Most people think of arthritis as a disease that affects the joints, usually in older people. Arthritis affects over 46 million Americans every year, has over 100 medical related conditions, and is one of the most prevalent forms of disability. It can affect anyone at any age, although some forms are more common in people over 60 years of age. The most common classifications of arthritis are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, which can be further categorized into more specific types. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body’s immune system and causing inflammation and pain and affects joints on both sides of the body. Osteoarthritis leads to joint pain and stiffness caused by wear and tear on the joints and usually affects a single joint. Symptoms of both kinds of arthritis include: joint pain, stiffness, swelling, soreness, decreased range of motion, and in severe cases deformity.
Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many effective treatment options to alleviate symptoms. For many patients, topical creams and ointments to the affected joint are helpful. Capsaicin and Penetran Plus are effective for many patients. Natural medications that are helpful include bromelain, glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane). Oral over-the counter NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help with inflammation and pain. In more advance cases, patients may require prescription medications, steroids and narcotic medications to name a few, and physical therapy to help treat symptoms.