Musculoskeletal disorders

Arthritis

(Osteoarthritis)

  • Also known as
  • Wear-and-tear arthritis
  • Degenerative joint disease

About Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in your joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects your hands, knees, hips or spine.

Osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in your joints. Cartilage is the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage absorbs the shock of movement. When you lose cartilage, your bones rub together. Over time, this rubbing can permanently damage the joint.

Risk factors for osteoarthritis include

  • Being overweight
  • Getting older
  • Injuring a joint

No single test can diagnose osteoarthritis. Most doctors use several methods, including medical history, a physical exam, x-rays, or lab tests.

Treatments include exercise, medicines, and sometimes surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Symptoms of Arthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Reduced motion in your joints
  • Can occur in any joint, but usually affects your hands, knees, hips, or spine

Top Medications for Arthritis according to our users

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All Medications for Arthritis

  • Arthrotec
    (diclofenac / misoprostol)
    Prescription only

    Arthrotec (Diclofenac / Misoprostol) is an okay medication used to treat pain and swelling caused by arthritis. However, because of the risk of heart attack, it's recommended to limit the amount you take.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
  • Cambia
    (diclofenac potassium)
    Prescription only

    Cataflam (Diclofenac Potassium) is an okay medication used to treat pain and swelling. However, because of the risk of heart attack, it's recommended to limit the amount you take.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Powder for oral solution
  • meloxicam
    Prescription only

    Mobic (meloxicam) works well for pain and inflammation and you only take it once a day, but you need a prescription.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Suspension
  • Voltaren
    (diclofenac)
    Prescription only

    Cambia (diclofenac) works well for pain and is available in many different forms. If you have a history of heart problems or stomach bleeds, it may not be the best choice.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Injection
  • Aspirin
    Over-the-counter

    A low dose of Aspirin (81mg) every day can protect your heart, but it's not the best medicine to take for pain, swelling, or fever.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • Celebrex
    (celecoxib)
    Prescription only

    Celebrex (Celecoxib) works well for treating pain and causes less upset stomach than other NSAIDs.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
  • ibuprofen
    Over-the-counter

    Advil (ibuprofen) works well for treating fever, inflammation, and a variety of mild to moderate pain conditions, but it doesn't last as long as other NSAIDs.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Chewable tablet
    • Suspension
  • Indocin
    (indomethacin)
    Prescription only

    Indocin (indomethacin) works well for mild to moderate pain and swelling, but it shouldn't be used long-term since it has some serious side effects.

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    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Extended release
    • Liquid
    • Suppository
  • Naproxen
    Prescription or OTC

    Aleve (Naproxen) works well for mild to moderate pain and inflammation, and it lasts longer than other NSAIDs.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Pill
    • Delayed release tablet
    • Liquid
  • Fentanyl
    Prescription only

    Duragesic (Fentanyl) is an excellent pain reliever, but should only be used by people who've tried other opioid pain medications and still need more relief.

    • Available dosage forms:
    • Patch
    • Patch extended release
    • Dissolving tablet
    • Mouth spray
    • Lozenge
    • Buccal tablet
    • Nasal spray

Medication side effects for Arthritis

These are some of the most common side effects from clinical trials for Abdominal pain.

  • meloxicam: 3%
  • Arthrotec: 21%
0 of 100

At this end, no one is expected to have Abdominal pain

100 of 100

At this end, almost everyone is expected to have Abdominal pain

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Arthritis

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Keep the inflammation down
  • Watch for long term stomach, liver, kidney side effects/damage
  • find a cheap tai chi class and practice it daily
  • Do water walking. Very effective for OA
  • Take as little oral meds as you need to be functional.
What’s your best coping strategy?
  • Exercise
  • Ultrasound guided cortisone injection
  • Practicing tai chi-day 1 there was improvement
  • stretching gently
  • stretching
Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • not all exercise helps-tai chi is best, works physical AND mental
  • daily gentle exercise, esp walking
  • daily yoga, preferably with optimists