5 Tips for Arthritis Relief

Stay on the right path for effective arthritis treatment

Doctor with older patient
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The most common question asked by people with arthritis is what they should take for relief. Unfortunately, there is no easy one-size-fits-all answer. There's no cure for most types of arthritis but there are things that can be done that will improve your quality of life.

5 Tips to Relieve Your Arthritis

These five tips will help put you on the path to effective treatment and living well.

  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.
  2. Be prepared to go with the flow. Arthritis is not a single disease. It is an umbrella term and 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.
  1. 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. Be careful with this approach. Even if you have the same specific diagnosis, 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 only minimally intrusive in your life.
  1. 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 your 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.
  2. 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. Along with prescription medications, you may want to include physical therapy, dietary changes, and natural and alternative treatments. Expect to gradually learn what works and to build on that as you determine the best course for arthritis relief.

A Word From Verywell

It's essential for you to learn your treatment options with the guidance of your doctor. Be realistic and patient as you go through phases of trial and error with various treatments.

You can reach the goal of managing your arthritis well.