Is Arthritis Curable?

April 17, 2023


Arthritis is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It causes joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. If you have arthritis, you may experience “flares” (sudden bouts with pain) or have a “chronic” condition, meaning it lasts longer or comes and goes regularly—but can arthritis be cured?

“While arthritis cannot be cured, it can be managed,” says Orlin & Cohen’s Eric Price, M.D. “The goal is to reduce inflammation.” If you have symptoms of arthritis, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis, learn what medications are available, and explore available therapies as well as lifestyle changes that can help control symptoms.

Understanding the symptoms of arthritis

There are two major categories of arthritis: inflammatory and degenerative. Causes aren’t very well known but it seems to be something people are predisposed to from when they are born.

With inflammatory arthritis, environment is thought to play a role. With degenerative, or “wear and tear” arthritis, the amount of mechanical stress a person puts their joints through may make things worse, faster. Both types cause stiffness and pain in the joints, making it difficult to move or perform everyday activities. Other symptoms include swelling, tenderness, and warmth in the affected area as well as limited range of motion.

In more severe cases, there may be nerve damage resulting in numbness or tingling in the affected areas. It’s important to speak to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms so they can properly diagnose and treat your condition.

Pain management for arthritis

After an arthritis diagnosis, pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids can be prescribed to reduce swelling and inflammation. Other medications may also be recommended. Physical therapy can provide relief from joint pain by strengthening the muscles around the joints and improving range of motion with gentle stretching exercises. Heat or cold therapy may also be used to reduce joint pain. Weight loss, stress reduction, and a balanced diet can also contribute to improved arthritis pain management.

How is arthritis treated?

In addition to the nonsurgical treatments above—rest, physical therapy, heat/cold therapy, painkillers, and exercise—common orthopedic treatments for arthritis include:

  • Assistive devices such as braces, splints, or canes
  • Medications including corticosteroids and biologics
  • Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and dietary supplements
  • Surgical procedures such as joint replacement or arthroscopy, in more severe cases

Your doctor may also recommend rehabilitative therapies such as occupational therapy, which teaches you how to use daily living aids so you can continue enjoying an active lifestyle without worsening the condition over time.

Orthopedic doctor for arthritis

If you’re experiencing issues with arthritis—pain, swelling, discomfort, limited range of motion, etc.—speak to a fellowship-trained, Orlin & Cohen specialist. Visit today to get started. It could mean a better outcome tomorrow. It’s easy and convenient to get the care you need with same-day appointments and walk-in, after-hours care.