What are the Best Joint Pain Treatments?

Erin J. Hill

The best joint pain treatments vary based on the cause of pain, but they generally include some type of medication. Both over the counter and prescription drugs are used for patients with chronic pain. Hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and exercise are also effective for many individuals.

A man with joint pain.
A man with joint pain.

Medication is one of the most commonly used joint pain treatments. There are both prescription and over the counter options, and the best option will depend on the severity of pain and how long it tends to last. Different types of medication may be needed depending on the underlying condition causing the pain. The most common are anti-inflammatory drugs, which are useful for treating commonly occurring conditions like arthritis.

Over the counter and prescription drugs are used to treat those with chronic joint pain.
Over the counter and prescription drugs are used to treat those with chronic joint pain.

Other joint pain treatments include hydrotherapy and acupuncture. Hydrotherapy involves using water to ease pain and stiffness. It requires a therapeutic tub which uses jets and fast moving water to alleviate discomfort. This type of treatment can be found at spas or some chiropractic treatment centers, or special nozzles can be bought to customize one’s own bathtub.

Acupuncture and acupressure are both joint pain treatments which work by sending alternate signals into nerve cells so that they can’t process pain. Some argue that the effects are psychological and that pain is alleviated because the person believes it will be, known as the placebo effect. Whatever the underlying reasons are, these joint pain treatments are highly effective at easting discomfort.

Occasionally, surgery may be needed to repair the joints in order to alleviate long-term pain. This will depend on the cause and severity of the pain, since surgical procedures are the most serious and have the potential to cause the most side effects. Only a doctor can determine which joint pain treatments are necessary for any individual patients.

If pain is severe or long-lasting, it is a good idea to visit a doctor before trying a particular treatment. Even some over the counter medications can be harmful if taken over extended periods and if taken in larger than recommended doses. Alternative therapies should only be performed by a licensed professional who is specially trained. Exercise has been shown to reduce joint pain in some individuals. A doctor should be notified before beginning a new exercise regimen.

Physical therapy may help relieve joint pain.
Physical therapy may help relieve joint pain.

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