Arthritis Treatment in Ontario
Arthritis, which causes painful inflammation and stiffness of the
joints, is one of the leading causes of chronic pain. The Arthritis Society
that over 4.6 million Canadian adults – or one in six adult Canadians – have
arthritis. Within the next twenty years, it’s expected that that number will
rise to one in five Canadians. In Ontario, 18% of the adult population suffers
from arthritis and it is a leading cause of disability in the province.
Arthritis is the third most common chronic condition reported in Ontario and
the most common one for women. Sixty-one percent of people living with
arthritis in the province reported that the condition keeps them from
participating in many activities. Twenty-seven percent of those with arthritis
reported that they need assistance with everyday tasks such as cleaning or
grocery shopping, and 12% of working-age Ontarians with arthritis are unable to
work. Obviously, arthritis treatment in Ontario is crucial for a substantial
number of our citizens. Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis and
effective treatment can be difficult to establish.
Managing Arthritis Pain
There are more than one hundred different illnesses that are
considered types of arthritis, including gout, fibromyalgia, and lupus.
However, the two most common conditions referred to as arthritis are osteoarthritis and
rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of
osteoarthritis include joint pain and progressive stiffness. Rheumatoid
arthritis symptoms include painful swelling, inflammation, and stiffness
occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body. It can also affect the
skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, or nerves.
There are many aspects to managing the pain of arthritis. Most times,
pain medication is prescribed. But mental health, stress, fatigue, physical
activity, diet, and other lifestyle considerations will also factor into the
patient’s well-being. It can be important to consider all of these aspects when
treating arthritis pain.
With guidance and experience, many arthritis patients become adept at
knowing how to relieve their pain. This can include managing medication,
applying cold to relieve inflammation or heat to relax muscles, meditation or
other relaxation therapies, and finding healthy ways to eat and exercise.
Pain Care Clinics
While some general practitioners are knowledgeable about pain
management, it can be very useful to ask for a referral to a pain care centre
from your MD. In Ontario, OHIP will usually cover the costs of pain centre
Pain care clinic doctors devote their entire careers to the treatment
and management of chronic pain, so they keep abreast of new pharmaceutical
developments and current treatments and procedures. At good clinics, these
specialists also have access to state-of-the art technology for assessment and
Most times you will need to complete a detailed questionnaire before
your pain care clinic appointment. When you arrive, an assessment from a pain
care physician (including a thorough evaluation of your current medications)
will ascertain whether or not you are a good candidate for the facility. If the
specialist believes he or she can help you to manage your pain, the two of you
will work out a treatment plan.
You may have to live with arthritis, but you don’t have to be held
hostage to arthritis pain. Ask your family doctor for a referral to an Ontario
pain care clinic today.