A: No. But Effective Treatment is Available.
In instances, it appears that some types of arthritis can be curable. Persons who develop a special type of arthritis caused by Lyme disease (which results from Lyme disease) may be cured by penicillin injections.
However, in most instances, the answer is "No." At this point, there is no cure for arthritis.
The Greek word "arthron" means joint and the word "itis" means inflammation. So, arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. Cartilage, that smooth, soft tissue between the joints, begins to break down, and the joints rub against each other and cause this inflammation.
Sometimes what appears to be arthritis is really something else. Previously broken bones, infections, being overweight, injuries from repetitive motions, and other ailments may appear to be arthritis.
Since there is no cure for arthritis, doctors prescribe treatments that will lessen the pain and discomfort of arthritis. Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen are but a few of the non-prescription drugs that your doctor may recommend. Other medicines that your doctor may prescribe include cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, steroids, and anti-biologics. Surgery is an option is some instances.
But what physicians recommend most are effective pain-lessening treatments for the arthritis. These treatments falls into four basic categories: softness, application of heat, moistness, and support.
- Softness: We are all affected by gravity, and no one more so than arthritic persons. Even typically "soft" activities such as laying down or sitting often become unbearable for persons suffering from arthritics. Soothing, plush cushion, pillows, and pads are very effective for lessening pain caused by arthritis.
- Heat: Mild heat, properly applied, can also ease pain caused by arthritis. Old methods of applying heat included hot water bottles and heating pads, but newer methods have come along which provide for safer, more consistent application of heat. One method is called MediBeads--microwavable wraps and pads that are ready in less than one minute, but provide up to 30 minutes of relief.
- Moistness: For the relief of joint inflammation, there is no better combination than heat and moistness. MediBeads draw ambient moisture from the air and distribute clean, comfortable moisture over the affected areas.
- Support: Because the movement of joints causes the pain associated with arthritis, sometimes the solution is to limit movement. A variety of splints, supports, slings, and wraps are available to support problem areas like wrists, hands, ankles, and shoulders.