How Can I Ease My Arthritis Pain?

Tuesday, 12 Mar 2013 05:35 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I have painful arthritis in my hands. Right now I try to control the pain with naproxen, but is there something better I can take?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
The goals for treatment of hand arthritis are to reduce pain, maintain or improve joint movement, and minimize disability. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) decrease the inflammation and relieve the pain in your thumb and wrists.
 
Although over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve) help, you could ask your doctor for prescription-strength NSAIDs (ketoprofen, diclofenac, Cataflam, Voltaren) and nabumetone (Relafen).
 
Be aware thatNSAIDs have risks of side effects that increase when used at high doses for long-term treatment.

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