Our joints bear a heavy burden, connecting our entire skeletons together and allowing our bodies to move in all sorts of ways. That why it’s so common to start feeling pain and discomfort in any number of them, especially as we age.
Relying on things like over-the-counter medications is fine for short-term joint pain relief, but taking them all the time and doing nothing else to try and address the inflammation and pain isn’t going to make the pain go away. And after all, that’s the ultimate goal, right?
What Causes Joint Pain?
There are a lot of different conditions can lead to chronic pain in the joints, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Muscular strains
- Ligament sprains
The main thing most of these conditions have in common is that they lead to inflammation. Inflamed joints may also feel warm and swollen, and in some cases the overlying skin may even become red.
Joint pain can sometimes be a symptom of other illnesses, such as a viral infection, and though this can be extremely uncomfortable, it’s often short-lived.
How to Treat Joint Pain
Whatever the cause of joint pain, in most cases you can effectively manage it at home through medication, exercise and physical therapy. The primary medications to take are drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), including aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen sodium (Aleve), and they can all provide temporary joint pain relief.
Other ways to treat joint pain at home include:
- Hot and cold therapy: Apply ice or a heating pad to your aching joints for 15-20 minutes several times per day to relieve pain and swelling. Start with ice, then after a day or so, switch to heat.
- Rest: Taking a break, especially from high-impact activities that might cause you pain and lead to more inflammation. Remember that after the initial inflammation goes away, you will need to strengthen the affected joint through exercise – the resting step shouldn’t last more than a few days.
- Supplements: You can also try taking supplements, including glucosamine and chondroitin medicines. Glucosamine sulfate can help to reduce joint pain, however there isn’t a lot of evidence that it decreases inflammation.
- Losing weight: Joint pain is more common in people who are overweight, and losing a bit can help relieve some of the pressure on your joints. Our doctors can help you put together an exercise plan that’s best for you, but if you want to start right away, swimming and cycling are two of the best ways to work out without putting a lot of stress on your joints.
Quantum Pain and Sports Medicine can help with joint pain
Whether you’re suffering from chronic joint pain as a result of getting older, or you have a sports injury that causing acute pain, we want to help. Our interventional pain management specialists are experts at diagnosing and treating all kinds of pain and injuries.
We take a holistic approach to pain management that aims to address all facets of your health and wellness. This means putting together a tailored diet plan that specifically incorporates anti-inflammatory foods, devising a customized exercise plan that’s geared toward your age and activity level, and recommending other therapies and treatments that can help reduce or eliminate your pain.
Call 469.913.6136 or contact us to set up and appointment today.