ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Arthritis and Treatments

Updated on December 24, 2012

Here's The Low Down

If you’re reading this article you either have arthritis or are close to someone who does. And you’ve probably read many others written in “doctorese” you don’t fully understand. So, here’s the low down.

The majority of arthritis pain can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute pain lasts usually 2 weeks or less. Chronic pain can last weeks, or up to lifetime.

Arthritis simply means joint inflammation and can be any of over 100 different types of rheumatic diseases or conditions.

The two most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Symptoms can include pain, stiffness and swelling of joints.

Osteoarthritis results from wear and tear on the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This simply means the body's own immune system is out of whack and assails cell lining inside the joints. If left untreated, arthritis can cause irreversible damage to joints, bones, organs and even the skin.

Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis

Anyone At Any Age

Arthritis can affect anyone at any age. The chances of getting it increases with age and statistics show about three out of five are under age 65. It’s also three times more common in women as in men.

In the early stages osteoarthritis is usually non-inflammatory and its progression is gradual affecting one or a few joints. The joints most often involved are the knees, hands, hips and spine. The odds of developing osteoarthritis increase with age.

So, now you know what it is, what treatment options do you have? They are many and varied but, we’ll stick with the most common pain management techniques.

Pain Management

Arthritis sufferers often experiment with various pain management techniques to find what works best for them. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another.

Medications can be used to reduce pain. Commonly prescribed are analgesics, which include pain relievers and narcotic painkillers. Other medications are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Pain medications may temporarily relieve pain but do nothing to treat the cause. Some may have side effects so read the labels carefully.

In many cases a doctor may prescribe exercise because it helps maintain joint function and lessens pain. But always consult a physician before establishing any exercise plan. For arthritis patients some exercises may not be appropriate.

Another therapy is soaking affected joints in warm water which may decrease joint stiffness and aches. Use of a hot tub is recommended since being immersed in water takes body weight off of the joints.

Sometimes pain may be a signal joints need to rest from overuse. Resting will decrease inflammation up to a point. However, too much rest can result in weak muscles. In addition, massage can have a soothing effect by relaxing tension.

Failing any measurable results in the aforementioned treatments, a doctor might suggest transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or (TENS). This is a method whereby low voltage electrical charges are used to block pain signals to the brain.

If relief still hasn’t been found the next step would be cortisone treatments. Corticosteroids are drugs similar to the hormone cortisol produced by the adrenal gland and can be injected or taken orally. They were designed to combat inflammation. However, extended use of corticosteroids can have dramatic side effects.

Last but not least is joint replacement…the last resort when all else has failed. Surgery has become more popular in recent years because of its great success. With this process a joint is removed and replaced with a prosthesis. If you are a candidate for surgery, learn all you can about what to expect.

Researchers are continually pursuing other avenues of arthritis treatments. It’s important to keep abreast of new developments if you suffer from arthritis.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      6 years ago

      JY3502, Helpful, Interesting and informative! Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Mine is definitely acute. Those hands in the pictures frightened the daylight out of me. Please don’t tell me my hands are going to be claws like that in 10 years time? I heard pineapples contain a healing enzyme. Going to buy a crate per week. But not yet, for it hit me only now and then... at this stage.... Thanks for the info.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thank you for the compliment.

    • profile image

      Amie Warren 

      8 years ago

      Very informative. I enjoyed reading it.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)