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How do you treat arthritis symptoms?

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Quick Answer

Treatments for arthritis symptoms include taking medicine, getting surgery and applying ice packs or heating pads, according to Mayo Clinic. Lifestyle changes such as exercising more and losing weight may help to reduce the symptoms associated with arthritis.

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Because there are different types of arthritis, there are numerous medications a doctor may prescribe to treat them, notes Mayo Clinic. Analgesics such as acetaminophen, Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin may help to reduce arthritis pain, but they do not treat the inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium treat inflammation and pain simultaneously, and they can be taken orally or applied topically.

Applying counterirritants such as menthol or capsaicin may help to temporarily decrease pain from arthritis, states Mayo Clinic. Some doctors may prescribe genetically modified drugs that target proteins related to the immune system, or corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone may be taken to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system.

Losing weight can eliminate some of the stress that may cause arthritis symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. Exercising on a regular basis keeps joints limber. Exercising in a swimming pool is ideal because it reduces stress on the joints. Using a cane, walker and other assistive devices reduces stress on the joints and decreases painful movements.

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