Arthritis is debilitating for many Americans. The pain is so debilitating it is a life-changing. It puts severe limits on their daily activities for leisure as well as employment. When asked, an arthritic patient will tell you that if they have to place their level of pain on a scale, it would rank seven to 10, and some would rank theirs off the scale.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis and other diseases that are related to it. The main types of arthritis are:
Each of these can cause a person different pain in different ways and this is where professional pain management is helpful. The symptoms of pain can range from having a fever or experiencing a rash.
As painful as it is, there is a purpose to having pain. It is you body’s way of providing to your brain that something is wrong. It is telling your brain that is has a problem and needs attention. Pain is your body’s natural protective response.
Arthritis Pain Causes
With arthritis and its related diseases, pain is commonly felt in the body’s joints. Each person will experience it in different ways from a burning sensation to a tight or tingling sensation. It may be a dull pain consistently or frequent sharp pains. Regardless of what type of pain you are experiencing, pain management is something that each person seeks.
The following can cause arthritis joint pain:
• Joint and tissue inflammation common in psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
• Bone rubbing together because cartilage and lubricating fluids are depleted causing the bones to rub against each other, common with osteoarthritis
• Joints inflamed from uric acid crystals build up common with gout
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that over 76 million of Americans are suffering from chronic pain with over half of them said to be from some form of arthritis. So with such a widespread problem, you have to wonder if anything can be done in the way of pain management.
Well, there are medications galore, both prescription and over-the-counter that will provide pain management. They need to be used properly and when they aren’t, which is very common, the possible risks are astounding. Even when taken as directed, many of them can cause damage after a period of time.
This is why more and more people are willing to explore alternative therapy and treatment to find that pain relief. And fortunately, there are many options today, some of which we’ll review here:
1. Topical Medications
• Creams, gels, and patches are popular. They are applied to the area of the body where the pain is experienced and supply sodium channel blockers like lidocaine or prilocaine. These are available over-the-counter and there are also prescription NSAIDs that come in the form of drops, gels, patches or sprays as well.
2. TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
• TENS unit is a pocket-sized device, making it great because it is portable, that sends electrical current by way of electrodes and wires that are placed on the areas of pain. This is not a recommended pain management method for anyone that has infections, open wounds or a pacemaker.
3. The right footwear
• Over thirty percent of those suffering from osteoarthritis are not wearing the right shoes. What researchers have found is that shoes that are flat and flexible such as flip-flops or sneakers reduce the amount of force that exerted on knee joints as much as 15 percent.
4. Steroid injections
• Corticosteroids or steroids as they are more commonly known. They are the synthetic version of the hormone cortisol and reduce inflammation, providing pain management.
These are just four ways for a person suffering from arthritis to find pain management help. A pain doctor may prescribe one or more of these at the same along with prescription medication.