The primary focus for the treatment of arthritis is pain management. Weight loss for the obese is one of the first items on the agenda when attempting to treat arthritis. Additional steps involve medications and non-medicinal aids such as splints and joint assistance devices. There are also physical and occupational therapies which may be part of any arthritis treatment plan. In some instances surgery may be considered necessary in order to remove obstructions that are causing soft tissue damage and inflammation.

Recent Debates and Developments

There are many recent debates and developments in the treatment of arthritis. Many of these developments center on surgical options and the debate as to whether there are any long term solutions for some of the worst forms of arthritis. End stage ankle based arthritic issues are among the worst that can develop from a lifestyle and mental health point of view. This issue causes walking to become severe painful and in many cases the afflicted individual will be forced to use physical assistance devices such as the wheel chair.

One of the most heated current debates in this area of arthritic treatment is the long term viability of current techniques in end stage ankle arthritis. Anthroplasty and fusion are the prevalent treatments but they offer real assistance for the afflicted for only 10-20 years on average. While in older patients this may be a non-issue, it can be quite problematic in younger patients who have this affliction.

The realization that opioids may be used to great effect in order to counteract pain and inflammation in many cases of arthritis has been met with interest and concern alike. Researchers have discovered that there are in fact opioid receptors in surrounding tissues that are often likely to become irritated and inflamed during an arthritic flare-up. Opioids may be of considerable use for the treatment of chronic pain issues such as rheumatoid arthritis. It has been shown in numerous studies that certain opioids may perform better than traditionally anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant medications currently in use.

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