Symptoms and Treatment of Arthritis
The affected joint, or joints, is often painful, stiff and tender. There is typically some degree of flexibility loss and a grating sensation when using the joint. There is also the chance of bone spurs forming around the affected joint.
Acetaminophen may help some patients with the pain associated with this condition. To help with both pain and inflammation, naproxen or ibuprofen may be beneficial. When doctor's feel a centrally-acting analgesic is necessary, they may prescribe tramadol. When pain is severe, prescription pain medications, such as narcotics, may be prescribed. These carry side effects, such as constipation, drowsiness and nausea and may be habit-forming, however, so they must be used with extreme care and only prescribed when pain is not relieved by other methods. To relieve pain in the joint, cortisone shots may be helpful.
Therapies and lifestyle changes include physical therapy, shoe inserts or braces, working to avoid stressing the joints and taking a chronic pain class.
If surgery or medical procedures are necessary, they may include joint replacement, fusing bones, viscosupplementation and realigning bones.