Pain relievers such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin) or opioids work well at treating nociceptive pain, because they interrupt the transmission of pain signals from. The methods used to control short-term (acute) pain, such as strong painkillers, are not useful for controlling the chronic pain of arthritis. Other methods such as. Nov 6, Arthritis can be separated into two types: inflammatory, such as Learn about the different symptoms and how to describe joint pain to your.
Arthritis Pain Why a Is Such
Here are some tips to help you exercise properly:. Using your joints wisely means doing everyday tasks in ways that reduce the stress on painful joints.
Saving your energy means "listening" to your body for signals that it needs to rest. It also means learning to pace yourself so you don't become too tired. Here are a few guidelines for using your joints wisely and for saving your energy:.
Pain and stress have similar effects on the body. Muscles become tight and breathing becomes fast and shallow. Heart rate and blood pressure go up. Relaxing can help you reverse these effects. It gives you a sense of control and well-being and makes it easier to manage pain. Relaxation is more than just sitting back reading or watching TV.
It involves learning ways to calm and control your body and mind. Relaxation does not come easily especially if you are in pain.
The best time to use relaxation skills to manage your pain is before the pain becomes too intense. Some people find it very difficult to relax.
They feel they don't have time to practice it or they don't believe it will help them. Others feel embarrassed for taking the time. With a little practice most people get some relief from relaxation. There is no best way to learn how to relax. Everyone responds differently to different techniques. Try some of the methods below until you find some that work for you. Guided imagery uses your mind to focus on pleasant images. First begin by breathing slowly and deeply. Think of yourself in a place where you feel comfortable safe and relaxed.
This may be a favorite vacation spot or a porch swing in your own backyard. Create all the details--the colors sounds smells and how it feels. These images take your mind away from pain and focuses it on something more pleasant. Prayer is very relaxing and comforting for some people. You may want to make a tape recording of a soothing inspirational message. Hypnosis is a form of deep relaxation in which your attention is focused internally--away from the usual thoughts and anxieties. You'll need to work with a professional trained in hypnosis who has been referred by your doctor.
Some psychologists counselors or social workers who are trained in hypnosis may be able to teach you how to safely hypnotize yourself. Suggestions for positive change seem to be more easily accepted while a person is quiet and relaxed. Most people who find hypnosis helpful in relieving pain, report it as soothing and enjoyable as well.
Biofeedback uses sensitive electrical equipment to help you be more aware of your body's reaction to stress and pain and to learn how to control your body's physical reactions. The equipment monitors your heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature or muscle tension. These body signals are shown on a screen or gauge so you can see how your body is reacting. Biofeedback helps you learn how you feel when your muscles are tense or relaxed.
If you do a relaxation technique while using the equipment, you can learn to control some of your body's responses to pain. One advantage to biofeedback is that it shows you that you have the ability to relax. Relaxation audio tapes help guide you through the relaxation process.
These tapes provide directions for relaxation so you don't have to concentrate on remembering the instructions. Many professional tapes are available for purchase. You might also want to make your own tape of your favorite relaxation routine. Any major disturbance in your life--such as illness or chronic pain--may make you feel anxious, depressed, angry or even hopeless. This is your first place to turn for help. The team includes your doctor and a nurse. It may also include an occupational therapist or a physical therapist, a social worker, counselor, psychologist and a pharmacist.
Talk to the members of the team about ways to cope with pain. They may be able to help you find services in your area. Don't be afraid to suggest to your doctor a pain management idea of your own or one from this program.
You know yourself and your pain better than anyone. Many people become depressed when they have severe pain. Some people feel so bad they cannot sleep or eat. In these cases, therapy or counseling may help.
Some people are afraid to admit they need help. They believe that others will think they are crazy if they talk to a professional about their problems. But it's smart to get help when you need it. If you have the symptoms of depression--poor sleep, changes in appetite, crying, sad thoughts--talk with your doctor. Some psychologists or counselors are specially trained to work with the emotional side of chronic health problems like arthritis.
These people can also teach you how to manage stress. If you have increased stress, you may feel more pain. So learning to manage stress can also help you manage your pain. Sharing your feelings and experiences with a group can make living with arthritis easier. The basic goal of a support group is to give you a way to share and learn about arthritis. A group also helps you to feel understood and can give you new ideas to help cope with problems. It can also help you feel good about yourself because you'll be helping others in the group.
