Your body has helped you do amazing things for many years, but you can’t expect it to last forever. After decades of use, our joints can become inflamed, stiff, and pain-ridden as they develop osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Because this pain occurs throughout the day, activated by movement and disrupting our daily lives, it’s hard to ignore. Plus, it can eventually affect a body at rest as well. So today, we’re exploring how to relieve arthritis pain. Whether the pain is in your hands, your knees, your wrists, your feet, your back, or even your hips, we have some tips to help alleviate your pain so that you can get back to enjoying the activities you love and the rest you cherish.
How to Relieve Arthritis Pain
Lose weight. If you are overweight, weight loss can greatly alleviate your symptoms, especially in the lower body. After all, when you maintain a healthy weight, you’re putting less pressure on your joints. Many researchers and doctors agree that this is the best way to improve your quality of life and increase your ability to participate in physical activities.
Exercise. Some say that exercise exacerbates arthritis pain, but unless you’re doing a high-impact sport like running, it actually relieves joint pain. Exercise strengthens your muscles and the tissues around joint cartilage, which can help reduce inflammation and pain. In addition, it can help you lose weight. Follow a regular exercise plan that includes both aerobic activity and strength-training movements.
Use assistive devices. Items like canes, braces, and splints can help redistribute your weight and support your suffering joints. Although losing weight is a more effective solution, using an assistive device can also help reduce your joint’s load. If you’re interested in this sort of solution, you might want to meet with a physical therapist as well.
Head to the pharmacy. For immediate relief, try applying hot and cold compresses directly to the joints in pain. You could also use a painkiller, an anti-inflammatory drug, an opioid (such as codeine), capsaicin cream, or paracetamol. Although these methods won’t benefit your body in the long-term, they may help you manage your symptoms. Ask your doctor for recommendations and advice before you begin taking any new medications.
Undergo surgery. If your symptoms are extreme and you aren’t finding relief with any other methods, you may choose to undergo surgery. Osteotomy realigns the leg to transfer the force of the joint, bone fusion surgery increases stability and reduces joint pain (at the expense of your flexibility), and joint replacement surgery involves completely replacing the joint with a plastic or metal device. All of these surgeries have a low risk of complication, but they’re also expensive and they may not be effective for all patients.
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Before you make any major changes to your lifestyle, be sure to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Living with osteoarthritis can be painful, but with treatment, you can greatly ease your arthritis pain.
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