Conservative Knee Pain Treatment For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain and swelling in the joints, including the joints of the fingers, hips, feet, and knees. If the knee joint has been severely damaged, joint replacement surgery may be the best option for you. Some people, however, may not be good candidates for knee replacement surgery, and because of this, may need to rely on conservative methods of knee pain treatment. Here are some non-surgical knee pain interventions to help decrease rheumatoid arthritis-related discomfort and inflammation.
Cortisone medications are used to treat pain and inflammation from numerous health conditions. Cortisone is a corticosteroid that can also be taken orally. It is especially effective in injection form when treating degenerative bone and joint conditions. Your doctor can inject cortisone directly into your knee joint to help decrease swelling and pain, while enhancing mobility, increasing your range of motion, and promoting optimal flexibility.
While cortisone injections may be unable to resolve existing joint damage, they may help slow the progression of further joint damage. Although cortisone injections are typically well-tolerated by most rheumatoid arthritis patients, they can cause side effects such as bruising, discomfort at the injection site, increased swelling, and skin color changes. Side effects are usually minor and typically resolve after a few days.
Physical Therapy And NSAIDs
Physical therapy is another knee pain treatment option for people with rheumatoid arthritis. It effectively helps relieve joint discomfort and inflammation, and it helps promote circulation to the damaged joint. Furthermore, physical therapy may also help promote better overall health. Unlike osteoarthritis, which typically causes only localized symptoms, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can cause systemic symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite.
A comprehensive physical therapy program may help suppress systemic inflammation, promote better sleep quality, improve your appetite, and alleviate weakness. Your rheumatologist and physical therapist can develop an individualized treatment plan based on your symptoms, level of fitness, and your treatment goals.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also effective in relieving arthritis-related knee pain and swelling. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and aspirin, and while over-the-counter dosages are often effective in treating knee pain and swelling, your healthcare provider may prescribe a higher dose if your symptoms are severe.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, consider the above conservative knee pain treatment options. When your condition is well-managed, you may be able to cope better with your arthritis challenges and enjoy more symptom-free days that may even include long periods of remission.
To learn more about knee pain treatment options, contact a local medical clinic.