22% of the 52 million adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis report that pain limits their activities in some way.*
From making positive lifestyle changes to trying a different type or form of medication, you have plenty of options for arthritis relief. Here are Smith-Caldwell’s Pharmacists’ best tips on treatment for arthritis pain.
Lowering your body weight can have a positive impact on your arthritis pain, as less weight equals less strain on your already painful joints. Boosting your activity levels helps as well—activity can reduce the pain caused by arthritis by lubricating your joints and stretching your tendons. Gentle, regular exercise a few times a week may help ease your pain and improve your arthritis symptoms over time.
- Use Over-the-Counter Anti-Inflammatories
A regular regimen of NSAIDs can help keep some of the worst arthritis pain at bay by reducing inflammation. Be careful to follow the health warnings on your medicine’s packaging, and always speak to your doctor before adding any medication to your daily routine. If you have any questions about medication interactions, ask your pharmacist for recommendations.
Over the counter (OTC) medicines like Tylenol, Motrin, and Aleve are generally mild, but overuse of these medications can lead to significant complications. If your arthritis pain is not soothed by OTC medications, visit your doctor and ask about your prescription alternatives.
- Take Prescription Medication
When lifestyle changes have failed as treatment for arthritis pain, or you are not getting enough relief from an over-the-counter NSAID, a prescription medication may be your best treatment option. Both steroids and narcotic pain relievers are commonly prescribed to control chronic arthritis pain.
Some medications designed to treat depression, such as Cymbalta, may be prescribed to you as well, depending on your personal medical history and the pain you are experiencing. Depression medications target the same neural pathways that transmit pain, so they can help block the pain receptors connected to your joint pain. Ask your doctor about all your options for treatment for arthritis pain.
- Try Holistic Arthritis Treatment Options
If you take medications that interact badly with prescription treatment for arthritis, there are more holistic remedies, including:
- Topical ointments and balms
- Therapeutic gloves
- Herbal compounds
Ointments and balms that contain capsaicin, menthol, or eucalyptus can help combat arthritis pain when applied directly to the joint or spot in pain. Supplements Glucosamine and Chondroitin can lessen arthritis pain for some, particularly those who describe their pain as severe.
Therapeutic gloves that provide compression or warmth can also provide pain relief by reducing inflammation. Gloves are especially useful to people who experience arthritis pain during regular activities because they reduce the amount of pain-triggering movement made by your hands.
- Use a Compounding Pharmacy
If you struggle with taking your prescribed arthritis medication because of the taste or the format, a compounding pharmacy can help. Compounding pharmacies can create a more palatable form of your medication, without sacrificing strength or quality. If you are allergic to an additive or dye in your medication, a compounding pharmacy can create a hypoallergenic version for you.
Our compounding pharmacy at Smith-Caldwell Drug Store can also combine some prescriptions into a single dose, making it easier to take the prescriptions you need every day. You are more likely to get relief from your symptoms if you can remember to take your daily dose.
To learn more about treatment for arthritis in Arkansas, contact Smith-Caldwell Drug Store at 501-392-5470 to speak with an experienced pharmacist.
* According to the CDC