Pain is your body’s alarm system, letting you know something is wrong. While most minor aches and pains will resolve permanently with treatment, chronic pain is different and doesn’t always go away with treatment. Arthritis is one of the most common causes of chronic pain, affecting an estimated 24% of adults in the United States. At OrthoSouth, we understand how arthritis pain can disrupt your life, and we’re committed to giving you holistic services to help you get your life back. Let’s look at types of arthritis pain, what causes it, and how you can manage it. 

Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis isn’t a single condition but a term that refers to joint pain or disease. Arthritis can affect people of any age, and symptoms can range from mild to severe—many people who deal with arthritis pain report that it interferes with their work and personal lives daily.  More than 100 types of arthritis and related diseases cause chronic pain in the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and can affect any joint. OA weakens the bone, strains the cartilage, causes inflammation, and damages the joint lining. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system is dysfunctional and starts attacking healthy joint tissue. Excessive inflammation can cause permanent joint damage when left untreated.  Psoriatic arthritis is most commonly found in patients with psoriasis. This autoimmune disease causes the body to attack itself, resulting in inflammation, rashes, and joint pain. Fibromyalgia is caused by the central nervous system and can be sporadic or consistent.  These are just a few types of arthritis, but this list isn’t exhaustive. The best way to learn about your specific case is to schedule an appointment with an experienced provider. Our team at OrthoSouth can find the underlying cause of your pain to determine the best way to manage it.

How to Manage Arthritis

Tips for Managing Your Arthritis

Now that we’ve learned what arthritis is and how it can affect the body let’s talk about how to manage the symptoms.  Communicate with your provider As we mentioned earlier, there are several potential causes and symptoms of arthritis. The first step in managing your pain is to visit an experienced professional like a specialist with the team at OrthoSouth to determine what you’re dealing with. It’s important to be honest with your provider to find the best treatment. If you’ve been self medicating with over the counter medication, alcohol, or another substance, we need to know so that we can help you change any potentially harmful habits and get the best results.  Regular exercise Regular exercise is the best way to strengthen your joints. Your exercise routine should include particular range-of-motion movements to focus on the joints affected by arthritic pain. Frequent exercise can help relieve the stiffness and tension that comes with arthritis while also improving your overall health.  Protect your body When you suffer from chronic pain, the best thing you can do is listen to your body. Do your knees hurt when going up and down stairs? Do you get back pain when you stoop to pick up things from the floor? Make a note of these and take care to protect your joints when you make those movements.  Hot and cold treatments These can help relieve soreness, stiffness, tension, and pain. Ice packs can numb the area to give you relief if you have a flare-up, while heat treatments can relax your muscles. You should only use hot or cold treatments for 15 to 20 minutes at a time or as directed by a medical provider to protect your skin. Always use a towel between your skin and any heat or ice pack, and be sure to talk to your provider to know which option would be the best for you.  Medication Follow the guidelines if your provider recommends medication to help treat your pain. Some medicines can have side effects that you’ll need to be aware of, so always talk to your provider before starting any medications.  Take time to rest When you suffer from chronic pain, it’s important to take time to rest and relax. Avoid overworking and doing physical activities that put excessive strain on your joints. By being proactive and giving your body what it needs, you can help reduce flare-ups and know what to do when they happen. 

How to Manage ArthritisSchedule an Appointment with OrthoSouth to Manage Your Pain

Here at OrthoSouth, we believe that people deserve to live pain-free. If you’ve been suffering from the symptoms of arthritis and are ready to take your life back, we’re here to help.  Contact one of our Mid-South area offices to schedule an appointment and take the first step to managing your pain and to getting your life back. Looking for more information and resources to help you thrive while living with arthritis? Check out our friends at the Arthritis Foundation