Our body has a number of joints, which are points where the bones connect together. Joints are vital for movement, and give us support and stability. If the joints are damaged, which can be because of injury, disease, or general wear and tear, they can become very painful and significantly reduce our overall quality of life. This is why we may need to know about treatment and medication for joint pain.
The Causes of Joint Pain:
There are a lot of conditions that can lead to joint pain, such as:
– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Various injuries
In fact, it is very common to have joint pain of some kind. A national survey was recently completed and this showed that around a third of the population over the age of 21 has experienced joint pain in the past month alone. The most commonly affected joint is the knee, followed by the shoulder, and then the hip. However, joint pain can be in any joint, from the knuckles of your fingers to your shoulders, and from your ankles to your elbows. The older you get, the more likely it will be that you will experience joint pain.
Treatment and Medication for Joint Pain:
How joint pain is treated depends on its cause and severity. Some people have acute joint pain, which lasts for a few weeks and goes away. Others have chronic pain, which means it can last for months or years. However, regardless of how long it lasts, the pain can be debilitating and seriously affect your overall quality of life. Luckily, however, treatment and medication for joint pain is available, which includes over the counter remedies, at home care, and medical specialists.
If your joint pain does not go away with over the counter remedies, you may need to see your physician, who will see if a diagnosis can be made and provide you with treatment. The goal of treatment is to preserve joint function, to reduce inflammation, and to lower pain levels. The most common forms of treatment are through the use of medication.
Joint Pain Medication:
Usually, you will be expected to try over the counter remedies, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) first. These include naproxen sodium (Aleve), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or aspirin. There are now also a number of new NSAIDs, such as Cox-2 inhibitors or celecoxib. However, with the exception of Celebrex, they have all been recalled due to the possibility of increasing the risk of someone having a stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems. You also have to be aware that NSAIDs have side effects and can increase the chance of having gastrointestinal bleeds.
If you do not experience any swelling, you may want to try acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead. Do not mix this with alcohol, however, as it can lead to liver damage. You should be very cautious with this medication.
Should you find that NSAIDs are not working, and neither are Cox-2 inhibitor options, then you may be prescribed a stronger painkiller, usually opioid based. However, these can cause drowsiness, and they can also be addictive. Another common side effect is constipation, although you can resolve this by taking laxatives.