What Works and What You Need to Know!
The bad news is…..there’s still no cure for osteoarthritis.
However, new research has discovered that Caterpillars could hold the key to new arthritis treatment.
Study leader Dr Cornelia De Moor from the University of Nottingham said: “The natural compound cordycepin is derived from a caterpillar fungus which is famous in the Far East for its medicinal properties.
But in the meantime while you are waiting for a cure, you can do something about it to ease the pain and discomfort.
And right here is a Round-Up of the Latest Arthritis Treatments I recommend you read as well as the following.
Apart from regular exercise, which works best for me, the good news is there are a few medications out there that may be effective for treating the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Your doctor is the best person to advise on which type of medication is suitable for your condition, what unwanted side effects may arise and how to use them in conjunction with other pain management methods such as physiotherapy.
But be warned; be careful of heavily marketed over-the-counter products that claim to be a cure-all for your arthritis.
They are just getting rich at your expense.
Some people I know opt to have cortisone injections straight into the painful joints. These injections will mask the pain for a while but they’re temporary relief only and the effects will subside over time.
While you may get a jab to address the immediate pain it is also worth exploring what you can to address the problem holistically. Things like losing some weight to ease joint stress, getting more exercise, hot and cold therapy and acupuncture are all things worth trying and are known to show good results.
4 Ways to Help Your Pain from Osteoarthritis.
1. Do supplements help Osteoarthritis pain?
Personally, I have not had good results using fish oil capsules (much better to eat fresh oily fish), glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin but some people I know tell me they find them to be helpful for their arthritic pain.
Whether this is a placebo effect or not, I don’t know.
Remember, the above are not medication, but merely supplements.
Yet, if they happen to work well for you, then stick with it but make sure you tell your doctor what you are taking as a lot of these natural therapies don’t necessarily work in harmony with a prescription medicine you might be taking.
2. How is arthritis medication administered?
In most cases, oral medication is used to treat the condition.
These could be in liquid or pill form. Since osteoarthritis (OA) has no cure yet, these medicines are mostly pain killers to numb the pain, reduce inflammation and so on.
The alternative to oral medication would be an injection, as mentioned earlier.
3. Do you really need medication for the relief of Osteoarthritis?
A great question because many people baulk at the thought of being on long term medication. Not only is it worrisome because of the toll it takes on the body, but it also takes a toll on your finances.
Medication is not cheap these days.
It’s important to assess your current situation to make a wise decision. If you’re overweight, the first step is to lose some of your excess weight so your joints are not always under pressure and movement is easier.
You’ll find that your osteoarthritis condition improves significantly when you reach your ideal weight.
If you followed through with an exercise program that focuses on range of motion, flexibility and strength, you would feel even better, and medication may not even be necessary. I have proven this myself over a number of years taking my knee from less than 50% flexion to 95% flexion.
So, it all depends on how proactive you are.
This is a perfect example of a pain management method that goes beyond medication.
Another way you can help yourself is to clean up your diet.
Stay away from processed foods as they are highly inflammatory.
When your body is experiencing inflammation, your OA is going to feel worse.
By cleaning up your diet, your body will only be getting the nutrients it actually needs without the excess sugar, sodium and other harmful additives. Your pain will decrease and you more than likely will not need any medication.
4. A closer look at Osteoarthritis Treatment and medication.
Currently, there’s an opioid addiction epidemic in the US. So, it’s imperative that you not become addicted to pain killers and end up becoming a statistic.
Start off your medication with non-opioid drugs such as NSAIDs. If you experience side effects from these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you may stick with aspirin/paracetamol, or Voltaren and Ibuprofen. The latter two tend to upset a lot of people in the stomach…….they do me so I only take them very occasionally.
If your pain doesn’t subside, your doctor may recommend opioid drugs that are generally weaker. Examples of such drugs would be co-codamol or codeine. There are a few other weak opioid drugs that might be suggested too.
Start off with these and always remember to improve your lifestyle by doing whatever it takes to be healthier. The goal is to use the drugs to manage your pain while you manage your life and get it in order health-wise.
If the weak opioid drugs do not work well, and the pain is unbearable, then it’ll be time for strong opioid drugs. Very often, you’ll be under medical supervision or will require a prescription to get these drugs.
The ones most often used are fentanyl, morphine, tramadol, etc. These names are quite common, and most people have heard of them.
Law enforcement in the US is currently waging a war against the illegal fentanyl trade because these synthetic drugs are used so frequently that it’s becoming an epidemic.
So, you must bear in mind that they can be addictive, and you’ll need to be on guard.
For as long as possible, stick with the weaker medication such as paracetamol, NSAID creams and gels and so on.
Here’s another good source of reference for Osteoarthritis – Mayo Clinic. Well worth a few minutes of your time.
Do whatever it takes to get healthier and fitter. This will help improve your OA condition more than anything else but you have to stick at it and it won’t happen in five minutes. If you do start an exercise program you will certainly to feel better within a month.
From all the people I talk to with osteoarthritis, lifestyle changes seem to have the most positive and long term results. You may find it difficult but persistence pays off. As I always say; if you want to keep moving you have to keep moving.
Here is a good starter exercise video, led by a registered Nuffield Health physiotherapist, to show you how to manage pain and increase mobility in joints affected by Osteoarthritis. Give it a try.
Here’s the link for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBqxjYvnUI8
At the end of the day, if the pain still doesn’t subside after trying all of the above, speak to your doctor and study your options closely and decide wisely. Also see what has and hasn’t worked for other people you know with the same or similar arthritis problems.
And just before you go here are 7 Proven Strategies for Learning How to Cope With Osteoarthritis.
“What’s the one prescription that can lower your risk for 5 major diseases – with NO side effects? If you guessed exercise, you are absolutely right.” Harvard Health Publications – It makes me wonder why everyone isn’t exercising.
Osteoarthritis and Exercise go hand in hand if you want some relief from your ongoing arthritic pain. In this recent Tufts report it was said that, “Non-impact loading exercises like walking are generally very good for arthritis,” says Jeffrey S. Zarin, MD, chief of the division of arthroplasty at Tufts Medical Center. “It keeps the joints moving, it keeps the joints strong and, generally speaking, it helps your ability to keep functioning. It also helps diminish inflammation.”
Cheers – John – your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach.
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