What should I take for my arthritis? That's likely the most common question asked by arthritis patients. If only there were an easy answer -- a one-size-fits-all answer. But there's not. If you are truly looking for arthritis relief, these 5 tips will help you get there.
Tip #1 - Only try self-treatment for a limited and reasonable amount of time. People in pain want arthritis relief -- fast arthritis relief. With initial symptoms, many patients try to self-treat their symptoms. It's important to know that while there is relief, it will take a dash of patience to find what works best for you. It may require the guidance and expertise of a doctor to get you on the right track.
Tip #2 - Be prepared to go with the flow. People often don't realize arthritis is not a single disease. It is an umbrella term -- there are actually over 100 types of arthritis -- and they are not all treated the same way. To provide you with quick relief, your doctor may suggest certain medications to try after your initial evaluation and diagnostic testing. But as test results come back and your doctor observes your response to the treatment, your medications may be adjusted -- possibly adjusted several times.
Tip #3 - Stay focused on yourself and the treatment goals you carve out with your doctor. People looking for fast arthritis relief sometimes ask their family, friends, and neighbors what they take, if they too have arthritis. But be careful: What works for one does not necessarily work for another arthritis patient. You and your doctor are partners with a common goal. The goal is to find an appropriate treatment plan for you -- to help you manage arthritis pain and other symptoms so the disease remains minimally intrusive in your life.
Tip #4 - Don't let feelings of discouragement stop you from getting the help you need. Many people at both ends of the arthritis spectrum -- those who are experiencing new arthritis symptoms and those who have dealt with it for years -- feel they just keep getting worse and believe there is nothing they can do to find relief. Consult with your doctor and communicate honestly about how you feel you are doing. If you are frustrated, tell your doctor just that.
Tip #5 - Be realistic with your expectations. Effective arthritis relief may come from more than one treatment source. Since there is no magic pill to wipe it all away, you may need to consider physical therapy, dietary changes, natural and alternative treatments, along with prescription medications -- a multidisciplinary approach. Expect to gradually learn what works and expect to build on that as you determine the best course to arthritis relief.
There's no magic potion to take for arthritis. But it's untrue that nothing can be done. It's essential for you to learn your treatment options with the guidance of your doctor. Then, be realistic and be patient as you go through phases of trial and error with various treatments. These five tips will get you to the point of managing your arthritis well.