Arthritis is a term used to describe over 200 conditions affecting joints, the tissue surrounding the joint, and connective tissue. Common symptoms of most types of arthritis are joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility. Simple daily chores become difficult. Certain types of arthritis can cause visible changes in the body while some affect internal organs. Arthritis affects children, teenagers, adults, and both genders, though women are more likely to be affected than men.
The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, reduce stiffness, increase mobility and ensure there are minimal disruptions in their daily lives. There are old fashioned as well as new invented therapies that help in the treatment of arthritis.
Different treatment options for arthritis include the following:
There are a variety of medications that are prescribed to treat the symptoms of arthritis. These medications can include non-Inflammatory Steroids (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS), analgesics, corticosteroids, and biologics, which focus on relieving pain. Most of these medications can lead to serious side effects if taken over a long time.
Surgery is an option for those whose symptoms are severe and for whom medication is not helping. Joint replacement surgery, knee surgery, surgery for joints in the thumb, ankle, elbow, and hand are some of the surgical options available.
3. Physical therapy
With the help of a trained physiotherapist, patients can slowly engage in physical therapy with or without guidance.
4. Assistive devices
As arthritis can over time restrict the movement of the affected joints, many devices have been designed to improve the quality of life for those affected.
5. Alternative medicine
People who suffer from side effects change to drug-less and alternate systems of treatment like acupuncture, homeopathy, and Ayurveda.
6. Natural Treatment
These include lifestyle changes, changes in diet, natural and herbal remedies that can be prepared at home to treat arthritis.
7. Side effects of medication
Treatment of arthritis without drugs and surgery is being sought after as categories of medication have all kinds of side effects, including the following:
- Stomach upset and stomach ulcers
- Risk of infection
- Increased blood sugar levels
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea, vomiting
- Redness and swelling in injection sites
At times severe symptoms could lead to cardiovascular conditions. Most types of arthritis are chronic and degenerative, one has to depend on medication for long periods increases the risk of serious side effects, Surgery too can lead to complications, particularly for older people. As most types of arthritis are by nature disabling, side effects caused by medication and complications arising out of surgery can only compound and affect their quality of life. These lead to restriction of mobility or use of the affected joints as well as dependence on others for basic chores.
This is one major reason patients look at the alternative, natural and traditional methods of treating arthritis. Some of the old fashioned ways to treat arthritis can be treated are:
- Lifestyle changes that include lifestyle and diet modification, and weight control
- Adopting natural changes and alternative methods of treatment
- Home remedies and supplements
- Using the latest technology, gadgets, and accessories to improve the quality of life
Among the alternative therapies available, traditional and old fashioned treatments are popular even today as they are safe, non-invasive. Herbal remedies and lifestyle changes can be adopted with easily available and affordable material.