3 Options For Managing Arthritis Pain
Whether you have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis is a difficult condition to live with. Even when their disease is well-managed, many people with arthritis suffer from chronic pain. Fortunately, there are methods you can use to help control your pain levels. Here are three options for managing arthritis pain:
You may know NSAIDs as over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen. These are the mildest form of pain relief you can get, and they're easy to come by since you can buy them in any store. They reduce inflammation in your body which can soothe the ache of arthritis, since arthritis is an inflammatory disease. The downside to NSAIDs is that they may not be effective for more severe types of arthritis pain. They can also be detrimental to your stomach and kidneys when taken too frequently.
2. Cold Compresses and Heat Packs
You may have luck alleviating your arthritis pain with these topical remedies. Fill a small plastic bag with ice and wrap it in a towel, then place it against the afflicted joint for up to 15 minutes. The ice can help to reduce swelling to bring you some relief. Alternatively, you can heat a damp washcloth in the microwave until it's hot, then place that against your pained area. Try both hot and cold packs to see which one works best for your arthritis pain.
3. Patient Controlled Analgesia
Patient controlled analgesia is sometimes abbreviated as PCA. According to WebMD, it's a technique used when a patient's pain is so severe that oral pain medications don't provide sufficient relief. With PCA, pain medication will be delivered into your bloodstream through an IV. Typically, the medication used in a PCA is non-narcotic, so you don't have to worry about addiction. An IV pump delivers the right dosage into your body when you push a button, and you can push that button whenever you're feeling too much pain and need relief. You won't be at risk of overdosing since the IV infusion pumps are set up to stop releasing medicine after a certain programmed dosage.
If you experience chronic pain from arthritis, you don't have to suffer in silence. Talk to your doctor about these pain management techniques and ask if you're a candidate for them. Together with your health team, you can create a pain reduction strategy to help you live a more comfortable and active life.