Arthritis is a condition in which one or more joints become inflamed. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones to deteriorate. It usually develops and worsens as people age. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the synovium, which is a lining of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of any age because it’s an autoimmune disorder.
Both types of arthritis cause inflammation, which leads to stiffness and pain in the affected joints. The symptoms can range from mild to debilitating and they can worsen with age — especially when caused by osteoarthritis.
Patients who suffer from arthritis pain have a number of treatment options. In many cases, simple lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on a person’s pain. For instance, quitting smoking, doing low-impact exercises, and eating a healthy diet can reduce inflammation. As inflammation goes down, so does the pain and stiffness caused by the inflammation.
When lifestyle changes aren’t sufficient on their own, doctors can suggest medications to help manage arthritis pain. Depending on the severity of the pain, they might recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication. Some prescription medications that are used to manage arthritis pain include the following:
Anyone who is experiencing pain in their joints should consult with a doctor to see whether the pain is caused by arthritis. Even if the pain is mild, treating the condition early can slow its progression and help prevent it from becoming debilitating later in life. Patients shouldn’t wait until the pain is interfering with their daily lives to seek treatment.
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