Pain relievers such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin) or opioids work well at treating nociceptive pain, because they interrupt the transmission of pain signals from. The methods used to control short-term (acute) pain, such as strong painkillers, are not useful for controlling the chronic pain of arthritis. Other methods such as. Nov 6, Arthritis can be separated into two types: inflammatory, such as Learn about the different symptoms and how to describe joint pain to your.
Arthritis Such Why Pain Is a
In time OA can also cause problems moving joints and sometimes disability if your back, knees, or hips are affected. Growing older is what most often puts you at risk for OA.
Other than that, scientists think the cause depends on which part of the body is involved. For example, OA in the hands or hips may run in families. OA in the knees can be linked with being overweight. Injuries or overuse may cause OA in joints such as knees, hips, or hands. Rheumatoid Arthritis RA is an autoimmune disease. In RA, that means your body attacks the lining of a joint just as it would if it were trying to protect you from injury or disease. For example, if you had a splinter in your finger, the finger would become inflamed-painful, red, and swollen.
RA leads to inflammationin your joints. This inflammation causes pain, swelling, and stiffness that lasts for hours. This can often happen in many different joints at the same time. You might not even be able to move the joint. They may be tired or run a fever. People of any age can develop RA, and it is more common in women. If you have RA in a joint on one side of the body, the same joint on the other side of your body will probably have RA also.
RA not only destroys joints. It can also attack organs such as the heart, muscles, blood vessels, nervous system, and eyes. Gout is one of the most painful forms of arthritis. These deposits lead to swelling, redness, heat, pain, and stiffness in the joint. Gout attacks often follow eating foods like shellfish, liver, dried beans, peas, anchovies, or gravy. Using alcohol, being overweight, and certain medications may also make gout worse. In older people, some blood pressure medicines can also increase your chance of a gout attack.
Gout is most often a problem in the big toe, but it can affect other joints, including your ankle, elbow, knee, wrist, hand, or other toes. Swelling may cause the skin to pull tightly around the joint and make the area red or purple and very tender.
Your doctor might suggest blood tests and x-rays. He or she might also take a sample of fluid from your joint while you are having an attack. Other forms of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis in people with the skin condition psoriasis , ankylosing spondylitis which mostly affects the spine , reactive arthritis arthritis that occurs as a reaction to another illness in the body , and arthritis in the temporomandibular joint where the jaw joins the skull.
If any of these symptoms lasts longer than two weeks, see your regular doctor or a rheumatologist. If you have a fever, feel physically ill, suddenly have a swollen joint, or have problems using your joint, see your doctor sooner. Your health care provider will ask questions about your symptoms and do a physical exam. He or she may take x-rays or do lab tests before suggesting a treatment plan. Each kind of arthritis is handled a little differently, but there are some common treatment choices.
Rest, exercise, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, and learning the right way to use and protect your joints are key to living with any kind of arthritis. The right shoes and a cane can help with pain in the feet, knees, and hips when walking.
Live what is called a "wellness lifestyle. It also means following your treatment plan, taking your medication properly and practicing relaxation.
Arthritis can limit you but it doesn't have to control your life. Talk to your doctor, nurse or therapist about how you can make your life more healthy. Get involved in a favorite activity or hobby. Remind yourself of what you can do rather than what you can't do.
You'll feel better and your pain will not seem as severe. It's easy to slip into the habit of drinking alcohol or taking more medicines to escape your pain. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions below, you may need to find new ways to handle your pain. Changing your pain habits will help you feel better. One way to make a change is to do something positive in place of the old habit and to reward yourself.
Discuss these habits with your doctor, nurse or other health care workers who specialize in pain management. Ask them to help you find new ways to cope with your pain. You can make a chart of your own pain control methods.
This will help you keep track of which methods you have used and which ones work best for you. Post it where you can refer to it often such as on your refrigerator or medicine cabinet. Share your successes and frustrations with others--whether it's with family, friends, loved ones or others that have pain. Find out about support groups in the community and learn how others are overcoming their pain.
