How to treat arthritis in the 21st Century... an introduction to arthritis treatment
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit
Regardless of the type of arthritis, the goals of arthritis treatment are similar.
These include the following:
• Relieve pain/inflammation
• Minimize risks of therapy
• Retard disease progression
• Provide patient education
• Prevent work disability
• Enhance quality of life and maintain independence
While the goals are similar they are achieved using different methods depending on the diagnosis. The effective management includes a combination of conventional medicines, alternative or complementary treatments, dietary changes, rest, exercise, lifestyle changes (e.g., weight loss if needed), and joint protection.
Most treatments associated with arthritis also have beneficial tax implications.
Doctor’s fees, healthcare premiums, and even splints and braces are all tax
deductible under the
IRS Publication 502.
However, you will need
look into a tax estimator
to determine just how much you can deduct at tax time
Decision making includes the diagnosis, the severity of disease at the time of diagnosis, and the patient’s response to previous therapies.
The decision making doesn’t end there either. As a patient is followed over time, things change in regards to disease progression. What initially was felt to be effective may no longer be.
Changes in medications need to be considered, particularly if there are side-effects. Drug interactions with other therapies are a concern. And lack of response is another consideration.
Co-morbid conditions (other medical illnesses) enter into the equation. These can make it difficult to render treatment if there are conflicts with other medicines given for other medical conditions. Newer therapies, when they arrive, can change the picture.
Patient preference is also part of the decision making process. And this dovetails with a patient’s lifestyle... The right therapy for a working man of 35 who weighs 220 pounds may not be the right therapy for a retired woman of 80 who weighs 95 pounds. The correct arthritis treatment for a hard-driving executive may not be ideal for a laid back person who wants to use as many natural remedies as possible.
Finally, the ever-changing landscape of insurance issues plays a role... in my opinion, way too big a role in decision making.
So make sure you check out specific therapies on the various site pages.
Also, I urge you to visit the practice website of the Arthritis Treatment Center. Lots more useful information.
Arthritis Treatment Center A premier private arthritis center specializing in clinical research involving rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Located in Frederick, Maryland
Return to arthritis home page.