arthritis pain treatmentWhen it comes to the options available for treating the pain of arthritis in joints, there are not so many as you may think. At least not so many that don’t come with really awful side effects. There are different kinds of treatment for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which target different areas due to the differences in the two forms of the disease.

Most treatments for this kind of pain are the same drugs used to treat a wide variety of pain that is related to inflammation in the body. We’ll take a look at the medication options as well as the natural pain treatments that are currently available for bring pain relief to arthritis sufferers.

Medication

Most over the counter pain relief drugs are available to use to help reduce or even completely relieve the pain for swollen and inflamed joints as are typical in rheumatoid arthritis. The most common types are the Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). A stronger and more aggressive kind are those known as Corticosteroids.

We’ll take a look at both types here, before moving on to the natural, or drug-free kinds of pain relief.

NSAIDs

NSAIDs fall into three basic categories, which are Salicylates; traditional NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors. The main job of all NSAIDs is to block prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances found in the body that contribute to pain and inflammation as well as fever and muscle cramps.

Salicylates

These drugs form the original category of NSAIDs and include aspirin among them. They are preferred by most patients and many doctors still recommend them. Salicylatestaken frequently and in large doses, which is often required to combat the inflammation and pain can cause serious side effects. These include kidney problems and gastrointestinal bleeding. You should work with your doctor to determine the best dosage while preventing or at least managing the side effects.

Traditional NSAIDs

The traditional NSAIDs are the most common kind of NSAID, with 20 medications that can be obtained on prescription or over the counter. These medications, including non-prescription versions carry a risk of side effects. These side effects include stomach upset and gastrointestinal bleeding and are particularly common people over 60 years of age.

Common pain relief pills that fall into this group include ibuprofen and naproxen.

COX-2 inhibitors

In a similar way to traditional NSAIDs, the COX-2 inhibitors help reduce inflammation and pain. However, they are designed to be safer for the stomach. Digestive tract studies have revealed less damage is done to the stomach by COX-2 inhibitors when compared to traditional NSAIDs. The downside is that COX-2 inhibitors are relatively new and therefore the long term effects are not known.

Corticosteroids

These are a type of drug with similar properties to the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is produced naturally by the adrenal glands and helps regulate the body’s immune system. While they are sometimes referred to as steroids, they are not like the anabolic steroids taken by some bodybuilders. Some doctors refer to them by their specific name of Glucocorticoids.

The main function of Corticosteroids is to suppress the inflammation typical to autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. They are highly effective for relieving pain and reducing inflammation quickly. High doses of these drugs will reduce inflammatory flare ups, although they are often used as a temporary measure until milder drugs can take effect.

While some forms of corticosteroids are taken orally, others are injected directly into the affected joints to bring fast relief from pain and swelling.

Note: You should always consult your doctor before taking any kinds of medication that you can buy without a prescription.

Natural Arthritis Pain Treatment

There are some pain relief treatments available that do not use strong, harmful drugs to provide a level of relief that can often be as effective as some drugs. One of the most exciting of these to come onto the market recently is Provailen, which uses an ancient Oriental remedy in the form of the fungus Reishi, which targets the inflammation and reduces teh swelling and along with it the pain.

You can read more about this natural treatment which is free of any side effects in our own Provailen review by clicking that link.