Throughout the body, any place where bones connect forms a joint, facilitating movement and providing support to the body. Any damage to these joints, whether from disease or injury, can interfere with your daily activity and cause a lot of discomfort. When this pain becomes chronic, it can lead to debilitating pain. While the root cause of joint pain is not always reversible, there are a number of ways to manage joint pain with the help of a Tucker orthopedics clinic. In order to treat joint pain, it’s also critical to understand why it can be so serious.
Causes of Chronic Joint Pain
The possible cause of your joint pain is likely related to your age, lifestyle, and other existing conditions. Things like a recent sports injury or car accident may provide a simple explanation for pain and the chance to prevent the issue from becoming chronic, while conditions or structural problems are more likely to cause ongoing pain. The underlying cause is often a problem with the lining of the joint, the bones in or near the joint, or the connective tissue surrounding the joint. Nerves can also be impacted.
The most common reasons for chronic joint pain are conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, or gout. Knees, hips, and shoulders are the most commonly affected joints, though any joint in the body can experience pain, including knuckles in the fingers or the jaw. The cause of your pain may dictate the best treatments in your specific situation.
5 At-Home Treatments for Chronic Joint Pain
In the case of chronic pain, the focus is usually on the management of symptoms and preventing worsening of the symptoms rather than a full recovery from the cause of the pain. While you should always work in tandem with a Tucker orthopedics clinic, there are a number of ways to manage pain at home with natural and non-invasive measures.
Hot and Cold Compresses
Alternating hot and cold treatment can offer immediate relief for joint pain in different scenarios. Cold therapy is best for inflamed and swollen areas, such as those affected with arthritis, while heat therapy is best for soothing painful and stiff areas. Neither should be applied for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Some topical treatments can relieve joint pain and related muscle aches, though they should be used sparingly and carefully as overdose is still possible with topical treatments. Your doctor will be able to help you determine the best options for you.
Low or no impact exercise, like walking or swimming, can help your joints stay loose and mobile and prevent further damage. You should always warm-up before exercising with gentle stretching exercises to increase blood flow and avoid anything too intensive.
Over-the-counter pain medication will not address the root cause of your pain, but it can offer temporary relief. NSAIDs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen not only reduce pain, but can also reduce inflammation as well, allowing you to move more easily and facilitating other treatments like exercise.
Certain choices you make can cause or exacerbate your joint pain. For example, overweight people tend to have more pressure on their joints, and losing weight may relieve that pressure. Supplements to your diet may also increase bone strength.
3 Medical Treatments for Chronic Joint Pain
In addition to managing symptoms, it is important to work with a Tucker orthopedics clinic to address the root cause of your joint pain to prevent further injury. Along with home care, your doctor may recommend these treatments.
Like exercising at home, physical therapy can help increase your muscle strength and range of motion through a series of exercises. You may also learn techniques and movements that can help relieve joint pain.
Pain Relieving Injections
Corticosteroid injections may be provided when symptoms are persistent and impact quality of life. This injection offers long-lasting treatment of pain without surgery being necessary. Injections are directly at the site of your joint pain and relieve both swelling and pain.
Joint Replacement Surgery
In severe cases where pain cannot be relieved otherwise, a joint replacement can be performed by an orthopedic surgeon. The painful joint is removed and replaced with prosthetic parts that work like the original joint without the pain.
Joint Pain Relief in Tucker
If you are suffering from chronic joint pain, there are ways to find relief. At AICA Tucker, our orthopedists work with holistic teams of other experts to develop care plans specific to your needs. Call us today to schedule your first appointment with a Tucker orthopedics clinic.