Swelling and inflammation. Aches and pains. Difficulty moving your joints. All these are symptoms that arthritis patients commonly experience, and they can keep you from doing many normal daily tasks.
Unfortunately, this issue is far more common and complex than most people know. Arthritis isn’t just one condition; it’s a catchall term used to describe more than 100 different kinds of joint pain and joint disease. Arthritis symptoms are often treated with medications and pain medicines, but these can cause some nasty side effects. This is why many physical therapists encourage people to look into treating arthritis pain naturally and without meds.
What are some common medications used for arthritis?
Before you can begin treating arthritis pain without meds, you’ll need to know what medications your doctor might prescribe. Many types of medicines are commonly prescribed for different types of arthritis. Some of these include:
- Opioids — Most patients are encouraged to take some type of over-the-counter painkiller for minor arthritis pain. But patients with higher levels of pain could be given opioids like oxycodone or hydrocodone.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — Unlike painkillers, NSAIDs can help reduce both inflammation and pain. Common over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) — This type of medication is often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. They’re designed to stop your immune system from attacking joint tissue. Common DMARDs include methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine.
- Corticosteroids — This form of medication is intended to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Prednisone is a type of corticosteroid that’s commonly used.
Two reasons you should find ways to treat arthritis pain without meds
Medications can have some drawbacks for arthritis patients and anyone else who takes them regularly. Two of the key reasons you should try treating arthritis pain without meds are:
- They can cause other serious health issues — Taking certain arthritis meds can lead to other health conditions. For instance, NSAIDs can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes. DMARDs and corticosteroids can increase your risk of infections since they suppress your immune system.
- They can lead to addiction — Medications can lead to physical and mental dependence if taken for long periods of time. This is an especially common issue for people who take opioids.
Back in Motion Physical Therapy can help you treat arthritis pain without meds
One goal that our therapy team at Back in Motion Physical Therapy has for arthritis patients is to help treat arthritis pain without meds. We offer free screenings that can help pinpoint the exact ways arthritis is affecting your body. Our physical therapists can then build you a personalized therapy plan designed to help you meet other goals such as:
- Controlling your weight through exercise and diet. — Controlling your weight helps to prevent added stress on weight-bearing joints.
- Improving your posture — Posture work can help to reduce stress on your joints.
- Increasing range of motion — Light exercises and stretching can help to increase range of motion in the affected areas.
- Getting better sleep — Your physical therapist may also recommend a schedule for rest and sleep to complement your physical therapy. This is intended to help the body to heal and hopefully reduce arthritic inflammation and pain.
- Allowing you to get help from home — Our team offers at-home therapy and virtual care sessions that you can do without leaving home.
Contact us today for more information about how we can help treat your arthritis or to schedule an initial appointment.