Common ways to relieve inflammation from arthritis include using over-the-counter medications, prescription medication, surgery and acupuncture, according to WebMD. Some patients find relief by improving flexibility in the joints and completing regular exercises.
One of the most popular ways to relieve inflammation is by taking an oral dose of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID. These medications are sold over-the-counter and include ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin. Other NSAIDs are available through prescription only, such as ketoprofen, celecoxib and sulindac, reports WebMD.
It is important to read the packaging label on all medications and speak with a health care professional to avoid negative drug interactions and understand potential side effects. Many NSAIDs cause stomach bleeding or an increased risk of heart attack, claims WebMD. Acetaminophen can also help to relieve inflammation caused by arthritis; however, it may cause damage to the liver or kidneys.
Arthritis sufferers can reduce inflammation by applying topical creams to the sore areas. For those who suffer from extreme cases of arthritic pain, opioid or narcotic pain relievers may be prescribed, notes WebMD. Doctors may prescribe corticosteroids, antidepressants and disease-modifying drugs to patients for relief purposes if NSAID therapy fails. In severe cases, patients may need joint replacement surgery.