Are Painkillers the Only Arthritis Treatment?

Friday, 23 Aug 2013 09:45 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I've been on pain medication for rheumatoid arthritis for the past two years, but it doesn’t give me much relief. Isn’t there any other solution apart from these daily tablets?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Yes. You need more than pain medication to achieve proper remission and control of rheumatoid arthritis. It is more than a destructive joint disease and has numerous adverse effects beyond pain. Immune suppressants and the use of anti-inflammatories are the current standard of care for adults. Treatment for children with the condition differs according to severity.
 
But pain medication should not be used alone to control the deforming joint inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.  This is a destructive form of arthritis, and deformities are much easier to prevent than they are to treat.
 
Ask your physician for a referral to a rheumatologist, and while you are at it, find another primary care physician who can be more attuned to your needs.

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