When it comes to effective arthritis medicines, there is a lot of confusion. The lack of clarity is mainly due to the fact that the causes of arthritis are unknown and no amount of research has identified medicines that can cure the disease.
Traditionally, there are dozens of allopathic or modern medicines. Some of them are over-the-counter medicines and others are prescription medications. Allopathic arthritis medicines may be divided into:
Pain relievers are commonly used by the majority of arthritic patients. These include topical pain relievers too. NSAIDs help with pain as well as inflammation.
However, these may have harmful side effects and must be taken in only after consulting with a doctor. Narcotic pain killers only kill the pain and are ineffective against inflammation.
These may be combined with NSAIDs for better results. However, prolonged use may lead to dependency. Corticosteroids are powerful and they have been successful in quelling the symptoms of different kinds of arthritis. But steroids are associated with side effects.
Over and above these, another category of drugs called Disease Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs have been designed to alter the progression of the disease but these could destroy the joints altogether.
Alternative medicinal practices take a different route to recovery. Instead of treating or ‘suppressing’ the symptoms of the disease, alternative arthritis medicines attack the triggers that lead to arthritis in the first place.
Most alternative medicines focus on nutritional therapy. This could be preceded by a detoxification program that aims to cleanse the body of inflammation causing toxins.
A highly individualized diet program along with nutritional supplements is used to halt the progression of the disease. As a part of this program, animal foods and foods that could trigger food allergies are avoided. Weight control could also be a part of the treatment.
This is followed by the use of certain herbal medicines. Herbs ease pain and fight inflammation. Some of them may even help maintain damaged cartilage. Some examples are gingerroot, white willow bark, Devil’s Claw and meadowsweet leaves.
Alternative arthritis drugs also take advantage of a number of mind therapies for arresting the progression of arthritis. This could be hypnosis, visualization, meditation, relaxation or breathing exercises.
Aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, osteopathy and traditional Chinese medicine are some of the practices that could help relieve the symptoms of arthritis.