What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition involving changes in the joints that happen gradually over time and which can reduce movement and result in pain. Many factors can contribute to osteoarthritis, including being overweight or less active over a long period of time, or joint injuries which cause damage and inflammation. Osteoarthritis affects all parts of a joint, including the cartilage, bone, ligaments and muscles.
Are you at risk?
Being overweight or having previous joint injuries puts you more at risk for osteoarthritis. If you are of older age, have certain other medical conditions or if osteoarthritis runs in your family, you may also be more at risk of having osteoarthritis.
How to treat osteoarthritis
The pain, stiffness, swelling and weakness that are typical symptoms of osteoarthritis can make it hard to participate in simple daily activities. If you suffer from osteoarthritis pain, it’s worth consulting your doctor so you can start a treatment plan sooner than later.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, so treatment is about maintaining function and the long-term management of symptoms like pain. Changes to your lifestyle (such as regular exercise and weight loss) along with medication can help to reduce pain and inflammation, and maintain your ability to use your affected joints.
Many people with osteoarthritis experience flare-ups of pain, often described as ‘burning pain’ accompanied by visible signs of inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can be useful for people with pain and discomfort during a flare. Ibuprofen is the active ingredient in Nurofen, and has both pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Nurofen Tablets (ibuprofen 200mg) can help reduce inflammation and relieve osteoarthritis flare-up pain for up to 8 hours.*
Connecting the dots
When you’re next considering which pain medication could suit your osteoarthritis needs, it’s worth remembering these 4 simple points:
- Osteoarthritis flare-ups can involve inflammation of the joints
- Inflammation can be reduced via an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen
- Ibuprofen is the active ingredient in Nurofen
- An effective anti-inflammatory such as Nurofen could help you work through your osteoarthritis flare-up pain
Be aware that there are many formulations of NSAIDs available, and other types of medicines are also available for particularly painful flare-ups. Your doctor will be the best person to advise you on the most appropriate medications for your needs.
*Malmstrom K et al 1999, Malmstrom K et al 2004, Mehlisch DR et al 2010 (RB sponsored).