Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Are Painkillers the Only Arthritis Treatment?

Friday, 23 Aug 2013 09:45 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I've been on pain medication for rheumatoid arthritis for the past two years, but it doesn’t give me much relief. Isn’t there any other solution apart from these daily tablets?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Yes. You need more than pain medication to achieve proper remission and control of rheumatoid arthritis. It is more than a destructive joint disease and has numerous adverse effects beyond pain. Immune suppressants and the use of anti-inflammatories are the current standard of care for adults. Treatment for children with the condition differs according to severity.
 
But pain medication should not be used alone to control the deforming joint inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.  This is a destructive form of arthritis, and deformities are much easier to prevent than they are to treat.
 
Ask your physician for a referral to a rheumatologist, and while you are at it, find another primary care physician who can be more attuned to your needs.

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