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Treatment. Arthritis (Spondylosis)

By Editorial Team (Y)
January 31, 2022

Arthritis treatment

The primary focus in most arthritis treatments is always to reduce the pain you are feeling and slowly return the movement back to the body parts affected, and prevent further damage to the joints in your body. The arthritis treatment involved is always conservative methods, meaning if the joints and bones can be saved and conserved, the doctor will almost always choose that option. Since the causes and types of arthritis are pretty diverse, there are a lot of arthritis treatments, and any one of these treatments or a combination of two or more may be best for you, so it is important to keep trying to determine what is best.

Arthritis medications

Medications for arthritis are most often the first line of defense for treating the condition and are mainly used to suppress your pain. Any of these medications or a combination of two or more can be prescribed to you by the doctor or specialist:

  • Analgesics – examples: hydrocodone, acetaminophen, tramadol, and narcotics that have oxycodone. Analgesics are perhaps one of the first arthritis medications prescribed by your doctor to you as treatment and is used to treat the pain you are feeling but will have no effect whatsoever in treating the inflammation.
  • NSAIDs – or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will help control both pain and inflammation in the joints affected, hence making it an effective arthritis treatment. Some NSAIDs, however, have side effects such as thinning of blood, stomach irritation, and increased risk of stroke or heart attack, so they should always be prescribed and used with caution. Some examples of NSAIDs include Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium, and salicylates. Some types of NSAIDs are ideal for arthritis as they come in cream or gel form, which can then be rubbed directly on the joint affected by arthritis.
  • DMARDs – or Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic drug can suppress your immune system from attacking your joints and is a good arthritis treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Examples are methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine.
  • Corticosteroids – are another type of immune-suppressant drug that can be given to you by the doctor to reduce pain and inflammation and stop your immune system from attacking your joints. Corticosteroids are an all-in-one arthritis treatment that can be taken orally or injected into the joint feeling the pain.

Arthritis surgery

In the case that medications do not work and the arthritis is already in its severe stages, the physician may choose to prescribe arthritis surgery as a treatment of the condition. There are different types of surgery such as:

  • Joint repair – Joint repair is for joints that can still be repaired in the form of realignments and smoothing. This is considered an ideal surgical arthritis treatment, as it can be done using small incisions over the joint, leaving little traces of the surgery behind.
  • Joint fusion – This arthritis treatment is used for the joints in your wrist, ankle, and fingers, basically the smaller joints of your body. The surgery aims to remove the ends of the two bones locked in a joint. The joint is then placed back together until it heals into one unit. The joint can no longer be moved but will not experience any more arthritis-related conditions in the future.
  • Joint replacement – This is for joints that are severely damaged, such as the most commonly replaced joints like hips and knees. The joint is removed from your body and is replaced with an artificial joint.
  • Decompression surgery – This procedure is used in spinal osteoarthritis or spondylosis and is done by opening or removing the bony covering of the spinal cord to create more space for the spinal column to move freely. Decompression surgery is classified as Laminectomy when the entire bony lamina of your spinal cord is removed and Laminotomy when only a small portion is removed.  

Arthritis therapy

Therapy is also considered an ideal treatment for certain types of arthritis. Physical therapy for arthritis, such as exercises, can improve the affected joint’s functionality when it comes to increasing the range of motion and strengthening the surrounding muscles of the joints. Therefore, physical therapy is also considered a core component of arthritis treatment, especially in the aftercare of the condition.

Arthritis aftercare

After getting arthritis treatment, impose changes in your lifestyle that can help you maintain arthritis-free joints, such as:

  • Diet for weight loss – foods rich in antioxidants, fresh fruits, and vegetables.
  • Light exercise to stay fit – swimming is perhaps the ideal type of exercise as it does not put excess pressure on the joints.
  • Avoiding certain foods – avoid fried foods, processed foods, and high meat and dairy products consumption.

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