FAQ’s on Arthritis and Joint Pain

CDC reports that arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the US. Women are more affected than men.

Arthritis results in stiff, sore, swollen and painful joints. These can be any bone jointsincluding the hips, knees, shoulders, ankles and wrists. The most common form of arthritis is chronic Almost half of the adults who are more tha 65 years old suffer from some form of arthritis, as per the National Institute of Pain. It is extremely painful and widespread. The condition starts with joint inflammation and can disable the person, if not treated.

What are the signs of Arthritis?

The most common signs of arthritis are –

  • Swollen joints
  • Stiff joints
  • Joint pain
  • Joint is red or warm to touch
  • Joint Tenderness,pain, inflammation Limited mobility in the joint

If you experience one or more of the above symptoms for longer than a few weeks, you may be suffering from arthritis. You need not live with pain, if it is so. Arthritis can be treated with pain management and treatment that can help you cope with the painful symptoms you experience.

How can arthritis pain be treated?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. There is gradual wear and tear on the weight bearing joints causing pain and inflammation. Although arthritis can’t be cured, it can be treated and the disease progression can be delayed.

The first step is medication. Treatment can be done with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Medication can reduce inflammation of the joints,relieve the painand enable people to carry out daily activities with minimal pain.

Physical therapy is recommended along with medication. Research shows that regular exercise can help to relieve pain. Moving the joints keeps them flexible and fluid. Walking, low-impact aerobics, and strength training are helpful in the pain relief in arthritis. Just one treatment of physical therapy that includes active participation by the patient can offer significant relief from symptoms (Klepper, et al., Arthritis Care and Research, 2001).

The use of a TENS unit may also be recommended. It is carried out by a physical therapist and involvesthe use of electrical impulse stimulation to the affected area. The gentle pulsations provide relief from pain associated with arthritis (Ying, et al., King’s College London British Journal of Community Nursing, 2007).

Joint injections are also effective in managing arthritis pain. A corticosteroid is injectedto reduce inflammation in the joint, relievingpain and improving range of motion and mobility (Leslie, et al., Pain, 2010). Joint injections may alsobe administered with other medication or with the use of physical therapy. Combination therapy offers remarkable benefits for the patient.

Can arthritis be prevented?Arthritis cannot be cured. But pain and symptoms can be managed. Prevention is important but not possible. Obesity, poor nutrition and lack of exercise, all contribute to arthritis. Once the disease has set in, you can improve your living with modifications to your daily life.Weight management can ease pain and discomfort in arthritis. Warm and cold packs can reduce a flare up, and soaking in a warm tub also eases symptoms. You can design a home remedy plan that will help you cope with the symptoms of arthritis.

Alternative therapies can help you cope with the pain too. Seek your doctor or pain specialist’s advice to discuss all available options for chronic arthritis pain. From physical therapy to acupuncture, there are several non-invasive procedures that can relieve the pain.