Joint pain may be minor, and it may be alleviated on its own or with over-the-counter pain relievers. This type of pain may be caused by everything from a hard workout or a new type of physical activity that your body is not accustomed to to a more serious physical injury or medical condition. When minor, joint pain may make it uncomfortable to move around freely for a few days. Some types of minor pain may go away on their own without any treatment at all. When more serious, the pain may limit movement. In severe cases, it may be difficult or even impossible for the individual to function normally and to enjoy an active lifestyle. Finding an effective treatment for severe joint pain is important because it can enable the individual to continue working and to enjoy life fully. There are several treatment options that you may consider.
There are numerous oral medications that may be taken as a treatment for severe joint pain. When over-the-count painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are not effective, there are other remedies that may be considered. For example, there is a new line of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs known as Cox-2 inhibitors. These may have more significant side effects, so they should be used with care and only under the supervision of a physician. In addition, other types of medications may be effective, and these include muscle relaxers and even antidepressants or anti-epileptic medications. Your doctor may provide you with information about the medications that may be best for treating your specific condition.
If you visit your doctor for treatment for severe joint pain, he or she may give you a steroid injection. Typically, the steroid also contains a topical anesthetic. This may reduce inflammation caused by injury, and it may provide short-term, long-term or even permanent relief of joint pain in some cases. In addition to a steroid injection, you may also receive an injection of hyaluronan. This is typically a treatment for osteoarthritis, and its purpose is to serve as a synthetic replacement for joint fluid.
Another treatment option is to remove fluid from the joint area. In cases where the joint pain is caused by pressure related to fluid accumulation, the doctor may inject a needle into the joint to withdraw the fluid. This may be completed in conjunction with an anesthetic and with assistance from an ultrasound machine. The doctor may determine if you have fluid in your joint through a physical examination.
In many cases, a doctor may prescribe a series of sessions with a physical therapist. There are multiple treatment options that a physical therapist may employ, and these include everything from heat therapy, cold therapy, ultrasound techniques, electrical nerve stimulation and even manual manipulation. In addition, a physical therapist may work with you to improve muscle tone, flexibility, stability and strength. These can help to improve some conditions that cause joint pain.
PRICE Home Therapy
If you believe that your joint pain has been caused by an injury that you recently suffered, PRICE home therapy may be beneficial. PRICE is an acronym for the multiple steps in the treatment. These steps include protecting the joint by wrapping it or bracing it, resting the joint, icing it several times per day, compressing the joint with a bandage or wrap and elevating the injured area. The PRICE home therapy should not replace a diagnosis and treatment by a doctor, but it can be used as a treatment until your scheduled doctor appointment.
Application of Ointments
There are several topical creams or ointments that you can apply to the joint, and they may provide you with relief. These generally have minimal side effects, and they may be beneficial for providing relief for all types joint pain. Some over-the-counter treatments include capsaicin and methyl salicylate. Capsaicin is naturally derived from chili peppers, and it blocks the body’s ability to feel pain. Methyl salicylate is an arthritis cream. Among the benefits associated with topical ointments are the ability to apply the cream as needed and to enjoy rather fast relief. For best pain cream results, prescription strength is recommended.