Pain and inflammation can occur in any joint in the body and for a wide variety of causes but most commonly it is caused by arthritis. Nearly 54 million Americans suffer from joint pain caused by arthritis. Symptoms can range from mild discomfort to debilitating, all-consuming pain.
Diagnosing the cause of your joint pain can be difficult but doing so is critical in order to successfully treat the condition. There are many illnesses that can cause flare-ups of joint pain and a rheumatologist and a pain-management specialist are the two doctors who can accurately diagnose and effectively treat your joint pain.
Possible Causes of Joint Pain
To restore normal joint functioning, it is vital to ascertain the underlying cause of your joint pain.
Lots of joint problems begin with an acute injury that weakens the structural integrity of the joint. Repetitive use injuries (“wear-and-tear” injuries) can also lead to joint pain.
Chronic illnesses such as diabetes can cause joint pain in numerous locations that can last months or years, if not a lifetime. Degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis breaks down of cartilage at the joints, causing bones to rub upon one another, which triggers swelling and pain.
Even autoimmune illnesses like fibromyalgia can cause joints to become inflamed and painful.
Collagen loss – something that occurs with age – can make aches and pains in the joints more frequent. By the age of 60, more than half of the body’s collagen levels have been depleted.
Treating Joint Pain
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your joint pain. Correct therapies can only be implemented with an accurate diagnosis of the problem.
For most moderate to severe cases of joint pain, over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help. When these medications no longer effectively ease your pain, your pain-management doctors may recommend steroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain.
Lifestyle Changes to Ease Joint Pain
There are several things you can do on your own to combat joint pain, like maintaining a healthy weight. There is a strong correlation between weight and joint pain. The more weight the joints are forced to handle, the faster they wear out.
Gentle, low-impact exercises can help reduce the pain in your joints. Yoga, water aerobics, conditioning exercises like walking or stair climbing, and Tai Chi all have been effective at improving joint pain symptoms. If joint pain has forced you into a sedentary lifestyle, simply getting out and regularly and getting even small amounts of exercise can bring relief and help you regain lost range of motion.
Bathing in Epsom salts following strenuous activity can help. These salts are high in magnesium and sulfates that fight inflammation and relax tense muscles.
Altering your dietary habits can also help. Reducing or eliminating gluten and dairy, two of the most inflammatory foods that exist, may help pain associated with swelling. Eliminating processed foods, refined sugars, and trans fats may also help reduce inflammation.
The Pain Can Get Better
If you suffer from joint pain and are fed up with dealing with it, you do not have to suffer anymore. Contact the professionals at Louisiana Pain Care and start enjoying a pain-free life that allows you to sleep, exercise, and be as active as you can. Call them at (318) 323-6405 or request an appointment online and start living life again.