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How Do I Choose the Best Arthritis Treatment?

Arthritis is a condition that occurs in the joints of the body; the cartilage and ligaments in a joint will begin to wear out over time, leading to inefficient joint function, pain, inflammation, reduced mobility, and overall degradation of the joint. No cure exists for arthritis, so choosing the best arthritis treatment is often a matter of managing pain and slowing the degradation of the joint. If the pain from the arthritis becomes unmanageable, or if the joint no longer functions enough for daily use, a doctor may recommend surgery as the best arthritis treatment.

Many medical professionals recommend daily exercise and stretching as one of the best arthritis treatment options available. Exercise will strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and it will help improve joint function overall. Stretching will help reduce or prevent swelling and inflammation that can lead to soreness or pain. The exercises should be done lightly to avoid exacerbating the condition, and sufficient rest is necessary after the exercise routine is complete. Using a compressing bandage or brace can help support the joint during the exercise as well as stimulating blood flow to the joint, which will help prevent swelling and inflammation.

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Topical ointments, injections of steroids, and painkilling medications are often the best arthritis treatment for the short term, though these are only stop-gap measures. Long-term care will require other steps toward arthritis management. If you suffer from chronic pain due to the arthritis in a particular joint, you may want to discuss surgical options with your doctor. Full and partial joint replacement surgeries may be an option if you are healthy enough to endure it, but these surgeries are not the best arthritis treatment options for some elderly patients or people who are not healthy overall. The recovery period for such surgeries can be quite prolonged, depending on which joint is replaced, and a replaced joint may have its own problems that can lead to pain. Surgery may be the best option for some patients, though only your doctor can make that decision.

One major consideration when choosing the best arthritis treatment is the cause of the arthritis. Several types of arthritis exist, and the treatment options will sometimes vary according to what type of arthritis you suffer from. Some types of arthritis are characterized by inflammation of the joints, while others are more commonly associated with cartilage damage and degradation. Meet with your doctor to determine the best course of action for the type of arthritis you have.

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