The most common form of arthritis, according to Ryan Dopirak, M.D. (on the Orthopaedic Knowledge Online), is osteoarthritis. This piece of information, of course, is an established fact in the field of medicine. This joint disorder usually develops gradually in the latter half of life. One possible causative factor is impaired circulation. Other factors that may also have a causative influence on the condition include injuries, overexertion, and excessive body weight. The joints most commonly affected in cases of osteoarthritis are those of the knees, fingers, hips, and spine.
In osteoarthritis, there is a thinning or deterioration of cartilage and bone in some parts of the joint. The joint, though rarely inflamed, may be irregularly enlarged. Although there is no real cure for osteoarthritis, there are various treatments available to relieve distress and restore activity for the affected individual. These include physical therapy, the use of certain drugs, and, on extreme cases, orthopedic surgery.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis may be relieved with the use of certain drugs, such as the one that goes by the generic name “fenoprofen calcium” (the brand name Nalfon, of Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc., is an example). As a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), fenoprofen calcium is prescribed by doctors for the relief of pain and possible inflammation of joints caused by osteoarthritis. While aspirin remains as the most commonly used drug for treating osteoarthritis (one reason for this is that it is the cheapest), fenoprofen calcium is prescribed to some people who cannot tolerate aspirin.
But like other drugs, fenoprofen calcium has its own set of possible side effects: headache, dizziness, stomach upset, vomiting, nausea, skin rash, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, darkening of stool, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In some cases, there is insomnia, nervousness, depression, tremor, abnormal heart rhythm, fever, hair loss, and anemia. The manifestation of any of these symptoms is enough indication to see your doctor immediately, who will probably either take you off the medication or change the dose.
The usual dose of fenoprofen calcium the doctor will prescribe to a person with osteoarthritis is 300 to 600 milligrams 4 times a day, to begin. Doses may be increased up to 3200 milligrams a day if the doctor sees the need for it. If upset stomach is experienced while under fenoprofen calcium therapy, it is suggested that food or milk be taken with each dose of the drug. Also note that fenoprofen calcium is not recommended to children.
Except for limitation in movements, many severe cases of osteoarthritis may continue for years without any symptoms. Sudden strain, a direct blow, or injury usually triggers attacks of pain. If there is pain in the affected joints, heat, in any form, should be applied for about half an hour at least three times a day. Injury to the involved joints should be avoided; bending them far enough to cause pain should be avoided as well. Caution must be taken when giving massage, ensuring that it will not cause pain.
In some cases of osteoarthritis, splints or casts may be required to prevent movements that may produce pain. If overweight, the osteoarthritic individual should reduce his/her weight to normal. In cases when the joints of the lower spine and hips are involved, taking a rest or staying in bed for more hours of the day than usual may help bring relief; doing so takes pressure off the surfaces of the involved joints.
Overall, it is important for the osteoarthritis sufferer to pay attention to all wonts or habits that have an effect on his/her general health. These include such correction of posture as will enhance body mechanics, and such bodily exertion as will increase muscle power. The patient should likewise be willing to adjust to a new pattern of life consistent with his/her reduced physical capacities. Adjusting to such a pattern will allow the individual to go on with his/her period of productive usefulness all the way to the normal life span.
1. “Fenoprofen Calcium”, on Drugs.com – http://www.drugs.com/ppa/fenoprofen-calcium.html
2. “Arthritis as related to Fenoprofen”, on Gold Bamboo (online) – http://www.goldbamboo.com/relate-tl1083-tr5599.html
3. “Fenoprofen Calcium”, on DailyMed – http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/druginfo.cfm?id=6196
4. “Osteoarthritis (OA or Degenerative Arthritis)” by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR; edited by Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD, on MedicineNet.com – http://www.medicinenet.com/osteoarthritis/article.htm