Rheumatoid arthritis treatment options: Arthritis is a bothersome condition and can also take a toll on one’s mental well-being. Arthritis diseases can damage joints very quickly, and arthritis may be a part of more severe disease affecting multiple organs of the body. Today, we tell you what arthritis and advice to tackle it appropriately is. Arthritis means joint pain with some signs of inflammation like swelling, redness, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Arthritis or arthritis diseases can be of more than 20 types, and different types are managed differently. Arthritis diseases can be very complex and do not necessarily affect older adults. The most common arthritis we see in the general population is Osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritis usually occurs with increasing age and age-related joint wear and tear play a significant role in the occurrence of this type of arthritis. Osteoarthritis tends to affect one’s hands, knee, hip, and spine. Hence, it is necessary to know which type of arthritis disease one suffers from.
If you have arthritis-like symptoms, the following things can be done to seek adequate relief
- Diet: There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about diet for arthritis patient. Always clear your myths with arthritis expert like Rheumatologist. The old-age Indian mythology that sour (that food) like tomato, curd, lemon, oranges, tamarind etc. and other foods like chana dal, cabbage, rice, non-vegetarian food etc. because arthritis is not based on any substantial evidence. The concept that all arthritis is related to uric acid is also wrong. Foods like oranges, guava etc. provide vitamin C, which is very good for general health. Chana dal, low-fat dairy products etc. can provide proteins essential to build muscle strength in arthritis patients. In short, the best dietary advice is to eat what suits you and eating a healthy and balanced diet most times.
- Exercises: Physiotherapy or some form of activities may be advised to help you strengthen your joints and increase mobility. Strengthening your joints and reducing stiffness is essential. You can opt for walking, cycling, aerobics, and even swimming that can be beneficial for your joints. You can even do cardio and strength training under guidance. Always consult your doctor for appropriate exercises.
- Surgery: Surgery is an option if the joint is severely damaged. Hip, knee or other joint replacement surgeries can be done in selected patients. These surgeries can be beneficial in restoring mobility and function in patients with persistent pain, limited mobility and advanced joint damage.
Which doctor to consult for arthritis?
A rheumatologist is physicians who can diagnose different types of arthritis or similar diseases and also determine their severity. If one has significant joint pain, they should strongly consider seeing a Rheumatologist. The rheumatologist will evaluate the patient and form a plan based on severity. They may advise taking medications to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation of joints or other organs. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) may be given to modify or control your disease. DMARD’s can help to prevent joint or organ damage.
(The article has been medically reviewed by Dr Nilesh Nolkha, Consultant Rheumatology, Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road)
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