Arthritis is a painful disorder that affects nearly 50 million Americans, as per the Arthritis Foundation. However, there is no need to be alarmed as the disease can be managed through proper attention and medication. When you start feeling pain or inflammation combined with stiffness of the joints, it could be a sign of arthritis. If the pain is persistent and does not respond to medication like pain balms or pain-killing tablets, it is time to visit the doctor for a proper diagnosis.
The doctor will discuss the proper course of treatment, which will include prescription medication to control this debilitating and extremely painful disease. In addition to the medication the doctor prescribes, which needs to be taken regularly, one can adopt certain easy ways to get relief from the pain. A few arthritis remedies are listed below:
- Moist fomentation with the help of a poultice helps alleviate pain considerably. It enhances blood circulation and diverts new blood cells to the affected area, and offers temporary relief from pain. The fomentation can be applied at regular intervals or whenever the pain becomes unbearable. The poultice should consist of a soft, moist mass with the consistency of oatmeal that has to be spread on a piece of soft cloth. This can be easily prepared at home within minutes and can provide instant relief.
- Exercise is very important to keep the joints active and helps relieve stiffness. The best form of exercise is a brisk half-hour walk daily. Gentle stretching helps tone the joints; however it is important to consult a doctor or physiotherapist before starting the regimen. Exercise helps keep body weight under control, thus helping the knee and hip joints to manage the body weight better.
- Therapy braces offer excellent relief and help the healing process, in addition to providing support. Cold or hot therapy can be given with the help of braces to vital areas like the elbows, knees, ankles, shoulders, wrists and back. They help reduce the inflammation, thus relieving pain and assist in increased mobility. Braces are great for healing and preventing any further injuries.
- Small renovations at the home with products that are available in the market help manage arthritis efficiently. These include raised toilet seats in the bathrooms that help reduce strain, grab bars, and mobility handles at strategic places. Other useful products are can openers and containers that are easier to use.
- The all-important thing to remember is to take the medication as directed without fail. In case the pain persists in spite of the medication, one needs to consult the doctor who will suggest changes in the medication or joint replacement, which is easy and painless. Though joint replacement is the last resort, it is effective and offers complete relief from pain.
It is important to note that prevention is always better than cure. Instead of waiting until the malady sets in, one should set a strict regimen of exercise and follow it earnestly. A brisk walk helps keep the muscles toned and the joints in perfect order, in addition to keeping the heart healthy. However, should you suffer from arthritis and experience extreme pain, in addition to attempting the above remedies on your own, a home caregiver is an excellent resource (for the elderly) to have to assist you with pain management and everyday care.