Arthritis is a joint disease that affects millions of people around the globe. The term itself means “joint inflammation,” but it could refer to one of more than 100 types of the disease.
This condition doesn’t discriminate by race, age, or gender, so anyone is prone to developing arthritis. In general, it is seen more often in females or those with a genetic predisposition and happens to most of us as we get older.
While there’s no cure, there are many options available to relieve your symptoms and delay the progression of the disease. Instead of dealing with your arthritis, try these forms of treatment and see if they help improve your quality of life.
The last thing you probably want to do when you’re in pain is to move more than you have to. This might be exactly the action you need to take in order to feel better, though.
Studies have shown that when people with arthritis exercise, they tend to have more mobility and range of motion in their joints. This reduces symptoms of pain and discomfort and increases flexibility.
Better physical health almost always leads to improved mental health, as well. You’re not in pain, you can do most of the things you used to do, and you feel pretty normal overall.
Before you jump right into a gym, talk to your doctor to see what exercises are best for your condition. They will help you develop a program that eases you into physical activity if you’re not used to it.
2. Topical Ointments
Because arthritis pain gets into the joints, sometimes an oral medication isn’t enough. On the other hand, many prescription pain relievers are too strong for mild and moderate symptoms.
Topical arthritis treatments work well for inflammation because they get right to the source of the pain. You rub the ointment onto your joints, and the active ingredients get to work immediately.
Right now, one of the primary treatments for arthritis is an oral NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). It reduces inflammation in your body, yet puts you at risk for a lot of other health side effects. NSAIDs frequently come with stomach issues and increased cardiovascular risks.
Topical Methods of Arthritis Relief
Over the past decade, NSAIDs have moved into the topical category, too. Now, they’re available in gel, liquid, and patch form at different strengths and dosages.
Still, these synthetic medications aren’t for everyone. They can damage sensitive skin, and they don’t work if you have a lot of joint pain.
If you like the idea of a more natural, widespread topical cream, CBD ointments are a wise choice. Look for a broad spectrum product made from a manufacturer with a good reputation.
Arthritis is also an approved condition on the medical marijuana list. If CBD isn’t strong enough for you, consider getting an MMJ card. Then, you’ll be able to use cannabis edibles and other methods to reduce your arthritis symptoms.
3. Physical Therapy
Your personal exercise regime is a game-changer. However, going to physical therapy gives you added knowledge that you can take into those workouts and use all day.
When you work with a physical therapist, the licensed professional has a graduate degree in treating conditions like arthritis. They know how to diagnose and treat your symptoms, and they can teach you how to prevent flare-ups.
What Does PT Involve?
During your PT sessions, you’ll learn how to move without irritating the joints. The exercises and activities will improve your joint mobility and use, increase strength, and improve your fitness.
Your therapist can also suggest braces, splints, and orthotics if they’re necessary. Using these in the affected areas reduces the strain on your inflamed joints.
Most insurance companies require a doctor’s prescription before they’ll pay for physical therapy sessions. Your physician will probably be happy to write you one unless there’s a medical reason you shouldn’t go.
Not too far in the past, treatments for arthritis involved shots, steroids, and seriously unhealthy medication. Today, we know enough about the behaviors of the human body to use natural methods of symptom relief.
With topical ointments and the right movement, your arthritis pain can disappear, and you may be able to slow the spread of the disease. At the same time, you’ll be improving your overall wellness and enjoying your new, better quality of life.