Living With Arthritis: How To Manage Your Pain

If you have arthritis, you are probably already familiar with the level of pain and discomfort experienced on a daily basis. Not only do you have to deal with the pain itself, but it can lead to other symptoms, like giving you extreme fatigue and affecting you on an emotional level. Luckily, there are several ways to manage your pain, helping you to learn to deal with it on a long-term basis. Here are some of the common pain management methods for different types of arthritis.

Pain Relief Medications

There are over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can help you find relief, which are safe to take over a long period of time. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a common type of drug to take for arthritis because they not only help relieve your pain, but also reduce inflammation and swelling that is common with arthritis. You may also get a prescription medication from your doctor for severe pain that OTC drugs don't help treat.

Relaxation Exercises

Your doctor might also suggest alternative therapies for managing your arthritis pain, which often begin with meditation and relaxation methods. Meditation and relaxation will both teach you about creating imagery in order to relax your body and help to relieve your pain.

Not only does it help reduce pain associated with arthritis, but you get other benefits, including help with your sleep, and a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. You will also learn important deep breathing exercises and how to do progressive relaxation techniques to release tension in your body.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy combines behavioral, physical and psychiatric medicine to help with long-term pain management from arthritis and other sources of chronic pain. You will learn what activities worsen your pain, teach your body to lower its pain intensity, and learn how to lower the amount of time you are pain when you have different flare-ups from the arthritis. It teaches important lifestyle adjustments that help reduce your pain and severity of pain overall.

Hot and Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapy both have their place in helping you to manage your pain related to arthritis. Heat is provided through various sources, including a hot shower or bath, heating pads, saunas, hot packs, or electric blankets. Heat can help reduce stiffness and release tension on your muscles. Cold therapy can help reduce pain caused by nerve endings that are numbed in your body. This is done with frozen gel packs and ice cube compresses.

Help From Pain Clinics

Another option is to get help from a pain clinic, like Illinois Pain Institute. Pain clinics deal with all different types of chronic pain sufferers, including arthritis. They use a variety of pain management methods, including drug management, chiropractic care, physical therapy, nerve blocks, holistic approaches, breathing exercises, meditation, relaxation, and counseling.