Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints that affects approximately 50 million Americans. There are more than 100 conditions involving swelling and pain in the joints and the tissues around the joints that fall under the descriptive umbrella of arthritis. Two main kinds of arthritis – osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – are the most prevalent. These two forms of arthritis have similar symptoms, although they have different causes. Osteoarthritis often occurs in the hands, knees, and hip joints, while rheumatoid arthritis most commonly appears in the wrists and hands. While arthritis is most prevalent in seniors aged 65 and older, arthritis can affect people of all ages, from all walks of life. In addition to pain, arthritis can affect mobility and compromise the ability to perform certain tasks. Despite the challenges associated with arthritis, there are a number of over the counter medications available to help sufferers reduce pain, improve mobility, and promote quality of life.
Topical treatments such as creams and sprays, which are applied directly to the skin over the affected joints and work by relieving pain and inflammation. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken to reduce osteoarthritis, pain in the joints. Avoid acetaminophen if you have liver problems. Aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid, relieves mild pain and is the active ingredient in several brands including Bayer, Excedrin, etc. If you have ulcers, a history of bleeding problems, or anticipate having surgery soon, you should not take aspirin. NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) work by relieving both pain and inflammation of the joints. The only two NSAIDs available OTC are ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Naprosyn). The most common side effects of NSAIDs include: heartburn, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Do not use NSAIDs if you are allergic to aspirin or similar drugs. While all of these treatments are available without a prescription, it is advisable to discuss any drug with your doctor before taking it. Your physician will determine the risks and benefits of each treatment approach, and find the best medication to suit your needs.
Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Arthritis problems. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.