1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Arthritis Pain Relief Treatment Options

Information About Medications and Treatments for Arthritis Pain Relief

By

Updated April 23, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Arthritis is a common condition that can cause joint pain and swelling. There are many types of arthritis, and each individual should discuss the appropriate treatment of their arthritis with their doctor. In an effort to find pain relief from arthritis symptoms, you may want to consider some of the following treatments. Most patients find that effective management of arthritis symptoms involves using a combination of approaches.

1. Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen, or Tylenol, is a safe and effective medication to relieve painful symptoms. While the dose of Tylenol needs to be monitored, and caution must be exercised when used in people with liver damage, Tylenol can help relieve the pain of arthritis. Furthermore, Tylenol is not addictive, and is not believed to cause stomach ulcers. Many patients find that Tylenol can take the uncomfortable edge off of their pain.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications are one of the most useful treatments for relief of arthritis pain. Anti-inflammatory medications are available over-the-counter or as a prescription medication. Not every medication is as effective for every patient, so it may be worthwhile to try different options if one medication does not work for you. Discuss with your doctor before starting anti-inflammatory medications as there are possible side effects and medication interactions that should be monitored.

3. Joint Supplements

The most commonly used joint supplements for the treatment of arthritis are glucosamine and chondroitin. These supplements can be obtained without a prescription, and are very safe to use. The effectiveness of these supplements is open to debate, and they often can be expensive to take long-term. While these supplements may not provide a complete solution for arthritis pain, they may provide some benefit.

4. Ice & Heat Application

Heat and ice are safe, effective, affordable ways to relieve joint pain. For example, erapping a warm, moist washcloth around stiff fingers can help to loosen joints and relieve discomfort. Similarly, applying an ice pack to a painful joint can relieve inflammation. An ice pack on a sore knee can soothe inflammation to relieve pain.

5. Low-Impact Exercise

Stiff joints and joints surrounded by weak muscles are prone to developing pain. While exercise options are often limited in people with arthritis, they aren't altogether impossible. Learn about safe ways to exercise in a way that will not lead to further joint damage.

6. Weight Loss

Loosing weight is one of the most effective treatments for arthritis pain, especially for arthritis of the knees, hips, and spine. Arthritis pain is closely related to the amount of weight supported by the damaged joints. Study after study in the medical literature shows that losing weight is among the most reliable way to reduce arthritis pain.

7. Injections

Medications can be injected into a worn out joint, just as they can be taken by mouth. One advantage of injected medications is that the entire dose of the medication is targeting the problematic joint, rather than being dispersed through your body. Injections can be uncomfortable and can also have side effects, but often they provide arthritis relief for long periods of time.

8. Alternative Treatments

Many people with arthritis pain have difficulty finding complete relief from their symptoms with traditional treatments. Alternative treatments for arthritis pain can plan a significant role in the relief of arthritis pain. Learn from About.com Alternative Medicine Guide Cathy Wong about some of the popular alternative treatments for arthritis.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Orthopedics
  4. Arthritis
  5. Arthritis Treatment
  6. Arthritis Pain Relief and Treatments

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.