Simple Steps for Arthritis Pain Relief


If you suffer from arthritis, you are not alone.

Usually, the first thing most individuals try is nonprescription

medications (like Aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve) for pain

relief. If this doesn’t work, the pain may increase to the point

that surgery becomes a possibility (joint repair or

replacement).

How do you manage arthritis?There is no one best way to manage arthritis pain, and no

single technique that is guaranteed to give you complete

pain relief. In fact, a combination of methods work best. Think of arthritis pain management as a

continuing journey. And this is your travel guide – you can pick your itinerary based on how your

symptoms are.

Step 1: Learn about your arthritis painPatient education is probably the most important step in pain management, according to the

American Pain

Step 2: Restore your muscle balance

Regain posture.

of compensating for a sore/painful knee or hip can result in

pain in the hip, knee, or even the ankle. Sitting slouched for

hours, jutting the abdomen out when standing can lead to

low back pain. Our therapists can observe how you sit,

stand, and walk and teach you how to adjust your posture to

decrease the stress on your joints, and help you move with

less pain.

Exercise.

muscles and improves flexibility. Our physical

therapists specialize in arthritis treatment and can suggest

appropriate movements that provide a full range of motion. Physical activity also helps blood

circulation through the body and around the joints, which help bring oxygen and nutrients to

help with the healing process. Also, did you know that losing 10 pounds of excess body

weight takes roughly 30 to 60 pounds of pressure off the knee? So talk to one of our

therapists to get you moving in the right direction!

Protect your joints.

dressing, writing and driving. We help you find alternative ways to perform your activities by

strategically integrating ‘rest periods’ and avoiding tasks that trigger joint pain and discomfort

Step 3: Do-it-yourself pain relief

In addition to doing your exercises (that we prescribe), here are a few things you can do in the

comfort of your own home:

Heat.

can help relax tight muscles, eliminate waste products like lactic acid that cause stiffness

and soreness. Here’s what you can do to increase temperature to affected joints:

Hot bath or Jacuzzi

Caution

bodies do not regulate heat as efficiently) check with your doctor first.

Heating pads

Caution: Although moist heat tends to be

more effective than dry heat, you can use

an electric heating pad. But be careful – it

is estimated that 100,000 people burn

themselves on it every year, so make sure

you DON’T fall asleep with it on! Read the

instructions before use. We can teach you exactly how to use a heating pad for

best results.

Contrast bath

Use warm water (110 deg F) and cold water (65 deg F) for areas like hands and

feet. Put your hands/feet in warm water for 5 minutes, then in cold water for 1-2

minutes. Repeat this process up to 3 times to help decrease pain and swelling

in the joint.

Cold therapy.

decreasing the blood flow to the area to decrease swelling, and reducing the pain signals to

the brain (making it less painful). After an acute flare-up, for the first 48-72 hours, use ice for

up to 15-20 minutes to decrease pain and swelling.

Rest.