If you’re suffering from osteoarthritis, taking over-the-counter
medication like Tylenol and ibuprofen as directed and resting your joints
can help. Even more important is making healthy lifestyle choices.
Research shows that patients with the best pain relief maintain a healthy
weight. Many also benefit from exercise or physical therapy.
“One of the most beneficial ways to manage osteoarthritis is to get
moving,” reports the Arthritis Foundation. “Studies show that
simple activities like walking around the neighborhood or taking a fun,
easy exercise class can reduce pain and strengthen muscles around the
joints to reduce pain.”
Physical therapy can also help you improve your range of motion and flexibility
which can reduce pain. Some patients with knee or hip pain benefit from
assistive devices such as canes or shoe orthotics such as insoles to relieve
pressure on their knees.
If you’re suffering from inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid
arthritis, these treatments won’t be enough. You’ll need special
medication to calm your immune system so it can’t damage your joints.
“With rheumatoid arthritis (RA) we try to stop the immune system
reaction, either a little bit or a lot,” explains Rheumatologist
Joe Gamboa, M.D., of the Torrance Memorial Physician Network. “It’s
important that you work with a rheumatologist to ensure the immune system
is still working despite medication to block it.”
Dr. Gamboa helps many patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis bring
their disease under control. “Some patients will need injections
to control their Rheumatoid arthritis, while others may only need oral
medications. It is important to discuss your options with a rheumatologist,”
says Dr. Gamboa. “If the disease has not progressed too severely
it might take a couple of weeks to get the pain under control. If it’s
very severe it might take a couple of months. That’s why it’s
important to talk to your doctor if you’re suffering regular pain
that is not responding to home treatment.”
“Another exciting development in the treatment of arthritis is using
ultrasound in the office to see if there’s active of inflammation,”
says Dr. Gamboa. “I’m trained in musculoskeletal ultrasound
so I can look right away to see if inflammation is causing damage or destruction
of the joint. It’s a big benefit to the patient.”
If you’re suffering from pain it’s also important to understand
the limitations of your body and your joints.
“The most important advice I have to anyone suffering from arthritis
is to get help controlling the inflammation. This would help prevent further
damage and keep the inflammation from spreading to other organs,”
says Dr. Gamboa. “Also, being aware of your disease and understanding
your body will be a big help in relieving pain.”
You can reach Rheumatologist Joe Gamboa, M.D., of the Torrance Memorial
Physician Network by calling 310-257-7297.