Published by Steve Hedberg on March 24, 2012 Under arthritis
Arthritis pain is one of the most common symptoms, which is almost always a symptom of the disease. However, since pain can affect people differently, it does not provide the best tool to diagnose the type or severity of the disease, although the number of joints that are tender can be a useful diagnostic factor.
In most, the pain is described as chronic, with the effectiveness of treatments varying greatly from person to person.
Since pain is such a basic and common symptom of arthritis, reducing pain is almost always a part of arthritis treatment. Medications, like NSAIDS and pain medication, as well as physical therapy, are often a part of the arthritis treatment. However, since pain can be a very personal thing, it is a good idea to find ways of reducing arthritis pain on one’s own.
The effectiveness of any single pain treatment varies, but many people find that heat and cold, massages, exercise, and water therapy can all be effective at helping to live with arthritis pain.
Heat and Cold
One of the most common myths about arthritis is that a specific climate, like a very hot or very cold, is a factor that reduces the effects of arthritis. However, warmth and cold, when applied to a joint, is soothing to some people and can help with joint pain.
Heat pads, as well as hot water bottles or hot baths, can help relax muscles, while both cold and hot has the effect of improving circulation. Cold packs, a bag of frozen peas, or a bag of ice wrapped in a towel, serve to provide a cold compress and can be applied similarly to the joints.
The effectiveness of heat or cold varies greatly from person to person and often requires some experimentation. It is relatively safe, although due to the way it affects circulation, those with circulatory disease should consult their doctor first. There is also the risk of damage to the body due to extreme temperatures, like a burn, so it is important to be conscious of the temperature of the hot or col pack.
Body massage can be effective not only at soothing muscles, but also as the result of the positive effect human contact can have on mental health. Lotions and creams are also often used, which are designed to sooth sore muscles.
Massage is a very natural reaction to pain and, for many, is the first thing done when an injury occurs. When treating arthritis, this can help reduce inflammation by spreading out fluids in the joint.
With that said, when done improperly, massage can also result in serious injury.
It is a good idea to avoid chiropractors in general, as they often end up being a money pit and are not actual medical professionals, despite their claims.
Often, their treatments and adjustments end up doing damage to the body, despite sometimes providing limited relief.
Water offers the advantage of allowing people to stretch and exercise muscles, without putting a lot of strain on the body. In many ways, it is like being weightless, which can be a very safe and healthy way to exercise.
Jacuzzis and other spa like treatments can also help with arthritis pain, tying into the hot/cold principals described above.
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