Joint pain is a pretty general affliction that can be caused by a number of illnesses and other conditions. This type of pain can be fairly short lived or it could be chronic in nature. It can be treated both medically and with home remedies and holistic therapies. Everything from aging to arthritis to sports-related stressors can cause joint pain, and many areas of the body can be affected. Experts say that many people develop this pain and chalk it up to the normal aging process. This is not the case for many people who are able to find effective treatments if they receive the correct diagnosis. Pain is not only a physical experience, it can affect people psychologically in very profound ways. Untreated chronic pain can lead to depression, anxiety and feelings of helplessness.
Arthritis is a common cause of joint pain and refers to inflammation of the joints. There are over 100 forms of arthritis such as gout, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, so making the diagnosis is not always easy. Patients may need to see multiple doctors and may receive multiple diagnoses before relief is found. Cancer that spreads to the bones also causes joint pain. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that can cause joint pain and inflammation. The cause of this is hard to pinpoint and many people suffer a long time before a diagnosis is made. Many doctors also believe the mind-body connection is enough to cause chronic pain. Depression, for example, can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, joint pain and back pain. An old injury that was left untreated or not treated properly can also cause long-term joint aches and pains.
No matter the cause of the pain, there are a few things you can do to reduce joint pain. Carrying extra weight can put added stress on the bones and joints. Patients with joint problems will likely feel better after losing weight. People who are in pain often think they need to limit their activity. Getting regular exercise is important to keep the body strong and flexible, and a physical therapist can help with this. Immobility can actually aggravate the pain. Some people may only need over-the-counter analgesics for pain relief. Prescription painkillers or steroid injections may be necessary for some people if they have long-term pain that is severe. Chronic pain sufferers may also respond well to psychotherapy if they are affected by depression or anxiety. Joint replacement is another option that often provides successful relief and restored mobility.
Many prescription drugs have side effects that are annoying and possibly dangerous. For this reason, many people look for a more natural approach. Sometimes, a non-medical or non-drug approach to pain relief is enough to provide relief. Joint supplements and topical pain relief creams may quell joint pain. There are holistic approaches that also may benefit sufferers. These include massage, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, supplements and nutritional therapy.