How Can I Treat My Painful Arthritis?

Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013 04:19 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I have been dealing with rheumatoid arthritis for 25 years and I recently stopped taking Enbrel because of some neurological problems. What is a good treatment for alleviating my pain with low side effects?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
Immune suppressants such as Enbrel have stopped rheumatoid arthritis in its tracks. Pain relief comes with disease suppression. Sometimes a more affordable drug, such as low dose methotrexate taken once  to three times a week, is a reasonable option.
 
Potent doses of aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications, or even steroids, can produce excellent pain relief, but at the price of a long list of drug interactions. Local joint injections with cortisone are often great at controlling flare-ups.
 
Severe joint pain can be treated with joint replacement, or even surgical resection of inflamed joints.

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