Are you experiencing joint pain? Soreness and muscle aches caused by joint pain may be relieved by over-the-counter medicines, but the pain could return as soon as the medicine wears off. The common causes of chronic joint pains are gout, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, broken bones, sprains, viral infections, rash and inflammation of the tendons.
In some instances, joint pain can only be corrected with surgery or prescription medication. But before resorting to medical assistance, you can relieve mild joint pain by performing some simple self-care that you can do at home.
At-Home Treatments for Joint Pain: Hot or Cold Therapy and Topical Treatments
Try simple at-home treatments such as putting a heating pad or ice on the affected area. Hot and cold treatments can help relieve inflammation and arthritis or joint pain.
Another treatment you can try at home is topical ointments that you can purchase over-the-counter. A component of some topical ointments, chili pepper, can provide warmth and soothe your joint pain. Other topical medications contain salicylates, menthol and camphor, responsible for the hot and cold sensations.
Further at-home treatments include wearing a compression sleeve or bandaging the joint area. To avoid joint pain, straighten up your back when working on your computer to help align your posture and prevent excess strain on your joints, muscles and spine.
Exercise and Get More Active
Get moving and get enough exercise. Exercise can help you manage your weight, keep your joints flexible and strengthen the muscles around your joints. Light exercise suggestions include walking, cycling, swimming and water activities. In addition, try to add some gentle stretching exercises. Be sure to check with a doctor before you begin any exercise program.
Weight loss can lessen the strain on your joints. Although your body can’t reverse arthritis or regrow cartilage, losing weight could be the key to losing joint pain. People who are overweight are four or five times more likely to get arthritis in their knees.
Vitamins and Supplements
Some supplements, such as glucosamine, vitamin D and fish oils, help relieve joint pain. Ask your doctor first about the appropriate vitamins and supplements suitable for your condition and joint pain problem.
Consult with a Doctor If Self-Care Doesn’t Help Your Joint Pain
Your physical therapist or a doctor can assist you with suitable options to ease joint pain. Your doctor will recommend a brace, cane or some orthotic device to support the joint pain and allow easy movement. Apart from these treatment modalities, your doctor may also point you towards a balanced fitness program to gradually help ease your pain and improve flexibility. For severe types of joint pains, the doctor may recommend surgery that involves joint replacement.
When Is the Time to See a Doctor?
It is a must to consult your doctor if the pain is accompanied by a fever, you have an unexplained weight loss, and the pain is preventing you from walking normally. Don’t let the pain interfere with your normal daily life activities! Call your doctor and schedule an appointment right away.
A Parting Reminder
The starting point to joint pain treatment is seeing a doctor who will evaluate and help pinpoint the exact cause of the pain. While at home, you can start to research self-care tips and join a community of people who also suffer the same problem. You can control the pain and inflammation at the moment with self-care at home, but it is still best to get a consultation with a doctor, especially when you can’t gauge the severity of your case. Your doctor can determine the proper diagnosis and recommend the best solution to your joint pain.