As millions of people suffer from the pains, people wonder every day what is the treatment for arthritis. Arthritis treatment largely seeks to relieve the pain and swelling, which can be done through some medications and changes to lifestyle. Though most people opt for over the counter medications like ibuprofen early on, it is not a long term treatment as the condition progresses in its stages.

When the condition advances, treating rheumatoid arthritis focuses more on prescription medications like NSAIDs and cortisone drugs. Either way, the medication works largely well with lifestyle changes like added exercise and rest as well as a better diet overall.

NSAIDs work by blocking the prostaglandin chemicals that cause inflammation. These include ibuprofen and aspirin that one can purchase at any time. Stronger prescription NSAIDs can work for osteoarthritis arthritis treatment as the condition advances.

Related to cortisol, cortisone aids by suppressing the immune system in an effort to stop the swelling. The drug may be ingested by mouth, injected into the joints or spread through a topical cream. Shots are generally powerful and last several months, but long-term use can lead to osteoporosis, joint infection and high blood pressure. Because of this, cortisone treatments are more of a last resort where others medications fail.

As with any kind of treatment, different people react differently to medication, which makes it important to figure out what works and how one’s body reacts to a course of treatment. A good balance of exercise and rest, however, should work for anybody when reducing inflammation and pain. Specifically, patients should rest with severe symptoms but attempt exercise with mild symptoms. Exercises like yoga can strengthen joints and increase flexibility.

Heat in the form of baths or electric blankets can also help reduce the stiffness the condition causes. This is not a universal solution; other sufferers may respond better to ice packs, unless the patient has circulation problems.

Another natural treatment for arthritis includes consuming omega-3 and eucalyptus oil. The former is often in fish oil capsules and flax seed while the latter can be directly applied to the swollen joint. Some treatments that have seen success include acupuncture and massage therapy, but this again depends on the individual and his reaction. Those interested in trying out massage therapy or acupuncture must speak with his physician and ensure he has found a practitioner who is licensed and experienced with treating arthritis.