The Best Pain Relievers for Arthritis

Millions of Americans suffer with painful arthritis. Tons of pain killers are swallowed on a daily basis to help relieve the pain. There are so many pharmaceuticals available touting their respective abilities to alleviate the pain but what are the best pain relievers for this condition?

Types of Arthritis

There isn’t just one type of arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation lists dozens of forms of this condition. It is often thought of as a condition or disease that only affects elderly people. This is not the case. Arthritis, in its many forms, is no respecter of age, gender, socio-economic status, or any other demographic marker. With that being said, there are a few forms that are more popular. These are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Psoriatic arthritis (PsA), fibromyalgia and gout. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

Types of Pain Relievers

There are several types of pain medications that can be prescribed for arthritis treatment. Some medications require a prescription, but not all. There are many over the counter meds available that may relieve your pain. If those options do not work well for you, your doctor can help you find a suitable medication.

Medications for arthritis treatment fall into one of five main classes of drugs:

  • NSAIDS – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This includes such medications as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and other drugs that reduce inflammation, pain and fever.
  • Analgesics – These are often referred to as pain killers. Tylenol fits in this division. Some are non-narcotic drugs others are opioid narcotics. Hydrocodone drugs like Vicodin, Norco and Lortab are also in this division.
  • Corticosteroids – These synthetic drugs mimic the effect of the naturally occurring hormone cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and controls inflammation. These medications need to be taken exactly as prescribed by the doctor because they can have serious side effects.
  • Disease-modifying Anti-rheumatic Drugs (DMARDS) – Used for RA, these drugs slow the progress of the disease and reduce the risks of permanent damage to joints.
  • Biologics – These are the newest of DMARDS and they are genetically engineered. Made from a living organism, these medications are used to target specific proteins or cells associated with symptoms and joint damage. They are used to treat RA.

Getting Rid of Arthritis Pain

The most prescribed class of drugs used to treat arthritis pain falls to the NSAIDs. They help with the inflammation as well as pain and stiffness. Common NSAIDs such as aspirin, Motrin, Advil and naproxen can be purchased over-the-counter. Tylenol or acetaminophen is also commonly used and readily available. If these do not treat the pain, your doctor may need to prescribe something stronger.

North Star Medical physicians treat many patients suffering from arthritis pain. If you are suffering with pain in your joints or muscles, make an appointment with us to find out the cause. Schedule your appointment today and take control of your pain.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as an advice for any individual case or situation.