During the physical exam, your doctor will check your joints for swelling, redness and warmth. He or she will also want to see how well you can move your joints.
Depending on the type of arthritis suspected, your doctor may suggest some of the following tests.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for The analysis of different types of body fluids can help pinpoint the type of arthritis you may have. Fluids commonly analyzed include blood, urine and joint fluid. To obtain a sample of your joint fluid, your doctor will cleanse and numb the area before inserting a needle in your joint space to withdraw some fluid.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Imaging
These types of tests can detect problems within your joint that may be causing your symptoms. Examples include:
- X-rays. Using low levels of radiation to visualize bone, X-rays can show cartilage loss, bone damage and bone spurs. X-rays may not reveal early arthritic damage, but they are often used to track progression of the disease.
- Computerized tomography (CT). CT scanners take X-rays from many different angles and combine the information to create cross-sectional views of internal structures. CTs can visualize both bone and the surrounding soft tissues.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Combining radio waves with a strong magnetic field, MRI can produce more-detailed cross-sectional images of soft tissues such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
- Ultrasound. This technology uses high-frequency sound waves to image soft tissues, cartilage and fluid-containing structures near the joints (bursae). Ultrasound is also used to guide needle placement for joint aspirations and injections.
Arthritis treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and improving joint function. You may need to try several different treatments, or combinations of treatments, before you determine what works best for you.
The medications used to treat arthritis vary depending on the type of arthritis. Commonly used arthritis medications include:
Painkillers. These medications help reduce pain, but have no effect on inflammation. An over-the-counter option includes acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
For more-severe pain, opioids might be prescribed, such as tramadol (Ultram, ConZip), oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone, others) or hydrocodone (Hysingla, Zohydro ER). Opioids act on the central nervous system to relieve pain. When opioids are used for a long time, they may become habit-forming, causing mental or physical dependence.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs reduce both pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve). Some types of NSAIDs are available only by prescription.
Oral NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation and may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Some NSAIDs are also available as creams or gels, which can be rubbed on joints.
- Counterirritants. Some varieties of creams and ointments contain menthol or capsaicin, the ingredient that makes hot peppers spicy. Rubbing these preparations on the skin over your aching joint may interfere with the transmission of pain signals from the joint itself.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, DMARDs slow or stop your immune system from attacking your joints. Examples include methotrexate (Trexall, Rasuvo, others) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil).
Biologic response modifiers. Typically used in conjunction with DMARDs, biologic response modifiers are genetically engineered drugs that target various protein molecules that are involved in the immune response.
There are many types of biologic response modifiers. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors are commonly prescribed. Examples include etanercept (Enbrel, Erelzi, Eticovo) and infliximab (Remicade, Inflectra, others).
Other medications target other substances that play a role in inflammation, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), Janus kinase enzymes, and certain types of white blood cells known for 1 last update 2020/05/31 as B cells and T cells.Other medications target other substances that play a role in inflammation, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), Janus kinase enzymes, and certain types of white blood cells known as B cells and T cells.
- Corticosteroids. This class of drugs, which includes prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) and cortisone (Cortef), reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system. Corticosteroids can be taken orally or can be injected directly into the painful joint.
Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for Therapy
Physical therapy can be helpful for some types of arthritis. Exercises can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints. In some cases, splints or braces may be warranted.
If conservative measures don''acces-list-container rc-list''re obese, losing weight will reduce the stress on your weight-bearing joints. This may increase your mobility and limit future joint injury. Exercise. Regular exercise can help keep your joints flexible. Swimming and water aerobics may be good choices because the buoyancy of the water reduces stress on weight-bearing joints. Heat and cold. Heating pads or ice packs may help relieve arthritis pain. Assistive devices. Using canes, shoe inserts, walkers, raised toilet seats and other assistive devices can help protect your joints and improve your ability to perform daily tasks.
Many people use alternative remedies for arthritis, but there is little reliable evidence to support the use of many of these products. The most promising alternative remedies for arthritis include:
- Acupuncture. This therapy uses fine needles inserted at specific points on the skin to reduce many types of pain, including that caused by some types of arthritis.
- Glucosamine. Although study results have been mixed, some studies have found that glucosamine works no better than placebo. However, glucosamine and the placebo both relieved arthritis pain better than taking nothing, particularly in people who have moderate to severe pain from knee osteoarthritis.
- Chondroitin. Chondroitin may provide modest pain relief from osteoarthritis, although study results are mixed.
- Yoga and tai chi. The slow, stretching movements associated with yoga and tai chi may help improve joint flexibility and range of motion in people with some types of arthritis.
- Massage. Light stroking and kneading of muscles may increase blood flow and warm affected joints, temporarily relieving pain. Make sure your massage therapist knows which joints are affected by arthritis.
Preparing for your appointment
While you might first discuss your symptoms with your family doctor, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the treatment of joint problems (rheumatologist) for further evaluation.
What you can do
Before your appointment, make a list that the 1 last update 2020/05/31 includes:Before your appointment, make a list that includes:
- Detailed descriptions of your symptoms
- Information about medical problems you''s Clinical Advisor 2019. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2019. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 9, 2019.
- Ferri FF. Rheumatoid arthritis. In: Ferri''s and don''s advice about knuckle cracking: Mayo Clinic Radio Health Minute Nov. 07, 2019, 08:46 p.m. CDT
- Mayo Clinic Minute: Fighting arthritis with food Nov. 05, 2019, 08:00 a.m. CDT
- Infographic: Knee arthritis in athletes June 06, 2018, 04:00 p.m. CDT
- Mayo Clinic Q and A: Stem cell therapy for arthritis Arthritis Curehow to Arthritis Cure for May the 1 last update 2020/05/31 22, 2018, 02:30 p.m. CDTMay 22, 2018, 02:30 p.m. CDT