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[patient handout]

self-managing arthritis pain
Each type of arthritis is handled a little differently, but there are some common treatment choices.
Gout is another very painful form of arthritisthat occurs with a build up of excess uric acid in the joint surfaces. A gout attack often follows after eating certain foods like shellfish, liver, dried beans, peas or anchovies. The big toe,ankle, knee, wrist or hands are commonly affected joints. Other forms of arthritis include psoriatic and or reactive types of arthritis, and arthritis in the TMJ (jaw joint). Common Treatment Each type ofarthritis is handled a little differently, but there are some common treatment choices. Rest, ice, heat, splints, using modified appliances such as bottle openers or handle bar assists, andmedications such as NSAIDS— non steroidal anti inflammatory medications (e.g., ibuprofen, naprasyn (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol)) are used to control the pain and inflammation of joints. Corticosteroids arealso used but they do have significant side effects with prolonged use, such as osteoporosis. Non-chemical methods of pain control include the use of a TENS unit which works on the GATE control theoryof pain. Selfmassage and gentle yoga or Tai’chi movements are also helpful. DMards (disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs) are used for rheumatoid arthritis such as methotrexate and drugs likePrednisone for an acute attack of gout. Whenever you have a warm and swollen joint, the RICE protocol—rest, ice, compression and elevation—is a good rule to follow. The right kind of exercise is veryimportant since the joint gets its nutrition and lubrication with movement. A good idea is to take every joint through its normal range of motion every morning. A good exercise program should also includean aerobic component such as walking or using a stationary bike. Light resistance exercise is also needed to build muscle strength to relieve pressure on the joints. This can be accomplished with...
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