Dealing with arthritis joint pain can be frustrating. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can help treat pain and improve your symptoms. Explore this guide on joint pain relief, and start soothing away the pain caused by arthritis.
Living with Arthritis Joint Pain
When you have arthritis joint pain, it can make ordinary everyday tasks a challenge. Cooking, cleaning, driving, and gardening: whether we realize it or not, our joints are with us from day start to finish, helping us do the activities we love. Joint pain is a hallmark symptom of arthritis. Arthritis joint pain typically occurs during activity, after long activity, or at the end of the day.i How can we manage arthritis joint pain? In order to find joint pain relief, it helps to understand what joints are and how they work, as well as the causes and symptoms of arthritis joint pain.
What Are Joints?
Most people have a general idea of how joints function. We learn about joints as early as primary school through games and songs like “Dem Bones.” Just to refresh your memory, joints are moveable connections between two bones.ii Each joint has a joint cavity and joint capsule.iii
Joint surfaces are covered with cartilage that range from approximately around 0.2 and 0.5 mm thick.iv The cartilage provides a smooth surface for the bones and prevents them from rubbing together too much. You have joints at your elbows, knees, ankles, and various other places on your body.
What Causes Arthritis Joint Pain?
One common cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis (OA). A degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is caused by the wear-and-tear of joints as we age.v Do you remember the joint cartilage we talked about earlier? When you have osteoarthritis, that cartilage begins to break down and the underlying bone changes.vi The resulting symptoms: stiffness, swelling, decreased range of motion, and—in most cases—joint pain. You can experience joint pain due to arthritis in your hands, hips, knees, and other areas of your body.vii Course of treatment and options for joint pain relief vary from individual to individual.
How to Relieve Joint Pain Due to OA
If your joints are bothering you and you think osteoarthritis might be the cause, the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor. Together, you and your doctor can talk about your symptoms and determine your diagnosis. If the doctor decided that OA is the cause of your joint pain, don’t worry. The diagnosis can feel scary at first, but know that many individuals have OA (32.5 million adults in the US).vii You are not alone, and there are many resources available to help guide you on your arthritis journey
There are plenty of joint pain relief options available to you to help with the aches and discomfort of arthritis. From easy home remedies to over-the counter medication to relieve arthritis joint pain, explore the tips below to find the approach that works for you.
When you’re seeking joint pain relief, the best place to start is by examining your everyday lifestyle habits. Do your best to maintain a healthy weight. Excess pounds put more weight on the joints (especially the hips and knees) which can worsen arthritis symptoms.ix If you like to exercise, doing physical activities such as walking, biking, swimming, and other types of exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, build strength, and improve flexibility to help with arthritis pain.x On the flip side of things, you may want to avoid high-impact exercise like running and jumping rope, which might actually trigger arthritis pain.xi
As far as diet goes, there isn’t one special food that immediately alleviates pain. However, eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet can help support the health of your joints as well as your health as a whole. Cleveland Clinic recommends eating a Mediterranean style diet complete with low-glycemic fruit, vegetables legumes, healthy fats, and omega-3-rich fish.xii Avoid highly processed carbohydrates and refined sugars which can aggravate inflammation.
In addition to making healthy lifestyle choices, there are a few natural remedies you can try to help find arthritis joint pain relief. Not all natural remedies are scientifically proven to alleviate joint pain. In addition, success rates for natural remedies can vary from person to person.
To start, acupuncture helps relieve arthritis pain for some individuals.xiii However, it might take a few weeks to notice any improvement. Heating and cooling pads may also help with arthritis joint pain.xiv If you find heat helpful, a hot shower might also benefit for you. Ice packs can also be beneficial, especially after you exercise. Massages bring some individuals relief, as the massage can help relieve arthritis pain and stiffness temporarily.xv For some people, physical therapy is a good option, depending on the cause of the joint pain.xvi
There are a number of over-the-counter options for arthritis joint pain relief. Oral NSAIDs like ibuprofen can be used to treat general joint pain, whereas other options like Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel are specially designed to treat arthritis pain. If you don’t have any allergies or sensitivities to NSAIDs, you may want to consider Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel for arthritis joint pain. The first full prescription strength OTC NSAID gel for arthritis pain, Voltaren Gel helps relieve joint pain and inflammation. Unlike other pain relief creams, Voltaren Gel is designed specifically for arthritis to reduce intense pain, stiffness, and improve daily activity.
While arthritis joint pain can be frustrating, taking a holistic approach to treatment can help bring relief. Focus on fostering a healthy lifestyle and utilize natural and over-the-counter remedies available to you to help with the pain. Pain shouldn’t stand in the way of you doing the things you love—and it doesn’t have to!