Joint pain is something millions of people live with on a daily basis. If you are one of them, there are steps you can take to try and reduce the problem or eliminate it entirely. If you are one of the fortunate people who don’t have to deal with this problem, follow these tips, and there is a good chance you will be able to avoid joint discomfort.
Medicine for Joint Pain
If you deal with joint pain on a regular basis, your doctor will likely first recommend over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, Aleve, Advil or another type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Tylenol can be effective if you have mild pain that is not accompanied by swelling.
However, if over-the-counter drugs don’t help, you may need to take a stronger medicine such as an opioid. But you have to be extremely careful when taking opioids because they can not only make you very drowsy, but they can also be habit forming.
Other medications that may help with joint pain include muscle relaxants and, in some cases, antidepressants.
Topical Creams and Ointments
One of the main ingredients in chili peppers, capsaicin can help reduce joint pain caused by certain conditions such as arthritis. This agent triggers endorphins, which are chemicals produced by the body that block pain signals. Arthritis creams such as BenGay that contain methyl salicylate can also be effective.
If you find that neither medications nor topical agents bring the relief you seek, your doctor may recommend a physical therapy program to not only strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint, but also to stabilize the joint itself. There are several techniques that have been proven to work, including electrical nerve stimulation, joint manipulation, ultrasound and others.
Short-Term Joint Pain Relief
Many people only experience joint pain for a short time and find that home remedies help relieve that discomfort. For example, rest can be extremely effective, as can icing the problem area 15 minutes at a time, several times per day. If you are suffering from muscle spasms as well as joint pain, try using a heating pad a few times each day.
One of the best ways to not only treat existing joint pain but to help prevent it from occurring in the first place is to exercise on a regular basis. Here are some of the best exercises to alleviate joint pain:
- Walking — A daily walk is not only great for your joints — it can also improve your heart health.
- Swimming — Getting in the pool can stretch muscles and soothe aching joints. It can also improve your mood and the quality of your sleep.
- Using weights — If you can strengthen your muscles, you will put much less strain on your joints. Talk to your doctor before you start any sort of weight-training program, however, because you don’t want to overdo it and cause a serious injury.
Talk to Us About Treatment for Joint Pain
Regional Orthopedics has provided joint pain treatment to patients in Staten Island, New York City, Jersey City and several other cities throughout the area since 1999. If you would like more information about how we can help you, contact us online or give us a call at 718.477.5479.