Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Arthritis Treatment

The main goals of arthritis treatment17 are relieving symptoms and improving joint function. Generally, treatment aims to control pain, minimize joint damage, and improve mobility to better maintain function and quality of life.

Common treatments for arthritis include:

  • Medication: The type of medication and dosage prescribed will depend on the type and severity of the arthritis present. The main goals of drug treatment are to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve the function of the affected joints. Some common over-the-counter medications used to manage pain include acetaminophen (generic Tylenol Arthritis), ibuprofen (generic Motrin), and Naproxen (generic Aleve).

Arthritis medication

Your provider may prescribe the following medications for arthritis:

May be prescribed

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Other treatments used to alleviate the signs and symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Physical therapy (PT): Physical therapy is very helpful for managing the symptoms of arthritis. Certain activities and exercises can help improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles surrounding the affected joints. Physical therapists will also help you avoid positions that strain your joints and, in some cases, help you learn how to use modified doorknobs, canes, or walkers.

Depending on the severity of your arthritis, you may want to consider wearing a brace or splint during physical therapy to provide additional support.

  • Surgery: There are several surgical options for arthritis, including joint repair or reconstruction (arthroplasty), joint replacement (replacement arthroplasty), joint fusion (arthrodesis), and the removal of the synovial membrane (synovectomy). Surgery is often used for patients with severe arthritis damage.
  • Regular exercise: Staying active is vital to keeping joints mobile and preventing them from stiffening up over time. Aerobic- or endurance-based exercises can help with overall health and mobility. Exercise also improves cardiovascular health and weight, two of the leading risk factors for arthritis.
  • Diet: It is important to eat as healthy as you can if you have arthritis. This may mean eating a low-fat, high protein diet to help improve your metabolism. The Mediterranean diet, which focuses on eating a lot of healthy fats and protein, is a popular option.

This type of diet is often recommended for patients with arthritis because many high-protein and high-fat foods contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for inflammation control. Some Omega-3 rich foods include fish, almonds, and avocados. It is also recommended to control your intake of red meat and dairy, as both can cause inflammation.

  • Stress reduction: Over time, the constant tension that the body feels as a result of stress, including increased heart rate and muscle tensing, can take a toll on the muscles and joints. Stress also sets off your immune system’s inflammatory response, which can worsen the symptoms of arthritis. Practicing yoga, breathing, or other soothing exercises may help relieve stress and tension in the body and improve symptoms.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.