Joint pain is extremely common and can exist for many reasons. Pain can be related to injury, obesity or strain from exercise or a job that requires manual labor. However, especially as you age, the chance that your joint pain is from arthritis increases exponentially. Seeing a doctor at the first sign of joint pain is important to assess the cause for your discomfort. Arthritis can progress quickly without treatment, so intervening early is the key to preventing long-term damage that may be irreversible.
Reducing Joint Pain at Home
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis, there are some simple home remedies or medications that can be purchased at your local pharmacy that can help relieve pain. To reduce inflammation in the joints, which can often be detected outwardly by redness and a feeling of warmth to the touch, cold compresses cam print temporary relief. Over the counter pain relievers such as acetominphen, NSAIDs or creams also hel pin the short term, but they don’t stop the progression of joint damage.
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in your blood that actually forms sharp crystals in the blood that lodge in your joints. It can cause pain, swelling or stiffness, and usually starts in the big toe. If left untreated, it can progress to other joints in the body. Flareups usually last for a week or two, but can be helped by cold compresses, rest, plenty of water, and avoiding alcohol or foods that are high in purines, such as some seafoods and organ meats.
Progression of Treatment
Doctors will most often try the simplest remedies and treatments upon diagnosis. This includes stretching, exercising, over the counter pain relievers, and avoiding inflammatory foods. There are also several natural remedies that people have relied on for years. If these treatments are not successful, there are prescription medication options. Unfortunately, if the disease has progressed too far, surgery may be inevitable to repair or replace the deteriorated joint.