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How to Stop Joint Pain?

You are not the only one suffering from joint pain; according to statistics published by CDC, tens of millions of Americans have joint pain, and unfortunately, this number is going to rise.

Joint pain is not just a pain because it can affect the quality of your daily performance. Therefore, you will need a set of supportive measures to manage your pain. Our physical therapists at Health & Care Professional Network can control your pain by non-invasive approaches and help you regain your daily performance sooner.

How can this chronic pain be controlled? Is medication therapy a definitive solution, or should we reconsider our lifestyle? Here, smart strategies that will help you relieve symptoms and find support when you need it most.

 

Causes of joint pain

The joint is called the junction of two bones. The shoulders, hips, elbows, and knees are the joints of our body. Joint pain can be caused by illness or injury. The pain can be so severe that you need to be hospitalized. The cause of joint pain is different. Determining the cause of the joint pain can help us find an effective treatment plan. The most common causes of pain are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: It is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects various systems such as joints, skin, eyes, lungs, blood vessels, and heart.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: It is a form of arthritis that occurs in people with psoriasis. Joint pain and swelling are the main symptoms of this disease.
  • Viral infections such as hepatitis and rubella: These viral infections cause joint pain and fever.
  • Lupus: Is an immune system disorder in which healthy cells and tissues are invaded.
  • Scleroderma: The immune system invades the connective tissue under the skin and causes these skin areas to tighten.
  • Inflammation of the tendons
  • Gout: Accumulation of urate crystals in the joints leads to severe pain and inflammation called gout.
  • Osteoporosis: In this disease, the bones become very weak and fragile.
  • Osteomyelitis: In this disease, the infection reaches the bones through the bloodstream and surrounding tissues, leading to pain, swelling, and fever.
  • Fibromyalgia: This is a widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, pain, mood issues, and many other symptoms.
  • Physical injuries and overuse of a joint

 

Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for joint pain, but there are ways to help us control the pain. You should always consider the following points:

  • The use of topical pain relievers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be effective.
  • Do not forget moderate exercising and maintaining physical activity.
  • You need to keep your weight in a healthy range so that you can better deal with joint pain.
  • Getting a massage, taking a warm bath, and getting enough rest can help control joint pain.

 

When to see a doctor

In some cases, the joint pain goes away on its own, but in other cases, you must see a doctor:

  • The area around the joint is red and warm to the touch
  • Your pain lasts for more than three days
  • You have a fever but no other signs of the infections like flu

 

Changes in life routine

  • Try to move your joints. Gentle and daily stretching exercises will help you improve the range of motion of your joints.
  • A physical or occupational therapist helps you learn how to sit, stand and move properly.
  • You need to keep a balance when doing daily activities. Avoid overdoing.
  • Maintaining good sleep hygiene helps reduce your pain. To minimize nighttime discomfort, use a suitable mattress and choose a pain reliever that lasts until morning.

 

How to exercise despite joint pain?

It is true that exercise helps you control your pain, but you need to be careful about how you exercise. Undoubtedly, a physical or occupational therapist can be very helpful in this regard. In other words, if you suffer from joint pain, you should focus on strengthening the muscles through exercise. Exercise should not put pressure on the joint.

Avoid the following activities:

  • Running
  • Tennis
  • High-impact aerobics
  • Jumping

 

Control your inflammation with healthier foods

If you have joint pain for reasons such as psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, you need to control the inflammation. Adherence to inflammation-fighting foods can help. So try to include the following in your diet:

  • Oily fish such as salmon
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Colorful veggies (tomatoes, peppers, and beets)
  • Low-fat dairy products
  •  Whole grains

 

Medications

There are several medications available to control your pain. Most of these medications are relatively safe, but you should consult your doctor to have a medication plan. For example, ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Acetaminophen are over-the-counter medications that you can use. Topical medications containing capsaicin are another options that can be used alone or in combination with oral medications. Capsaicin inhibits a neurotransmitter called substance P and prevents the transmission of pain signals to the brain. Besides, it releases chemicals called endorphins, which are involved in inhibiting pain. Topical compounds containing methyl salicylate can also be used to reduce joint pain.

Do not forget to consult your doctor before taking any medications. Besides, avoid overtreatment and undertreatment.

 

The role of the physical therapist in controlling joint pain

The physical therapist helps you strengthen the muscles around the joint and improve the range of motion of the joint. Some of the therapeutic techniques used by physical therapists are:

  • Ultrasound: This technique uses sound waves to reduce pain and improve joint function.
  • Heat or cold therapy: Heat stimulates blood circulation and reduces muscle spasms. Conversely, cold reduces swelling by constricting blood vessels.
  • Electrical nerve stimulation: In this method, an electric current is sent to the nerves to control the pain signals.
  • Manipulation: Physical therapists manipulate muscles, skin, and tendons by particular massage techniques.

 

Anodyne therapy at Health & Care Professional Network

Anodyne therapy is one of the treatment methods for physical pain in the Health & Care Professional Network. In this method, infrared light is used to increase local blood flow to reduce pain and spasm. Our physical therapists use this method to treat various problems, including chronic pain such as joint pain.

 

Joint pain: Interactions of your mind and body

Chronic pain in your joints may have negative effects on your mood. Your daily activities may also be disrupted, and you may become frustrated. In this condition, your pain will be harder to control. The following treatment options can help you eliminate the destructive interactions of your mind and body:

  • Meditation, yoga, listening to music, and whatever helps you relax can control your pain.
  • Using heating pads and ice packs on aching joints, placing the joints in warm paraffin wax, or taking hot baths can help reduce your pain. Note that heating pads should not be placed on your body for more than 20 minutes.
  • Massage can also positively impact controlling joint pain, but you should make sure that your massage therapist has enough information and experience in this field.
  • Acupuncture is a good complementary approach for controlling chronic pain, including joint pain. In this method, a trained acupuncturist inserts very thin needles into specific areas of the body. Symptoms of improvement usually appear a few weeks after starting treatment.

Be aware that having negative thoughts is associated with an increase in your pain. Try to distract yourself by doing some activities that you enjoy. Spend more time with the people who support you and talk to a therapist.

 

The bottom line: Talk to your doctor

As we explained, joint pain occurs for various reasons. You may experience this pain as part of growing older, or underlying diseases and physical injury can lead to joint pain. You and your physician need to work together to reduce the pain.

Keep in mind that if you do not control the pain, your joint may be seriously damaged. So seeking medical advice, getting help from an experienced physical therapist, making lifestyle changes, and exercising can help relieve your pain.

4 Comments

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