillers. It is done by placing fine needles gently near nerve endings.
10. Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
This is a form of therapy that uses low-voltage electric currents for nerve stimulation. It works by disrupting pain pathways, and therefore making it difficult to feel the pain, regardless of how chronic it is.
As evident, rheumatoid arthritis treatments vary depending on the intensity of the pain or inflammation. The ease in which most of these remedies can be obtained means the condition is generally manageable.
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