Groups may be run by professionals or they may be self-help groups led by people with arthritis. Some groups focus on pain control. Others have no certain topic but work with people who have different types of problems.
Ask your doctor about local groups for people with arthritis or people with pain. Sometimes you can help yourself with the help of others like you. Pain clinics specialize in treating pain. They may be located in a hospital or may operate independently. Some clinics treat all types of pain. Others specialize in treating certain types of pain. And some clinics specialize in certain types of treatments. The clinics can't cure your health condition but they may help you to learn better pain management skills.
Ask your doctor about pain clinics in your area. If a joint is very swollen and painful, your doctor or therapist may suggest you use a splint to rest the joint see figure 2. This helps reduce swelling and pain. Your doctor may recommend that you wear the splint during certain activities all day or only at night. This depends on how severe the swelling or pain is. Getting a good night's sleep restores your energy so you can better cope with the pain. It also rests your joints to reduce the pain and swelling.
Only you know how much sleep your body needs, so get into the habit of listening to your body. If you feel tired and ache after lunch every day, for example, take a brief nap. This can help restore your energy and spirits. If you have trouble sleeping at night, try relaxing quietly in the afternoon rather than taking a nap. Here are some other tips to help you sleep better:.
Massage increases blood flow and brings warmth to the sore area. You can massage your own muscles or you can ask your doctor to recommend a professional who is trained to give massages.
If you have arthritis in your shoulders, elbows, wrists or fingers, you may not be able to give yourself a massage. When giving yourself a massage, use lotion or oil to help your hands glide over your skin. Menthol gels also provide a comforting tingle that can further ease the painful area. Topical "deep-heating" rubs may contain medicines that block the sensation of pain.
Or they may increase blood flow in the skin where they are applied and distract attention from the painful muscle or joint. Usually these ointments do not penetrate very deeply into the skin.
Therefore claims that the active ingredients go directly to the joints and relieve pain are not true. TENS helps reduce pain for some people with arthritis. It is a small device that uses mild electric pulses to stimulate the nerves in the painful area.
This blocks the pain message in several ways. To use a TENS machine, electrodes are taped on the skin near the painful area. These electrodes are connected by wire to a small battery-operated stimulator. TENS doesn't hurt but it may cause some tingling. Usually it feels like vibration or tapping. TENS works for some people but not for others. Talk to your doctor or therapist about whether TENS might help you.
Box Rocklin CA www. Some of this material may also be available in an Arthritis Foundation brochure. Adapted from the pamphlet originally prepared for the Arthritis Foundation by Robert L.
This material is protected by copyright. You are here Home Managing Arthritis Pain. What Causes Arthritis Pain? Arthritis pain is caused by: People react differently to pain for many reasons. Emotional and Social Effects on Arthritis Pain Your fears about pain, previous experiences with pain and your attitude about your condition can affect how you react to pain and how much pain you feel. Physical Effects on Arthritis Pain The sensitivity of your nervous system and the severity of your arthritis determine how your body reacts chemically to pain.
Arthritis Pain is Common If you live with pain, you are not alone. Pain can be managed Many people believe pain is just a part of getting older and that they just have to "grin and bear it. Surprising Facts About Arthritis Pain Even though pain may interfere with work relationships and daily life few Americans talk to their doctors about it. Fewer than half 43 percent of Americans with severe or moderate pain report that they have a "great deal of control" over their pain.
Fewer than half 42 percent of people who visit their doctor for pain believe that their doctor completely understands how their pain makes them feel. Minimizing and Managing Arthritis Pain What blocks pain signals? Natural controls A father driving with his children is hurt in a car accident. Outside controls Certain medicines such as morphine imitate the body's endorphins and block the pain signal. Can Arthritis Pain be Controlled?
The goals of these methods are to control pain by: Taking Control of Arthtritis Pain Your mind plays an important role in how you feel pain and in how you respond to illness.
Research your condition Try to learn what causes your pain and how to control it. Learn about treatment options Find out about available medications.
Exercise regularly Through exercise you can help manage your pain and ease symptoms of chronic pain, such as the pain from osteoarthritis. Protect your body Ask a doctor about how to do routine tasks in a way that reduces stress on joints. Keep a positive attitude Having arthritis and the pain that goes with it can lead to a life built around pain and sickness. Change your pain habits It's easy to slip into the habit of drinking alcohol or taking more medicines to escape your pain.
Do you drink alcohol several times a day? Do you use up pain medication faster than you used to? Do you spend all day in bed? Do you talk about pain or arthritis much of the time?
