There are various things you can do to effectively manage your arthritis pain. These allow you to stay healthy while more able to participate in activities of your choice. Remember, the best type of treatment for you depends on your condition. It relies on the kind of arthritis you have, its severity, and the location of symptoms.
At Advanced Pain Care, a leading center of Pain Management Doctor in Austin, healthcare professionals from different fields are involved in your arthritis treatment, letting you benefit from a multidisciplinary care plan. The focus is always on reducing joint pain and inflammation and preventing further joint damage so you can maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
Here are some ways to manage your arthritis pain.
1. Incorporate More Movement in Your Routine
Physical activity is a simple and effective way to reduce pain. It is great for those who do not want to rely too much on any pain medicine. When you are physically active, you effectively reduce pain and boost your function and mood. It invariably increases the quality of your life. Regular physical activity leads to improved sleep. It also supports bone and brain health and lets you maintain an optimal weight for your body. Moreover, you also minimize your likelihood of developing other chronic ailments. If you are not in the habit of engaging in regular exercise, start out small, such as 10 minutes of walking every day. Slowly, you will build the strength to exercise, positively affecting your overall health.
2. Use Heat and Ice Treatment
Heat and ice treatment can ease your arthritis pain. Your pain doctor or physical therapist is the right person to advise on which one to use between both of them. If heat treatment suits you, use a heating pad for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, take a warm bath or shower. You can also heat a damp washcloth in the microwave for around 20 seconds. Take it out and test whether it is hot enough for you. Now, wrap it in a dry towel and apply it to the affected area.
If you’ve been recommended ice treatment, use an ice pack on the affected joint. However, ensure not to use ice on your swollen joint for more than 20 minutes at a single time. If you keep it longer than that, it may cause frostbite. Gel-filled cold packs are another great option to treat joint pain. They are available in different sizes in the market. Keep these pads in the freezer. Alternatively, use frozen peas or ice cubes to ease the pain.
3. Drug Treatments for Arthritis
No matter what kind of arthritis you have, it’s essential to know that there is a medicine for each of them. The drug treatments for arthritis prescribed by a pain specialist help alleviate symptoms and reduce the disease’s progression. Here’s a breakdown of these treatments.
1. Painkillers and analgesics – These help ease pain that isn’t very severe. If you experience inflammation in joints, then analgesics won’t prove very effective. Medicines like Acetaminophen or Tylenol are over-the-counter drugs for arthritis. They don’t distress your heart and stomach in a manner that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents or NSAIDs do. Still, consuming them excessively is not right for the liver. A pain doctor may also prescribe opioids if you experience severe pain. However, since they have greater side effects and the potential to make them dependent, medical professionals do not consider them for a prolonged duration.
2. NSAIDS – The major impact of NSAIDs is to reduce severe inflammation. In turn, it helps minimize pain and improve function. NSAIDs have mild to moderate analgesic properties. These are independent of their anti-inflammatory effect. You must not forget that these drugs by themselves don’t change the course of rheumatoid arthritis or its impact on your joints. Naproxen or Aleve), aspirin, and ibuprofen are over the counter NSAIDs. Those like indomethacin or Indocin and celecoxib or Celebrex need a pain doctor’s prescription. Remember that these can increase your potential of having a heart attack, stroke, or a stomach bleed.
In rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthritis conditions, a higher dose decreases inflammation. The doctor initially prescribes a lower dosage for mild swelling. Lower dosages can also be prescribed if pain is the major issue or if you are an elderly patient or suffer from conditions that raise the potential for toxicity.
3. Steroids or corticosteroids – These drugs reduce inflammation by functioning like your natural cortisol hormone. Steroids start working instantly. Thus, they are considered optimal for short-term relief. However, they are associated with issues like weight gain, cataracts, and high blood pressure. They are particularly effective in treating a ‘flare-up’ of Rheumatoid arthritis as they bring the symptoms under control quickly. Your doctor may administer these drugs orally, intravenously, or intramuscularly. Sometimes, the doctor can inject them directly into the affected joint. But if the need arises to take these medications for a long time, you will be prescribed only a small amount every day.
When managing arthritis, getting an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible is imperative. It helps you start treatment at the right time. Early and effective treatment is crucial to minimizing symptoms and preventing the worsening of the condition.
Visit Advanced Pain Care to benefit from lasting pain relief. The highly qualified board-certified physicians work in a multidisciplinary manner to give you the highest possible outcome so you feel better and enjoy life as before.