5 Tips for Arthritis Relief

Stay on the Right Path

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"What should I take for my arthritis?" That's likely the most common question asked by people with arthritis. If only there was an easy answer—a one-size-fits-all answer. But, there's not. If you are searching for relief from arthritis, these 5 tips will help.

Tip #1 - Only try self-treatment for a limited and reasonable amount of time.

People in pain want adequate and fast arthritis relief. With the onset of symptoms, most people try to self-treat.

Typically, people try whatever is available over-the-counter for arthritis pain relief. It's important to know that, while there is relief, it will take a dash of patience to find what works best for you. It most likely will require the guidance and expertise of a doctor to get you on the right track. If self-treatment isn't working within a reasonable period of time or if symptoms are obviously worsening, move on. Consult a doctor.

Tip #2 - Be prepared to go with the flow.

Arthritis is not a single disease. It is an umbrella term that is often used. But, actually, there are actually over 100 types of arthritis and they are not all treated the same way. To provide you with quick relief and to bring pain and inflammation under control, your doctor may suggest certain medications following your initial evaluation. As diagnostic testing is performed and test results come back, your doctor may adjust your medications.

Your response to the medications will also be assessed and changes or adjustments may be needed periodically before the most effective treatment for you is determined.

Tip #3 - Stay focused on yourself and the treatment goals you carve out with your doctor.

People who are looking for fast relief from arthritis pain sometimes ask their family, friends, and neighbors what they take for pain.

But, be careful with this approach. What works for one does not necessarily work for another arthritis patient. You and your doctor are partners with a common goal. The goal is to find an appropriate treatment plan for you that will help you manage arthritis pain and other symptoms. With proper management, the hope is that the disease can remain minimally intrusive in your life.

Tip #4 - Don't let feelings of discouragement stop you from getting the help you need.

Many people at both ends of the arthritis spectrum—those who are experiencing early arthritis symptoms and those who have dealt with it for years—feel that their condition is worsening and that relief is not attainable. Talk to your doctor and communicate you feelings honestly. If you are frustrated, tell your doctor just that. The physical aspects, as well as the emotional aspects, of living with chronic pain must be dealt with.

Tip #5 - Be realistic with your expectations.

Effective relief from arthritis pain and other symptoms may be derived from more than one treatment source. Since there is no magic pill to wipe it all away, you may need to consider a multidisciplinary approach, including physical therapy, dietary changes, natural and alternative treatments, along with prescription medications.

Expect to gradually learn what works and expect to build on that as you determine the best course for arthritis relief.

Bottom Line

There's no cure for most types of arthritis—no magic potion to take. But, you also need to know that it's wrong to think that nothing can be done. It's essential for you to learn your treatment options with the guidance of your doctor. Then, be realistic and be patient as you go through phases of trial and error with various treatments. These 5 tips will get you to the point of managing your arthritis well.