Understanding and Managing Arthritis Pain

Author:
Alexa Ferrante
3-minute read

According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 50 million children and adult have arthritis in the US. For many, the pain is chronic and extremely inconvenient. Joint pain can impact every day activities and can be very difficult to manage, even with extensive medical treatment. Luckily, there are natural ways to reduce the strain on your joints and improve your mobility.

It can be difficult to understand arthritis pain – let us help!

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of arthritis pain can effectively disrupt your every day routine, even with over-the-counter medications. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, your joint pain may be diagnosed as some form of arthritis:

  • Injuries that are not healing right away
  • Vision problems
  • Stiff, locked or achy joints
  • Numbness or tingling in your limbs

Natural Treatments

If you are suffering from arthritis pain, a healthy lifestyle is often the first step. Apart from improving your sleep habits, exercise routine and diet, here are some of the natural treatments you can try to ease your arthritis pain.

  • Hot and cold therapy: By applying hot and cold presses to the affected areas, you can help relieve your arthritis pain. Cold compresses will help to restrict your blood vessels, reducing swelling and subsequent pain. Heat, on the other hand, increases your circulation, repairing the damaged tissue and easing overall pressure. Try using hot and cold packs in turn to decrease joint swelling.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture relieves arthritis pain at various points by stimulating the skin, releasing endorphins and easing bodily stress. An ancient Chinese medical treatment, acupuncture restores balance to the body and can help diminish pain in your joints.

  • Massages: Trigger-point massages are your best bet when it comes to massage therapy for arthritis pain. These types of massages aim to diminish pain in particular areas that are causing you severe pain, especially in the back. The pressure and vibrations can help to numb your trigger areas and help you improve your mobility.

  • Chiropractic: Chiropractic care can be a wonderful, non-medical way to decrease arthritis pain. Chiropractic adjustments help to reduce joint restrictions and diminish inflammation. By focusing on the spine and nervous system, a chiropractor can help you manage your daily arthritis pain. 

  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help to improve muscle strength as well as enhance your range of motion at your joints. Through helpful devices and equipment such as braces and splints, you can train your body to work through pain. Physical therapists can even create a workout plan for you to follow that will decrease your pain and help you get your life back. 

​Medical Treatments

When natural remedies are just not enough to manage your arthritis pain, it is important to speak with your physician to discuss treatment plans. Your physician may suggest the following medical treatments for different forms of arthritis.

  • Anti-Rheumatic Drugs: If prescribed by your physician, anti-rheumatic or disease-modifying drugs can help treat inflammatory types of arthritis. While they work slower than painkillers, they can be used to modify the course arthritis and take effect within a few weeks or months.

  • Narcotics: Narcotics are strong painkillers that can help relieve severe arthritis pain. While they will help ease joint pain, they will do nothing to help with the strain of your disease. Be sure to only take narcotics after receiving a prescription from your physician.

  • Cortisone Shots: Cortisone shots, if recommended by a physician, can help to decrease joint inflammation and reduce pain. Though the shots will periodically reduce swelling, they may also hasten bone loss – be sure to ask your physician before attempting any type of injection.

  • Trigger Point Injections: A trigger point is anywhere that your muscles bind together. Injections at a trigger point can help to relieve pain in areas such as the arms, legs or back for weeks at a time. Injections can be an additional service offered along with trigger-point massages, but it is important to make sure a physician is administering the injections and that you are in a clinical setting.

​Surgery

If all else fails, you might consider joint replacement surgery to aid in your arthritis pain management. While the procedures are fairly commonplace, speak with your doctor and do your research before embarking on the joint replacement journey. Check out our blog post on Debunking Myths Surrounding Joint Replacement Surgery to learn more.

Change Your Life

Arthritis numbers in the United States continue to climb and affect individuals of all ages. By learning how to manage your pain and reviewing the possible treatments, you are one step closer to helping your body feel strong again.

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