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One of the most common conditions affecting individuals is joint pain. It is estimated that at least one- third of all Americans experience pain in their joints at some point in their lifetime. Most describe this as a physical discomfort where two or more of their bones meet to form the joint. This pain can range from mild, barely noticeable to disabling.
What is Joint Pain?
Joint pain can range from a mild irritation all the way to debilitating. Most is acute pain, meaning it goes away after a short period of time. However, many times individuals also experience chronic pain in their knees, elbow,etc. which is defined as joint pain that last longer than 3 months. As with any other type of pain treatment it should always be done under the strict care of a doctor.
What Causes Pain in Multiple Joints?
Acute pain in multiple joints is most often due to inflammation, a chronic condition flare up or gout. However, chronic pain in multiple joints can typically be attributed to osteoarthritis or an inflammatory disorder.
Pain that seems to come from joints, can sometimes come from structures outside of the joints–ligaments, tendons, or muscles. We see examples of this in patients with bursitis or tendinitis.
What is the Best Way to Maintain Healthy Joints?
- Improving Posture - The human body is constructed to maintain a specific posture. Holding the appropriate straightened posture reduces the amount of strain placed on joints by allowing the skeletal and muscle system to carry a larger amount of weight. Individuals with poor posture can easily make a substantial change with just a little effort.
- Relax - In case you needed another reason to treat yourself with a trip to the spa you can do your joints a huge favor by getting a massage or taking a paraffin bath. For those of us who can't afford to hit the spa on a regular basis, soaking in a warm bath can help relax joints and muscles, and there is no need to pay for an expensive masseuse when you can personally massage your joints.
- Let The Big Joints Do The Work - When doing any type of heavy lifting, it is important to allow larger joints, such as knees or elbows, to do the major work. Placing to much stress on joints in the hands or feet can easily cause injury or speed up wear and tear of a joint, leading to pain. Larger joints are designed to carry heavier loads and are less likely to be damaged in the process.
- Get In Shape - Joint damage through everyday activity is substantially increased if an individual is overweight. Less weight on your frame means less work for your joints during everyday activity. Reducing your body weight can prevent damage to joints and can also alleviate existing jointpain.
- Cut The Caffeine - High caffeine intake has been known to weaken bones and also weaken
joints. By reducing caffeine intake you can promote healthier bones and joints. Increasing calcium intake can also help promote stronger and healthier bones and can be accomplished through a nutritional supplement or by increasing intake of foods that are natural sources of calcium. Although there is no way to completely prevent damage to joints, making these lifestyle changes will promote greater joint health and reduce the likelihood of joint related issues and pain in the future.
Joint Pain Treatment
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.
There are several different ointments that have been proven to help alleviate certain forms of pain, The most common of which is methyl salicylate also known as Bengay.
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 this 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 chronic pain.
Exercising regularly may help you decrease pain and increase the mobility and flexibility without causing joint damage. 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. In general, low-impact activities, ice, and over the counter pain medications may also show results for mild and acute pain.
Joint Pain Relief
The most critical step on the path to recovery is finding a pain management doctor who can address your pain management needs successfully. The Pain Relief Center and its five specialized institutes are dedicated to meeting any and all of a patient’s needs. Located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Dr. Rodriguez and his friendly staff will help you along the path to recovery.
Our new center in Dallas is part of a nationwide development by Pain Relief Centers, geared to providing individualized and comprehensive healing and pain management services with unprecedented levels of compassion, care, and comfort for each patient.