If you suffer from chronic joint pain or live with someone who does, then you understand how debilitating this condition can be. It’s estimated that 100 million Americans experience some type of chronic pain due to a variety of injuries and ongoing medical conditions. What actually causes chronic pain, and how can you treat it when it starts? The answers lie in proactive remedies that address the real cause rather than ineffective bandages that only mask ongoing symptoms. Read on to learn more about chronic joint pain and what you can do to alleviate it.
OTC and Topical Remedies
Sometimes, chronic joint pain will respond effectively to over-the-counter medications and topical treatments designed to target the source of continuous discomfort. If you’re already taking prescribed medication for the pain, then talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting a new drug regimen. Certain drugs when combined with each other can create more harm than good.
Specialized Physical Therapy
Medicinal treatment isn’t your only option, and in fact medicine can have a negative long-term effect in some people. Instead, physical therapy could help relieve chronic joint pain. Physical therapists use a variety of treatment methods including heat therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, and manipulation techniques to alleviate chronic pain. Discuss this option with your doctor first; doctors can usually recommend a licensed practice that specializes in your specific type of joint pain. They’ll probably send you to a specialist, like Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center, Inc., where all the doctors just focus on relieving joint pain.
Your doctor may recommend outpatient or inpatient surgery to remedy chronic joint pain if the pain comes from an underlying medical condition. All the therapy in the world won’t heal a fractured or damaged hip bone, and surgery may be your best option for effectively eliminating chronic joint pain. Your doctor might also suggest a steroid injection to alleviate symptoms. Keep in mind that surgery is an extreme option, and recovery can take weeks or even months. However, the results may be what you need to experience ultimate relief.
Natural, Alternative Options
If the above methods don’t work or fail to provide continuous relief, then talk to your doctor about alternative treatment options. Chiropractic care, acupuncture and other forms of alternative medicine may give you the relief you seek. Also remember that preventing chronic pain triggers could significantly reduce your chance of developing this common issue. Always stretch before and after workouts, maintain a healthy diet devoid of tobacco and excessive alcohol, and mention any new symptoms to your doctor so that he or she can stay on top of the pain.