Don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it. To help manage pain you may want to consult a primary care physician, nurse, pharmacist, physical therapist or other health care professional.
You may be referred to a rheumatologist a doctor who specializes in treating arthritis. Even though pain may interfere with work relationships and daily life, few Americans talk to their doctors about it. One of the best ways to gain control of pain is to talk to a doctor about it. Unlike a broken leg, pain cannot be seen in an x-ray or identified by a medical test. What a patient says may be the only way the doctor will know about the pain. And because people experience and respond to pain differently, how a patient describes pain is the best way for the doctor to understand what the patient is feeling.
Only then can the doctor help the patient treat the pain. Patients may want to consider asking a friend or family member to accompany them to the doctor's office. He or she can take notes or help listen to what the doctor says. Remember that pain not only affects the person suffering with it ,but it may also affect the people around them. It may also be helpful to prepare in advance by writing down symptoms, allergies, medicines, previous medical procedures and conditions or diseases and to show this list to the doctor.
By being prepared to describe pain to the doctor, patients can make the most of their doctor visits. Thinking about these questions before a doctor's appointment may help patients explain their pain to doctors:. If patients still have questions about the pain or the treatment plan after the doctor visit, they should call the doctor back. Cold packs numb the sore area.
They are especially good for severe joint pain and swelling caused by a flare a period during which disease symptoms return or become worse. Heat treatments relax your muscles. You can use dry heat methods such as a heating pad or heat lamp or moist heat methods, such as a bath or hydrocollator pack.
Place a cold pack or ice bag on the painful area. You can buy these at the drug store or you can make one by wrapping a towel around a bag of frozen vegetables. Another key to coping with pain is to follow an exercise program designed by your doctor or physical therapist.
Your exercise program should include special range-of-motion exercises to help keep your joints movable. It should also include general fitness exercise such as swimming or walking. These help keep your heart, lungs, bones and muscles strong. Exercise also helps relieve stiffness and gives you an improved sense of well-being.
Here are some tips to help you exercise properly:. Using your joints wisely means doing everyday tasks in ways that reduce the stress on painful joints. Saving your energy means "listening" to your body for signals that it needs to rest. It also means learning to pace yourself so you don't become too tired.
Here are a few guidelines for using your joints wisely and for saving your energy:. Pain and stress have similar effects on the body. Muscles become tight and breathing becomes fast and shallow. Heart rate and blood pressure go up. Relaxing can help you reverse these effects.
It gives you a sense of control and well-being and makes it easier to manage pain. Relaxation is more than just sitting back reading or watching TV. It involves learning ways to calm and control your body and mind.
Relaxation does not come easily especially if you are in pain. The best time to use relaxation skills to manage your pain is before the pain becomes too intense.
Some people find it very difficult to relax. They feel they don't have time to practice it or they don't believe it will help them. Others feel embarrassed for taking the time.
With a little practice most people get some relief from relaxation. There is no best way to learn how to relax. Everyone responds differently to different techniques. Try some of the methods below until you find some that work for you.
Guided imagery uses your mind to focus on pleasant images. First begin by breathing slowly and deeply. Think of yourself in a place where you feel comfortable safe and relaxed.
This may be a favorite vacation spot or a porch swing in your own backyard. Create all the details--the colors sounds smells and how it feels. These images take your mind away from pain and focuses it on something more pleasant. Prayer is very relaxing and comforting for some people. You may want to make a tape recording of a soothing inspirational message. Hypnosis is a form of deep relaxation in which your attention is focused internally--away from the usual thoughts and anxieties.
You'll need to work with a professional trained in hypnosis who has been referred by your doctor. Some psychologists counselors or social workers who are trained in hypnosis may be able to teach you how to safely hypnotize yourself. Suggestions for positive change seem to be more easily accepted while a person is quiet and relaxed. Most people who find hypnosis helpful in relieving pain, report it as soothing and enjoyable as well. Biofeedback uses sensitive electrical equipment to help you be more aware of your body's reaction to stress and pain and to learn how to control your body's physical reactions.
