Rheumatism is a condition which affects different parts of your body like joints, muscles, bones and ligaments. They are characterized by pain, inflammation, swelling, redness etc. at the joints. The main problem associated with this disease is that it cannot be completely cured. However, the symptoms can be controlled to a limit by taking proper rheumatism treatment, which includes medication, diet changes and exercises. This article will help you to know more about common treatments used for rheumatism.
The medications prescribed by your doctor will be based on the severity of your symptoms and the time period you have been suffering from rheumatism.
- NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used for rheumatic pain treatment. It can also reduce the inflammation in your joints. NSAIDs generally include naproxen sodium and ibuprofen. There are some stronger NSAIDs which will be available upon prescription. However, they have some side effects like kidney damage, heart problems and stomach irritation.
- Steroids: Corticosteroid medications used for rheumatism treatment will help to reduce the pain, inflammation and slow down joint damage. The side effects of this medicine include diabetes, weight gain and thinning of bones.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs): This medication is used to slow down the progression of rheumatism and thereby avoiding the permanent damage of joints and other tissues. Common DMARDs include leflunomide, methotrexate, sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine. The side effects can include severe lung infections, bone marrow suppression and liver damage.
If you have rheumatism your doctor may advise you to see a therapist who can teach you some exercises to keep your joints flexible. The therapist can also suggest some easy ways to do your daily tasks without giving much stress to your joints.
You can also use the help of some assistive devices to ease some activities that cause stress on your painful joints. For example, a kitchen knife which has a hand grip will help you to protect your fingers and wrist joints.
A surgery will be advised by your doctor when the medications fail to prevent the damaging of your joints. Surgery can help to restore the proper functioning of your joints. It can also reduce the joint pain.
Surgery for rheumatism may involve one or more procedures which are mentioned below.
- Synovectomy: A surgery for removing inflammation on the joints.
- Tendon repair: Rheumatism can cause the damaging of tendons around your joints. Through a surgery, it may be possible to repair these tendons.
- Joint fusion: Fusing a joint can be used to realign or stabilize a joint.
Total joint replacement: During the surgery for joint replacement, the damaged parts of your joints will be removed and will be replaced with a prosthesis made of metal and plastic.