A number of different specialists may be involved in the care of a patient with arthritis. They have a common goal -- helping you manage arthritis pain. Often the multidisciplinary approach includes:
- a rheumatologist (doctors who treat people with arthritis)
- orthopedic surgeon
- physical therapists
- occupational therapist
An Active Role
It's a team approach. Your doctor, other health care professionals, and you must all play an active role in the management of your condition. Treatment goals and decisions about treatment must be shared and agreed upon.
Treatment of Arthritis Pain
No single treatment works for everyone who has arthritis. Your doctor will suggest a management plan designed to minimize your symptoms and maintain or improve the function of your joints. A number of treatments can provide short-term pain relief. But arthritis is a chronic disease, so long-term pain management solutions are necessary.
Determining What Works
Better ways of controlling pain are continually being studied. With pain relief as the goal, arthritis patients can try a variety of pain relief techniques, determining which works best for them. The success or failure of each type of therapy is individual. What works for one may not work for another person.