The equipment monitors your heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature or muscle tension. These body signals are shown on a screen or gauge so you can see how your body is reacting. Biofeedback helps you learn how you feel when your muscles are tense or relaxed.
If you do a relaxation technique while using the equipment, you can learn to control some of your body's responses to pain.
One advantage to biofeedback is that it shows you that you have the ability to relax. Relaxation audio tapes help guide you through the relaxation process. These tapes provide directions for relaxation so you don't have to concentrate on remembering the instructions. Many professional tapes are available for purchase. You might also want to make your own tape of your favorite relaxation routine. Any major disturbance in your life--such as illness or chronic pain--may make you feel anxious, depressed, angry or even hopeless.
This is your first place to turn for help. The team includes your doctor and a nurse. It may also include an occupational therapist or a physical therapist, a social worker, counselor, psychologist and a pharmacist.
Talk to the members of the team about ways to cope with pain. They may be able to help you find services in your area. Don't be afraid to suggest to your doctor a pain management idea of your own or one from this program. You know yourself and your pain better than anyone. Many people become depressed when they have severe pain. Some people feel so bad they cannot sleep or eat. In these cases, therapy or counseling may help.
Some people are afraid to admit they need help. They believe that others will think they are crazy if they talk to a professional about their problems. But it's smart to get help when you need it. If you have the symptoms of depression--poor sleep, changes in appetite, crying, sad thoughts--talk with your doctor. Some psychologists or counselors are specially trained to work with the emotional side of chronic health problems like arthritis.
These people can also teach you how to manage stress. If you have increased stress, you may feel more pain. So learning to manage stress can also help you manage your pain.
Sharing your feelings and experiences with a group can make living with arthritis easier. The basic goal of a support group is to give you a way to share and learn about arthritis.
A group also helps you to feel understood and can give you new ideas to help cope with problems. It can also help you feel good about yourself because you'll be helping others in the group. Groups may be run by professionals or they may be self-help groups led by people with arthritis.
Some groups focus on pain control. Others have no certain topic but work with people who have different types of problems.
Ask your doctor about local groups for people with arthritis or people with pain. Sometimes you can help yourself with the help of others like you.
Pain clinics specialize in treating pain. They may be located in a hospital or may operate independently. Some clinics treat all types of pain. Others specialize in treating certain types of pain. And some clinics specialize in certain types of treatments. The clinics can't cure your health condition but they may help you to learn better pain management skills. Ask your doctor about pain clinics in your area. If a joint is very swollen and painful, your doctor or therapist may suggest you use a splint to rest the joint see figure 2.
This helps reduce swelling and pain. Your doctor may recommend that you wear the splint during certain activities all day or only at night. This depends on how severe the swelling or pain is. Getting a good night's sleep restores your energy so you can better cope with the pain. It also rests your joints to reduce the pain and swelling. Only you know how much sleep your body needs, so get into the habit of listening to your body.
If you feel tired and ache after lunch every day, for example, take a brief nap. This can help restore your energy and spirits. If you have trouble sleeping at night, try relaxing quietly in the afternoon rather than taking a nap. Here are some other tips to help you sleep better:. Mayo Clinic on Arthritis Book: Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging. See also 10 IBD questions to ask at your next appointment After a flood, are food and medicines safe to use?
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Arthritis of the Wrist and Hand
Aug 14, We dive into the general symptoms of arthritis, what causes it, how it's such as ibuprofen (Advil) and salicylates, help control pain and. Dec 20, The pain of arthritis often varies at different times of the day. For example, inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are. Dec 28, Jaw pain can be caused by arthritis of the temporomandibular joint. of degenerative conditions that affect other joints, such as the knees, hips.