Ways & How

How to Treat Arthritis Pain

How to Treat Arthritis Pain

A degenerative condition characterized by inflammation of the joints, arthritis causes stiffness and pain. The most common type, osteoarthritis gets worse with age. Caused by wear and tear of the joints over the years, it remains the leading cause of disability worldwide. Fortunately, you can learn how to treat arthritis pain and improve your daily life.

  1. Lose weight if needed. Excess weight puts undue pressure on your joints, most especially your hips, knees, and ankles. Therefore, it is important to be at a healthy weight for your height. This will result in greater mobility and flexibility and less stress on your joints, thereby significantly reducing joint pain and prevent damage to them.

  2. Exercise more. Not just great for heart health, exercise decreases arthritis pain. Regular movement helps maintain joint flexibility and endurance. A good exercise regimen strengthens your muscles and improves your range of motion. When choosing an exercise routine, stick to activities that build muscles around your joints but do not harm the joints themselves.

    Focus on stretching and range of motion exercises. Next, progress gradually with strength training. You should also engage in low-impact exercises, such as water aerobics, swimming, walking, and cycling. Avoid high impact activities, including running, jumping, and tennis.

  3. Use hot and cold therapy. The application of heat to painful joints might relieve pain temporarily, as it eases the stiffness. You can apply heating pads to aching joints, immerse your joints in warm paraffin wax, place an electric blanket or heating pad over your joints at night, or simply take a hot bath or shower. Just be careful not to burn yourself, and do not use heating pads for more than 20 minutes at one time. Follow it up with cold therapy to relieve pain and inflammation in sore joints and muscles. You can wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it on aching joints for quick pain relief.

  4. Modify your diet. Not all fats are bad for your body. Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish oil, to reduce joint pain and stiffness. Found in black currants, another helpful fatty acid is gamma-linoleic acid. Lastly, the spice turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which can reduce arthritis pain.

  5. Try alternative treatments. Some treatments known to work against arthritic pain include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acupuncture, and relaxation therapy. CBT is a combination of talk therapy and behavioral modifications that can help you identify and break the cycle of self-defeating thoughts and actions—very common among people experiencing arthritic pain. Those who have tried acupuncture swear by its pain-relieving benefits, while relaxation therapy like meditation, yoga and deep breathing might ease arthritis pain.

  6. Get a massage. Regular massage can reduce joint pain and stiffness as well as improve your range of motion. But before you visit a massage parlor, make sure that your massage therapist knows that you have arthritis so that he or she can tailor the massage to best suit you.

  7. Take medications. Some painkillers you can take are paracetamol, tramadol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroids. In addition, consider herbal supplements, such as gingko, boswellia, and stinging nettle, since these plants can fight arthritis pain. Just make sure to talk to your doctor first before taking any of these drugs and supplements.

Combining several ways on how to treat arthritis pain increases the likelihood of doing away with it altogether. Even though certain ones may not work for you, always start with healthy lifestyle choices and natural remedies first before considering painkillers and other drugs.


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