Muscles And Joints

Forceful movements of the body or its different parts may result in the tear or straining of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. These types of injuries may often bring about inflammation, which makes the affected tissues to swell and become painful. On the other hand, joints, particularly those bearing the weight of our body, for instance the vertebrate, hips, ankles and knees, have a propensity to corrosion. The cartilage that envelops the end of the bones might be damaged, resulting in pain as well as inflammation. People suffering from the autoimmune disorder called rheumatoid arthritis also experience damaged joints. Even people suffering from gout, a condition wherein crystals of uric acid develop on a number of joints, resulting in inflammations - a medical condition called gouty arthritis.

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Several additional problems also have an adverse effect on the muscles, joints and bones. Such conditions generally comprise conditions wherein the control of the nerves over contraction of muscles is changed owing to any neurological disorder or a physical injury. It may also occur owing to weak signals from the nerves, as in the case of myasthenia gravis.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicaments

In general, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicaments (better known as NSAIDs) are used in the form of painkillers. Medications belonging to this class are given to alleviate pain, rigidity as well as inflammations that accompany an extensive assortment of health conditions, especially those that have an effect on the joints, bones and muscles. In order to differentiate these drugs from corticosteroids, they are referred to as non-steroidal. It may be noted that corticosteroids also possess anti-inflammatory attributes.

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When you sustain an injury, your body secretes chemicals called prostaglandins. It is understood that these substances cause pain as well as inflammation when a tissue is damaged and when there is an immune reaction. All medications belonging to the group called NSAIDs work to impede prostaglandin production, which possibly helps to alleviate the pains, in addition to inflammations.

Normally, NSAIDs are useful in easing joint pain as well as swelling. The body takes these medications from the digestive tract as well as transports to the affected area very fast to provide relief as soon as in an hour. If they are used on a regular basis and for a prolonged period, NSAIDs also help to decrease the rigidity of the muscles and joints. They are very useful in reinstating or even enhancing the functioning of the damaged joints. However, use of NSAIDs result in some side effects, most common among them includes queasiness, digestive disorders and changed bowel movement. Nevertheless, compared to uncoated ASA (acetylsalicylate), the irritation caused to the stomach by majority of NSAIDs is much less.

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Majority of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are have a brief effect and, hence, the suffer needs to take them a number of times every day with a view to get best possible relief from pain. A number of NSAIDs are taken just two times every day, while there are others, for instance, piroxicam, which are effectual when they are taken only once every day, as their removal from the body is very slow.

Barring a few, majority of the NSAIDs do not cause any severe adverse side effect. However, the major problem with using medications belonging to this class is that sometimes they result in haemorrhages inside the stomach and/ or the duodenum. People who have peptic ulcers should commonly stay away from using NSAIDs. These medications have an anti-prostaglandin action, which is responsible for such bleedings. In order to prevent bleeding in the stomach and duodenum, it is likely that your physician will prescribe a medication similar to prostaglandin, for instance, misoprostol, along with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicament.

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Use of majority of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is not advised for pregnant women or nursing mothers. In addition, people suffering from problems related to the liver or kidneys or those having a medical history of hypersensitiveness to other drugs should exercise additional precautions while using NSAIDs. Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may possibly harm the body's ability to form blood clots and, hence, should be prescribed cautiously for people suffering from bleeding problems or individuals who are taking medications for decreasing clotting of blood. Phenylbutazone is among the first NSAIDs and it has the potential to damage the ability of bone marrow to make blood cells. A sore throat or a fever is among the initial symptoms of this problem and you need to report them immediately to your physician. Generally, phenylbutazone is given to people suffering from severe bouts of gout and ankylosing spondylitis. People who are taking this particular NSAID need to have their blood tested at regular intervals.

Antirheumatic medicaments

Anti-rheumatic medications are prescribed for treating a variety of rheumatic problems, among which rheumatoid arthritis has the potential to cripple as well as distort the bones most. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be a type of autoimmune disease which results in the mechanism of the patient's body to combat infections to add to the impairment of the joint tissues. This condition gives rise to pain; firmness and distension of the joint and after several months it may result in the distortion of the joints. Flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis may also lead to the patient having a general feeling that he/ she is in poor health.

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Rheumatoid arthritis may be treated with medicines and physical therapy, combined with dietary changes, rest and restricting the joint movement. However, this condition cannot be cured completely. In several instances, rheumatoid arthritis does not advance beyond a stage where it may cause lasting disability. In such cases, the severity of the condition is also likely to decrease unexpectedly.

The exact manner in which most anti-rheumatic medicines work to end or impede the progression of the disease is yet to be ascertained. A number of these medications lessen the immune response of the body, which is believed to be liable for the malady to some extent. If these medications are effectual, they help to prevent the cartilage as well as bones from being damaged, thereby slowing the process of crippling and disablement. It is important to note that the efficiency of every anti-rheumatic medicament is subject to the personal response of the patient to the treatment.

On the whole, the anti-rheumatic drugs have a very slow effect (slow-acting medications). Hence, the patient may be required to take them for several weeks or still months before they can experience the benefits of using them.

Usually, treatment using NSAIDs or ASA should be continued for a prolonged period. When used for extended periods, the anti-rheumatic drugs may cause the symptoms to improve significantly. The patients endure less pain, experience enhanced joint movements, and the common symptoms of infirmity disappear. In fact, the side effects of using anti-rheumatoid medications, which usually appear before the benefits of these medicines can be experienced, generally differ with each individual medicament. Therefore, it is advisable that the patients should have enough patience throughout their treatment period. At times, the seriousness of some of the side effects of using such medicines may make it necessary for the patients to give up the treatment.

Locally acting corticosteroids

Adrenal glands, which are located one on top of both the two kidneys, make several vital hormones, including corticosteroids. These hormones are called so, as they are produced in the cortex (external segment) of the adrenal glands. Corticosteroids perform a vital function, affecting as well as controlling the metabolism of carbohydrates as well as minerals in the body. Scientists have already developed several medicines that imitate the actions of corticosteroids that occur naturally in the body.

Synthetic or man-made corticosteroids have two major activities, which are believed to be responsible for their efficiency. First, these medications slow down the actions of the leucocytes (white blood cells) that cause inflammation. Second, they also impede prostaglandin production. In effect, prostaglandins activate inflammation and pain. Corticosteroids provide utmost benefits when they are injected at the affected area of the body, as they are directly supplied to the region where they are required. In addition, when used in the injection form, corticosteroids also cause the least side effects.

It has been seen that when corticosteroids injected directly into the affected joint they are helpful in providing radical relief from the ailment's symptoms. Frequently, administering a solitary injection is enough to alleviate pain as well as swelling, in addition to providing enhanced mobility of the affected joints. When corticosteroids are used to treat pain in the muscles or tendons, they are unlikely to be useful all the times, as it is not easy to place the needle in the appropriate position in order to allow the medicine to reach the correct spot. Therefore, it may be necessary to administer several injections repeatedly.

Since corticosteroids distillate only in the affected area and are not administered into the body in major amounts, the common adverse side effects that may possibly happen when these medicines are taken orally may not occur when used in an injection form. However, patients using the injection form of corticosteroid may rarely experience insignificant side effects like losing the pigmentation of the skin where the injection is administered. At times, the patients may experience a momentary augmentation in pain (also known as steroid flare). In such cases, applying ice and analgesic medicines locally as well as rest may possible help to provide relief from the side effects. The technique known as sterile injection is extremely vital.

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