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SAC and Arthritis

By March 1, 2018Resources, SAC

SAC and Joint Disease

Arthritis is the most common and disabling chronic joint disease in the world. Nearly 350 million people worldwide suffer from arthritis, and it can afflict anyone at any time, regardless of age, gender or race.

Arthritis, can occur in more than 100 different forms. However, it can be classified into two major types: osteoarthritis (degenerative) and rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory).

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease of bone cartilage, which leads to stiffness, swelling, and pain. Some of the common causes of osteoarthritis are age, obesity, injury and joint overuse.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune disease in which our immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue. It causes swelling, pain and eventually joint deformities. The inflammation can spread to the surrounding tissues and damage cartilage and bones. About 21 million people are affected by this disease globally each year.

Gout & Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease (CPPD) are caused by excess uric acid and calcium salt respectively, forming crystals in joints and causing inflammation, redness and swelling. Causes are unclear, but the risk increases with age and the disease is often misdiagnosed as arthritis.

Prescription Drugs for Osteoarthritis

Medicines don’t cure arthritis nor even slow down the time it takes for cartilage to break down. However, they can help reduce pain and stiffness, which can make it easier for you to move. Medicines are used along with other treatments, such as exercise and physical therapy, only to help keep your joints working by masking pain.

The type of medicine depends on how bad your pain is. For mild to moderate pain, you can try over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen. For moderate to severe pain, you may need stronger pain medicine such as opioids.

Medicines don’t cure arthritis nor even slow down the time it takes for cartilage to break down. However, they can help reduce pain and stiffness, which can make it easier for you to move. Medicines are used along with other treatments, such as exercise and physical therapy, only to help keep your joints working by masking pain.

The type of medicine depends on how bad your pain is. For mild to moderate pain, you can try over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen. For moderate to severe pain, you may need stronger pain medicine such as opioids.

Surgery may be an option if the pain is severe, you have lost a lot of cartilage, and other treatments haven’t helped.

The many types of surgery include arthrodesis, which fuses two bones in a damaged joint so that the joint won’t bend, arthroscopy, which may be used to smooth a rough joint surface or remove loose cartilage or bone fragments and joint replacement, which is done when other treatments haven’t worked and involves surgery to replace the ends of bones in a damaged joint.

Prescription Drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a progressive inflammatory disease that affects the joints. It gets worse over time unless the inflammation is stopped or slowed down. Only in very rare cases does rheumatoid arthritis go into remission without treatment.

DMARDs can often slow or stop the progression of RA by interrupting the immune process that promotes inflammation. However, because DMARDs target the immune system, they also can weaken the immune system’s ability to fight infections. This means you must do regular blood tests to make sure the drug is not hurting blood cells or certain organs such as your liver, lungs, or kidneys.

These are the main types of RA medications:

  • Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), Biologic response modifiers (a type of DMARD)
  • Glucocorticoids, Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medications (NSAIDs)
  • Analgesics (Pain Killers)

Many DMARDs have serious side effects such as seizures, headaches, hair loss, stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice, joint pain, bloody vomit, dry cough, shortness of breath, blood in your urine, swelling of feet, confusion, and little or no urinating.