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Treating Arthritis Pain
There are many different forms of Arthritis. A few examples are Psoriasis, Rheumatoid, Sero-Negative, and many other types and sub-types. The images are all the same: twisted and disfigured joints, limping or not being able to walk, and hiding from other people. It is always the same. A patient comes in terrified thinking they have Arthritis or has just been diagnosed with the disease. The question is always the same too – how do we prevent the disfigurement and life changes from the disease.
The answer is surprising and very simple: Get in front of the disease and stop the progression. Very simple in principle, but not always so much in practice.
The cause of all Arthritis is inflammation. The problem is that there are over 100 types of arthritis, each with very different causes. The disease can never be cured, only treated and controlled. Even more complicating, two people with the same type of arthritis can have different immune system changes presenting with the same condition.
There are standard therapies and many new treatments. The area of antibody therapy (small proteins your body makes to combat infections), and designer medications (specifically made medicines directed at a single target) are just emerging. The medical community is still learning amazing amounts of information on new pathways, modulators and pathways in the human body – all presenting new targets and treatments.
So, you are a patient with Arthritis: what do you do?
Keep in front of the disease. If you have symptoms, something is wrong. Get to your doctor, and have them get in front of the disease. The most important part of therapy is stopping the progression of the disease.
Medications. Some work, some don’t. Two people with the same disease can respond very differently to the same medications. Communicate clearly and often with your provider. If you are not getting an answer, make an appointment and go in to be seen. Don’t wait for a pre-arranged appointment. Call or go in to be seen.
Keep moving. Unless your provider tells you specifically – move it. You don’t have to try to run a marathon. Daily stretching and range of motion exercise help.
Don’t just keep pushing through and keep your mouth shut. Communicate with your providers, ask for help. If the provider you has does not want to help you – find another.
In our ever-changing medical system, you as the patient have to be your advocate. Insurances do not want to reimburse. Doctors have huge burdens of paperwork for approvals. Some companies specifically deny claims just to try to save more money. You have to work the system that is specifically trying to deny you care for money savings. It is rough out there. If you need help – ask.