Arthritis is a disease that is characterized by inflammation and pain at the joints. Of the many different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is by far the most prevalent, while rheumatoid arthritis affects a much smaller number of folks. These two different diseases are not the result of the same factors but the arthritis symptoms appear virtually the same. It is vital for anyone diagnosed with this illness to realise all of the options available in arthritis treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a very difficult and sore condition, because the body's immune system attacks the joints, so it can appear in many places at once. Arthritis appears in any joints in the body but is most often found in the hands, hips and knees. Arthritis normally gets more severe as sufferers get older and although there is presently no cure, you can relieve the pain and stiffness in numerous ways.

Osteoarthritis is caused by degenerative wear and tear in the joints, from constant use over many years, which is why it occurs most often in elderly people. Its onset can be hastened by certain types of injuries in one's younger years,such as accidents or sporting injuries. As the joints wear down, bones begin to rub together and the body makes fluid to ease the affected areas.

Because of their speed and convenience, NSAIDs are the preferred choice of most people when it comes to picking their arthritis treatment. Celebrex, ibuprofen and naxproxen are the drugs most commonly used. These medications provide short-term relief by reducing swelling in the joints and by acting as anti-pyretics (fever reducers). Many arthritis sufferers take NSAID drugs every day just to be able to get through the day. This a very critical situation, because the life-threatening side-effects posed by these drugs are not well known and are certainly not publicised by the manufacturers.

There is a practicable alternative approach to getting relief from the pain of inflammation in the joints. Most people are not aware of the potent anti-inflammatory properties of many everyday foods. Many vegetables, herbs, spices and fish, which form part of a balanced, healthy diet, will help in reducing the pain and swelling in your arthritic joints, in as well as improving your general health and strengthening your immune system.

By controlling your diet, any excess weight that you lose will be extremely helpful in relieving the pressure on the bigger joints in your body. Loss of any excess weight will be very helpful for your hips and knees, which are most susceptible to extra poundage and which can cause a limitation in overall mobility.

Corticosteroids are another group of drugs that help to reduce swelling and give some pain relief. These medications are generally more powerful than NSAIDs and have options in how they are administered. Steroids can be taken orally or injected into the body. Certain ones, such as hydrocortisone can be injected directly into affected joints. Many sports stars perform with cortisone injections when they are carrying injuries and often cause more harm as a result.

One of the most important and least mentioned arthritis treatment options is exercise. When joints become arthritic, the old byword, "Use it or lose it, " becomes a hard and fast truth. It is important that non-impact exercise like cycling, swimming and gentle walking are used, to avoid making the problem worse. Water aerobics, in a pool, is virtually ideal for arthritis sufferers, because the water supports the joints and makes more movement possible, without undue pain.

As a last resort, patients with osteoarthritis may need surgical treatments and joint replacements. In these procedures, the arthritic joints are removed from the body and metallic or plastic replacements are fitted and matched to the bones to make an artificial joint that is less likely to suffer pain from swelling. This option is very much a last resort and involves more pain in the short term, possible substantial expense and a protractede recovery period, with no guarantee of success. Take a long hard look at all available arthritis treatments first.

Author's Bio: 

Ken Charles has suffered with back pain and arthritis for many years but is still playing golf regularly, because he has found a combination of arthritis treatments that really work. Ken offers a Free Report, "101 Home Remedies For Arthritis".