Not every treatment is the same when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, and not every method will offer the same level of pain relief. The risk of coming in too strong in an attempt to fix it can mean overdoing it and causing longer-term problems, so exercising caution in this regard is important. By being aware of the key options, you can make the choice on which one feels right for you.
It is helpful to know that not every one of the pain relief treatments for rheumatoid arthritis require what may feel like drastic measures, or a need to subscribe to a consistent course of medication. However, some of the more severe levels of rheumatoid arthritis may well make your choice for you.
To start with, it is worth looking at some of the easier measures to see if they make a difference before you move onto anything else.
Taking the weight off
This is one of the best places to start simply because it is one of those pain relief treatment measures that helps to rule things out one step at a time, so you can see the difference in what you are doing straight away. Not every issue related to joint damage is the same as rheumatoid arthritis, which is why it is worth ruling some things out.
There are plenty of options available, but the main ways to make sure you are taking the weight off the appropriate joint usually include:
- Using a walking stick
- Using one or a pair of crutches
- Undergoing a period of rest and avoiding activity
- Aiding your joints by changing your stance or getting different shoes
Some of these are easier than others to carry out, and of course those who have a lot of walking or moving to do in their day-to-day life are likely to be unimpressed by having to employ a walking stick. However, plenty of people use one to good effect to manage their pain, and it may stop you from making things worse while you evaluate other options.
Effective pain relief through medication
Nobody wants to have to rely on taking the route of using medication when looking for pain relief treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, but sometimes it is enough to simply allow your body to reduce how inflamed the joints are and get a little more back to normal. Sometimes some strong pain relief and a good night’s sleep is enough to do the trick, and in this case it is worth considering:
- Paracetamol for mild effects
- NSAIDs – anti-inflammatories which can be applied topically or orally
- Steroid-based painkillers – these are less useful for long-term application
- Opioids – these offer the best relief but a higher chance of addiction and reliance
While there are plenty of other options, from applying hot and cold temperatures to sore joints and working on muscle strength to help build support around the joint, options such as surgery should not be ruled out if the pain continues to last