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Arthritis Medication

writtenByWritten by: Sydney Garrow
Sydney Garrow

Sydney Garrow

Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.

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January 25, 2021 Read Time - 7 minutes

Learn About Different Types of Arthritis Medication

Arthritis is an incredibly common condition, and in some cases, it can be very effectively treated with arthritis medication. If you’re experiencing joint pain, it’s important to start out by talking to a doctor and creating a long-term treatment plan that might include some type of arthritis medication. 

Continue reading to get an overview of arthritis and learn more about arthritis medication and treatment options.

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What Is Arthritis? 

Before considering arthritis medication options, it’s important to understand the symptoms and diseases that you’re aiming to treat. 

Although many believe that arthritis itself is a disease, it’s actually just an umbrella term for any kind of joint pain or disease. In other words, it is inflammation of the joints. 

As with so many other kinds of illnesses, ailments, and chronic conditions, the first step is understanding your body, understanding what you need, and what works for you. Medication is not always an end-all cure, and it takes working with medical professionals to find the right treatment plan. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis?

The most common symptoms of arthritis include: 

  • Joint pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Joint swelling
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Skin redness in the affected area 

If you’re noticing that your joint pain and other symptoms are worse in the morning, this is also typically the case with joint pains. 

What Is The Most Effective Medication For Arthritis? 

There are many kinds of arthritis medications available, which can be daunting at first. Discussing options with a doctor can help alleviate some of the intimidation over picking out an arthritis medication. 

Some common types of arthritis medications include: 

  • Analgesics – These help with pain management, but not with inflammation. 
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)This arthritis medication option will help with pain and inflammation, but causes blood thinning.
  • Menthol or capsaicin creams – This treatment option blocks transmission of pain signals to your joint, which can help with pain management. 
  • Immunosuppressants – Since many arthritis types are caused by autoimmune disorders, taking immunosuppressants can help decrease medication. 

Can Arthritis Be Cured? 

While there is no cure for arthritis, arthritis medications are a way to help deal with symptoms like inflammation and pain. Most doctors you speak to will suggest combining arthritis medication with other treatment options, in order to prevent your inflammation from progressing. This may greatly improve your quality of life for an extended time. 

You can speak to a doctor online from the comfort of your home and get prescriptions for common arthritis medications like Meloxicam or Celebrex, which are both NSAIDs and can help with inflammation and pain. Make sure to disclose other medications you may be taking, since NSAIDs might not mix well with other blood thinners. 

What’s The Best Treatment For Arthritis? 

As with many conditions, the best treatment plan is a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and therapy (mental or physical). 

While arthritis medication is an incredibly important part of your treatment, you can make other changes to relieve joint pain, such as: 

  • Surgery – If a joint is causing pain that is not lessening with medication, it might be necessary to replace it with an artificial one. 
  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapy aids with mobility and strengthening muscles around the affected joint. While it might be painful at first, when monitored by a licensed physical therapist, this therapy can be incredibly helpful with relieving symptoms and slowing the progression of inflammation. 

Some lifestyle changes that help with joint inflammation and may be put into effect along with arthritis medication include: 

  • Weight loss
  • Healthy diet
  • Avoiding foods that cause inflammation 
  • Regular exercise to increase flexibility 

What Causes Arthritis?

Arthritis can be caused by a multitude of factors.

Some of these include: 

  • Normal wear and tear on your joints – This is true with Osteoarthritis, which is common in elderly people. 
  • Infections – Getting an infection, combined with aging or other health issues, can trigger certain types of arthritis. 
  • Injuries – Just like a broken bone, you can cause damage to your joints. In some cases, this damage can trigger chronic joint problems when mixed with other health conditions and aging. 
  • Autoimmune disorders – Unfortunately, this has to do with the genetic lottery––some people are predisposed to certain kinds of joint inflammation, even without any other factors, like Rheumatoid arthritis. 

Different Types Of Arthritis 

Understanding what kind of arthritis you have will inform what kind of arthritis medication to discuss with your doctor. 

Some common types of arthritis include: 

  • Rheumatoid
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Lupus 
  • Gout
  • Ankylosing spondylitis 
  • Infectious/reactive
  • Psoriatic
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scleroderma

No matter what kind of arthritis you have, there are options for arthritis medication, treatment, and lifestyle changes that can help you manage your joint pain symptoms. 

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis? 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an incredibly common joint disease. Like many types of arthritis, it is an autoimmune disease, meaning your body is attacking healthy joint tissues. 

Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) include: 

  • Morning stiffness 
  • Joint point (usually the same joints on both sides of your body)
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Nodules
  • Numbness/tingling

Can Young People Get Arthritis? 

Although commonly seen as a disease for older people, in some cases a younger individual can begin suffering from joint pain early in their life. 

Arthritis in younger people is referred to as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). This is the most common arthritis experienced by children and teens, and can be onset anywhere from the age of 6 months to 16 years. 

Idiopathic means anything that has no known cause, which in this case is true for JIA. The most doctors and scientists know is that this condition seems to be caused by issues with the immune system.

In rare cases, young people (in their 20s) can begin suffering from typical types of arthritis, like Rheumatoid, or Fibromyalgia. 

How Common Is Arthritis? 

According to the Arthritis Foundation, over 1.5 million people in the United States have Rheumatoid arthritis––and that is only one type of joint disease!

According to the CDC, 23 percent of adults over 54 have some form of arthritis. 

It’s safe to say that if you’re experiencing joint pain and looking to get on arthritis medication, you are not alone!

Will Arthritis Get Worse If I Don’t Get It Checked Out? 

As with many diseases or ailments, it’s best to get it checked out early on, and you might be able to avoid more pain in the long-run. 

Some arthritis medications, paired with physical therapy and maintenance of general health can slow down the progression of symptoms. 

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Get Arthritis Medication Online 

You can easily speak to a doctor from the comfort of your home, and get a prescription for arthritis medication online. With PlushCare, it is easy to book an appointment on your phone and speak with a board-certified doctor about arthritis symptoms, medication, and treatment.

Whether you need rheumatoid arthritis medication, treatment for osteoporosis, or you’re still not sure exactly what you are suffering from, our doctors can help you find a treatment plan that works for your body. 


Read More About Arthritis Medication


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Arthritis Foundation. What Is Arthritis? Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis

CDC. Arthritis. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/arthritis.htm

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Managing the drug treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5408004/

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Brief Overview of the Treatment. Accessed January 13, 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6422329/

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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