Arthritis occurs when the cartilage and ligaments within a joint begin to degrade, allowing bones to rub against each other and potentially form painful deformities. Nerve pain may also occur, as can arthritis inflammation that leads to painful swelling. Since no cure exists for arthritis, pain management of arthritis inflammation is an important part of living with arthritis. A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers to help you deal with arthritis inflammation pain, and other methods can be undertaken to manage the pain as well. Regular movement in the form of stretching and exercise is a vital part of arthritis pain management.
Heating the affected joint can help reduce arthritis inflammation as well. Heating the area promotes blood flow and delivery of oxygen to the affected area, which in turn promotes healing. Heating should be done periodically for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time. The heat will also help reduce pain; icing the affected area can help reduce pain as well, but for long term conditions such as arthritis, icing is not the best method of treatment.
Movement of the joint is an important part of pain management, though it can also exacerbate arthritis inflammation. It is best to try small movements and stretching when inflammation occurs, and see how the joint reacts. If pain worsens, stop movement and rest. Movement in the form of stretching and exercise can be done when inflammation is not present, which will encourage joint strength and mobility. Do not push exercise when the joint is inflamed if pain is felt or if it worsens.
Topical creams and ointments can help ease pain during bouts of arthritis inflammation. These creams and ointments will be applied directly to the affected joint. While these topical products will not do much to prevent further inflammation or promote health in the joint, they can help ease pain during periods of inflammation and make the joint functional enough to be used.
A healthy diet is an important part of arthritis treatment. Ensuring your diet is rich in vitamins and minerals that will strengthen ligaments, cartilage, and bone will help slow the progress of arthritis and keep the joint as functional as possible. Many dietary supplements feature glucosamine, which can help promote bone strength. Look for multivitamins to supplement your regular diet that contain vitamins and minerals aimed at bone and cartilage health. Some over the counter supplements are designed specifically for arthritis sufferers and contain many of the vitamins and minerals you will need.