If you have been diagnosed with some type of arthritis or related disorder, your rheumatologist will suggest an arthritis treatment that is not only tailored for your specific health requirements, but the type of arthritis and the location of that arthritis. Quite often, especially with the more degenerative and damaging types of conditions and diseases, you will face a lifetime of potential surgery, information sessions, exercise programs, physical therapy and medications. The more aggressive the treatments used, the better your chances of delaying any further joint destruction, but remember that nothing comes with one hundred percent guarantees. Treatments depend on your body’s positive responses and the cooperation of your immune system.
The first type of arthritis treatments are anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory medicines. These include the DMARD class, such as leflunomide and methodtrexate, drugs that can have risky side effects and require that you have on-going sessions of blood tests whilst you are on them and NSAIDs such as celcoxib or celebrex, more often with ibuprofen, which can eventually have higher and higher risks of stomach bleeding, ulcers, stroke and heart disease. Another less commonly known about treatment is the use of sufasalazine or Azulfidine, or hydroxychloroquine or Plaquenil, potent anti-malarial drugs that are usually taken for a matter of months and are quite often used in the UK for systemic lupus patients to put the disease into remission. Another possible option is corticosteroids which tackle the inflammation and swelling, but they can only be taken for the short term because of the long term potential side effects. Some drugs focus on boosting and healing the immune system and are often given to those with rheumatoid arthritis, including white blood cell type modulators – rituximab and abatacept, inhibitors of tumor necrosis – certolizumab, golimumab, infliximab, etanercept and adlimumab, and inhibitors of IL-6 – tocilzumab. Unfortunately, the biological drugs come with major risks of potential psoriasis, leukemia, fungal infections, viral infections and bacterial infections.
Another arthritis treatment is surgery, though rarely used; sometimes it can help in fixing or relieving the pain associated with deformities and swollen or damaged joints. One specific type is synovectomy or the removal of your joint’s lining. You might need a joint replacement if the joint is extremely far gone and can save you from a life lacking in independence. Another final option is physical therapy, offering a range of orthotic devices, massages, electrical pain stimulations, temperature treatments, exercise and mobility exercises. Whichever one is chosen, you may end up using at least one or more of them to aid in your recovery.