Do you have arthritis and the pain hurts you? Consider how it can be mitigated and controlled.
Definition of Arthritis
Arthritis diseases are usually accompanied by pain and loss of mobility in the affected joint, which can seriously disrupt everyday life. These injuries cannot be cured, but prevention and coping strategies can help people with these injuries stay active and have a good quality of life.
- Be on the lookout for the first signs of the disease (mild pain and morning stiffness that occur intermittently).
- Follow an exercise program supervised by a professional such as a kinesiologist or physiotherapist.
- Maintain or achieve a healthy weight to reduce the load on the joints.
- Use your joints properly, monitor your posture and avoid excessive stress.
- Restrict activities when the pain is greatest.
- Use assistive devices, if necessary (orthopaedic supports, orthotics, splints, etc.).
- Prevent arthritis-related pain
- Acute pain
- Acute pain is often a symptom of a lesion. It usually occurs as a result of injury or surgery. It's about protecting us. Perceiving the message of pain, the brain transmits signals to the body in order to provoke a reaction, such as stopping putting weight on a sprained ankle.
Pain is said to be chronic when it lasts more than three months. This type of pain can be discontinuous or constant (more than 12 hours each day). Arthritis, low back pain and fibromyalgia are the most common causes of chronic pain.
Possible treatments for pain
Over-the-counter medications are generally the first line of treatment for pain relief. Acetaminophen is usually taken first. If, however, it is not enough, it can be supplemented or substituted with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen.
Always consult your doctor or family pharmacist before using over-the-counter medications or natural products.
The second line of treatment is the use of more potent drugs, such as prescription NSAIDs (naproxen) and selective Cox-2 inhibitors (celecoxib, mloxicam).
Local drug treatments
There are also drugs to be administered precisely at the painful joint.
- Corticosteroids, which are infiltrated into the joint to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
- Hyaluronate, which is injected into the knee to improve cartilage lubrication and shock absorption capacity.
- A topical anti-inflammatory, Pennsaid® (diclofenac in solution), which is applied to the knee to reduce pain and inflammation.
Natural products do not replace other treatments for joint pain, but complement them. The Arthritis Society includes glucosamine and chondroitin as complementary treatments. However, she suggests stopping if there is no improvement after three months.
Heat therapy can also help to relieve pain. It is simply recommended to apply a warm compress (e.g., a magic bag or hot water bottle) to the sore area for 10 to 15 minutes, repeating every 1 to 2 hours for a few days. A hot, but not boiling bath can also provide relief.
The practice of different so-called "cognitive" techniques can be performed in order to break the pain cycle. Muscle relaxation exercises will help to make some movements less painful and easier to perform, while relaxation exercises will lower the level of stress caused by pain.
Finally, it is important to fight fatigue, one of the symptoms of chronic pain. Good nights' sleep is therefore necessary to regenerate the body and mind.
Specially designed vials
There are specially adapted drug containers designed to be easier to open. Feel free to ask your family pharmacist! However, it should be noted that these children are not protected from young children.
Your family pharmacist can help you manage your pain. Consult it! He or she will guide you in assessing the intensity of pain, to check the effectiveness of your medication treatment and, if necessary, propose adjustments.