Arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system, particularly the joints. The usual symptoms of the condition are swelling, pain and movement restrictions caused by the inflammation within the affected joint. Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving pain and other kinds of discomfort to improve the quality of life of the patient.
There are many kinds of arthritis, in fact more than 100 varieties. Among these are rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis and gouty arthritis also called gout. Causes of arthritis vary depending on the underlying condition but pain is generally a common symptom of all varieties. Alternative therapies are proving quite effective in treating arthritic pain.
Alternative Treatment for Arthritis
The following alternative treatments can help reduce the arthritic symptoms and pain:
- Dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are natural substances found in human cartilage. These can be used without major side effects. The anti-inflammatory nature of these supplements can help retard the degeneration of the cartilage in the joints.
- Hyaluronic acid injections can help strengthen the knee joint that has been affected. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in your knee’s fluid which gets thinner in arthritic patients. These injections can effectively treat osteoarthritis-caused knee pain. The injections are administered into the joint space in the knee with ultrasound guidance. Synvisc, Supartz and Hyalgan are some of the hyaluronan brands.
- Adhering to an anti-inflammatory as well as low G-I (glycemic index) diet is an important way of reducing the long term risks that come with arthritis.
- Weight loss helps significantly since it enables the body to put less strain on the joints and cartilage. Excess weight can lead to the cartilage breaking down at a faster rate causing pain and inflammation. Weight loss can be achieved through lifestyle changes including weight control, diet and moderate exercising.
- Topical analgesics or pain relievers can help if the arthritis pain is mild. Topical analgesics are available as salves, gels or creams. Capsaicin creams are particularly effective for relieving pain from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Electrotherapies such as TENS units, GS and IFC have also been known to be quite useful in arthritic pain management involving the neck, back or other joints.
Offered by multi-specialty and state-of-the-art healthcare centers, these non-invasive and alternate treatment methods could make a significant difference to the lives of arthritic patients.