Tips for managing joint pain

Ice and elevation are some of the tips for managing joint pain

Photo by CC user timevanson on Flickr

Knees bothering you more these days? While these instances of joint pain are an unavoidable consequence of getting older, don’t let it stop you from making the most of every day. Below, we will discuss several tips for managing joint pain effectively.

1) Seek out supplements

The lack of certain nutrients in the diet of a joint pain sufferer can contribute to their condition. By taking joint health supplements such as glucosamine, green tea and chondroitin, they can impart effects upon the body that can greatly curtail their suffering.

For example, glucosamine has anti-inflammatory properties, and green tea also has antioxidants that can help combat the drivers behind joint pain. There are many supplement brands out there, so be sure to shop around for the best price before buying over the internet.

2) Take medications

If supplements fail to give you the pain relief you seek, then up the ante by taking medication that targets joint pain specifically. Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen will often do the trick, as will acetaminophen for milder pain.

For particularly severe cases, you might have to get a prescription for opioid drugs. This causes significant drowsiness though, so going on a course of this medication might exclude you from being able to complete certain work tasks.

3) Begin a physical therapy regimen

Sometimes, muscle weakness or the misalignment of certain body structures can be the primary cause behind joint pain.

Undergoing physical therapy may help you resolve these problems, as stabilizing the joint through the strengthening of relevant muscle groups, or improving its range of motion may be all that is required to bring you the relief that you seek.

If you are overweight, losing weight through a specially designed exercise program and a change in diet will relieve pressure on the joint over time. While activities such as jogging and other high-impact sports may be contraindicated at first, aquatic sports such as swimming and water aerobics will give you the vehicle to increase your activity level and your health on a daily basis.

4) Make use of topical treatments

There are a number of treatments that can be applied to the exterior of a joint that can grant relief to pain sufferers. Capsaicin, a substance that gives chili peppers their zing, has the effect of blocking substance P (responsible for the transmission of pain signals to the brain) and stimulating the release of endorphins.

The application of ice bags can also reduce inflammation when applied at 15 minute intervals, several times per day. Keep a bag in the freezer that you can apply to your aching joints when you get home from work; just be sure to cover it with a towel during treatment cycles to avoid developing frostbite.

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