One of the most common forms of pain affecting individuals is joint pain. It is estimated that at least one- third of all Americans experience joint pain at some point in their lifetime. Joint pain can range from a mild irritation all the way to debilitating. Most joint pain is acute pain, meaning it goes away after a short period of time. However, many times individuals also experience chronic joint pain, which is defined as joint pain that last longer than 3 months. Listed below are several ways joint pain is treated and managed. As with any other type of pain treatment it should always be done under the strict care of a doctor:
Medications for Joint Pain
Many times joint pain results from swelling and can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These drugs are extremely effective at
reducing inflammation, but care should be taken, because they have been known to increase cardiovascular stress and should not be taken during times of extreme physical exertion. Individuals experiencing mild pain that is not due to swelling may experience relief from pain by taking a medication such as Tylenol. Depending on the severity of joint pain a doctor may also elect to prescribe opiate based painkillers to accelerate patients pain and discomfort.
Topical Medications and Ointments for Joint Pain
There are several different ointments that have been proven to help alleviate certain forms of joint pain, The most common of which is methyl salicylate also known as bengay.
Injections for Joint Pain
Often individuals are unable to completely resolve joint pain from oral medications alone and must receive a steroid injection from a doctor. Steroid injections are typically used to treat arthritis, and chronic joint inflammation. Although steroid injections are the most common injection procedures for joint pain, doctors may also inject a substance known as hyaluronan, which is a synthetic version of joint fluid. Doctors may also use needles to drain fluid excess fluid buildups that may also contribute to joint pain.
Physical Therapy for Joint Pain
Physical therapist also employ a wide range of exercises that can help strengthen joints and drastically improve range of motion. A physical therapist may also in conjunction with a doctor put patients on an exercise and diet program. Individuals that are excessively overweight may see relief of pain in joints with a reduction in overall body weight, because of the reduced stress placed on joints.