Chronic Arthritis Pain
Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage or smooth muscle. This oils the joints and acts as a kind of lubricant. In short, it takes care of movement of joints. When the smooth muscle depletes, the bones rub over each other. This leads to swelling or inflammation. If the inflammation and pain persists even after treatment then it is termed as chronic arthritis pain. According to NIH data about 37 million people in America have arthritis of some kind, which is almost 1 out of every 7 people. It occurs both in males and females of all ages.
- Tenderness in and around the joints
- Limited range of motion in one or more joints
- Redness and warmth around the affected joints
- Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol*) may be effective.
- In case of rheumatoid arthritis, aspirin or other non steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) may be helpful.
- Other medication include disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid that acts as a lubricant.
- An ice pack wrapped in towel or a heating pad placed over the sore area may be effective. Even a warm shower offers partial relief.
- Other relief measures include using a splint or a brace to allow the joints to rest, transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation and massage.
- Surgical intervention may be necessary in extreme cases.
Caution: Strict medical supervision is mandatory for all the above methods of treatment.
Disease Management Methods
The following methods are helpful in disease management:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly(breathing exercises for relaxation are highly recommended)
- Family counselling therapy is quite helpful