Create a pain management plan You can make a chart of your own pain control methods. Seek support Share your successes and frustrations with others--whether it's with family, friends, loved ones or others that have pain. Take control of your pain so it doesn't control you. Talking to a Doctor About Pain Your Health Care Team To help manage pain you may want to consult a primary care physician, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist or other health care professional.
Gaining control through communication Even though pain may interfere with work relationships and daily life, few Americans talk to their doctors about it. Remember the patient and the doctor should share the same goal--reducing the patient's pain. Understanding pain Patients may want to consider asking a friend or family member to accompany them to the doctor's office.
Thinking about these questions before a doctor's appointment may help patients explain their pain to doctors: Where is the pain felt? Is there pain anywhere else?
Does the pain move from one area of the body to another? How often is the pain felt? Is the pain felt constantly or every now and then? What time of day is the pain felt? Upon waking up at night? How strong is the pain?
How does the pain make you feel? What makes the pain feel better or worse: What relieves the pain? What makes it feel worse Inactivity? What activities cause the pain to be felt? Has any treatment worked so far? If so which ones? Does pain interfere with activities? Bathing, dressing, sleeping, exercising, taking care of children? During a doctor visit Here are some tips and suggested questions for a patient visiting a doctor about pain.
Tell the doctor about the pain. Don't wait for the doctor to ask about it. Be prepared to describe the pain using specific words such as: Ask the doctor to explain what the problem might be. Tell the doctor what relieves or worsens the pain.
Talk to the doctor about diagnosis and treatment. Let the doctor know what prescription and over-the-counter medications are being taken even if they're not for pain.
About options for pain relief exercise, medication, alternative therapies. About the benefits and potential risks or side effects of any treatments or medications.
About activities to avoid or modify. To explain anything that isn't clear. When a follow-up visit should be scheduled. Take notes to help remember what the doctor said.
Hot and cold treatments Using either heat or cold treatments can reduce the stiffness and pain of arthritis. Tips for heat Soak in a warm bath, shower, jacuzzi or whirlpool. Place a heating pad on the painful area. Don't sleep with the heating pad on because you might burn yourself. Use an electric blanket or mattress pad. Turn it up before you rise to combat morning stiffness. They feel warmer against your skin. Use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to keep your feet back or hands warm.
Before getting dressed, warm your clothes by placing them on top of the dryer for a few minutes. Place hot packs on the painful area. These are filled bags that are heated in water and covered with a towel. Be careful not to let the pack get too hot. Dip your hands in a paraffin bath. This is a mixture of melted paraffin and mineral oil. The warm coating soothes stiff painful fingers.
Ask your doctor or therapist about this method. Use a combination of heat and cold. This is called a contrast bath see figure 1. Soak your hand or foot in warm water then cold water then warm water again. Click to enlarge Figure 1 - Contrast baths can help reduce joint pain Tips for cold Place a cold pack or ice bag on the painful area.
Before and after treatments Before using heat or cold: Your skin should be dry and healthy. Protect the skin over any bone that is close to the surface of your skin. Place extra padding over the area to prevent burning or freezing your skin. After using heat or cold: It is even more of a challenge to get family and fr For people with RA, a cane may be one of those things at some point.
You can fight it, or you can embrace it. Experts are interested in this possible precursor to rheumatoid arthritis RA and its potential role in the diagnosis or prevention of RA. Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis: Best Fall Breakfasts Take advantage and dig into these autumn specialties, loaded with nutrients that help fight inflammation and may ease RA symptoms.
Get this seasoned traveler's strategies for managing her condition while on the go. Rheumatoid Arthritis Conquering Rheumatoid Arthritis in and out of the Water Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 11, Bowen Becker turned to swimming as a way to keep active. Learn how the sport k Don't Let Stress Be Part of Your School Routine Parents living with rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic illness may need seasonal reminders to avoid getting swept up in back-to-school stress.
Early-life exposure to tobacco smoke may increase the risk of developing RA as an adult, study says. Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment:
What Does Arthritis Pain Feel Like?
Aug 14, We dive into the general symptoms of arthritis, what causes it, how it's such as ibuprofen (Advil) and salicylates, help control pain and. Dec 20, The pain of arthritis often varies at different times of the day. For example, inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are. Dec 28, Jaw pain can be caused by arthritis of the temporomandibular joint. of degenerative conditions that affect other joints, such as the knees, hips.