Managing Short-Term and Long-Term Arthritis Pain

Short-Term Relief
A number of treatments can provide short-term relief from arthritis pain. Some things that your doctor may recommend include:
  • Medications
  • Heat and cold
  • Joint protection
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Massage.
Long-Term Relief
Certain forms of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, are chronic diseases that may last a lifetime. Learning how to manage your pain over the long term is an important factor in controlling the disease and maintaining a good quality of life. Following are some pain medications that may be recommended for long-term pain relief:




Some examples of lifestyle changes that have been shown to help with certain types of arthritis pain include:
In select patients with arthritis, surgery may be necessary. The surgeon may perform an operation to remove the synovium (synovectomy); realign the joint (osteotomy); or, in advanced cases, replace the damaged joint with an artificial one (arthroplasty). Total joint replacement has provided not only dramatic relief from pain, but also improvement in motion for many people with arthritis (see Knee Replacement or Hip Replacement).
(Click Arthritis Treatment to learn more about these treatments for arthritis or click any of the following links below to find specific treatment information for various types of arthritis:
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Arthritis Information

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