It is important to note that pain has been described as an undesirable sensory and emotional experience linked with actual or possible tissue damage. Remember that most types of arthritis are linked with pain that can be divided as acute and chronic. Acute pain is only temporary while chronic pain can range from mild to severe and even persist for weeks, months or years. Individuals with chronic pain find it distressing since it affects emotionally, physically, socially and psychologically.
There are various ways to manage arthritis pain. With pain relief as the main objective, many individuals usually try out several pain management techniques before finding the right one that effectively works.
Medications are commonly used to minimize arthritis pain. Doctors usually prescribe pain medications such as NSAIDs and analgesics. These medications can help provide some level of comfort but will not change the state of the disease.
Regular exercise can help maintain function and reduce the pain. Those who have arthritis must consult a doctor for a suitable exercise plan. Take note that some exercises are not ideal for those with certain types of arthritis or when joints are inflamed and swollen.
Pain can also indicate that the body requires rest. It is vital to pay close attention to this indication and allow the body enough time to recharge. The inflammation is reduced during a period of rest. Just remember though that too much rest is not good and maintain a balance between rest and exercise.
Warm water therapy
The pain and stiffness can be reduced with warm water therapy. The individual can exercise in a pool, hot tub or swim spa since water takes weight off the sore joints. The combination of heat and movement can reduce arthritis pain.
Massage therapy can help reduce the pain, swelling and inflammation as well as sooth sore muscles. Once the muscles relax and the circulation is increased, pain is reduced.
Cold therapy or cryotherapy is the preferred form of treatment for some individuals. Cold works by numbing the nerve endings in the affected areas. It also reduces the activity of the body cells as well as slowing down the flow of blood, resulting to reduced inflammation. A cold compress, frozen gel packs or plastic bag filled with ice cubes can be applied locally.
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) involves low-voltage electrical stimulation to the nerves in order to block the pain signals to the brain. The electrodes are positioned on the skin and emit electrical charge.
Meditation and relaxation techniques
Meditation and various relaxations techniques such as deep breathing and creative imagery can help ease the muscle tension and also fight fatigue.
This involves the use of a combination of relaxation, visualization and signals from a device to gain control over the pain. Once the individual is attached by electrodes to a device, he/she is taught to control muscle tension, blood pressure, temperature and heart rate.