Your joints endure an incredible amount of stress. They connect your bones, support your weight and above all, allow you to move. Though your joints are designed to cope with all of the stress you place on them, sometimes they suffer from wear and tear, and the resulting joint pain, otherwise known as arthralgia, can be extremely uncomfortable.
Joint pain (such as in your knees and hips) can be caused by a number of different factors, which range from wounds, trauma, disease, strains and sprains, bursitis, tendonitis, or even osteoporosis. Arthritis can also cause joint pain, but it is important to remember that joint pain often differs from person to person. There are, however, a number of things you can do to temporarily alleviate the pain, as well as prevent it. Here are ten ways to alleviate and prevent arthralgia, according to MedlinePlus:
ICE THERAPY (CRYOTHERAPY) Cold temperatures reduce blood flow, and therefore reduce tissue swelling. The first time you experience pain, apply an ice pack on the affected area every hour for the majority of the day for a duration of 15 minutes. The next day, apply the ice only four or five times, still for 15 minutes. This process is vital for joint pain relief. Remember, to avoid ice burns, do not place the ice directly on the skin, and instead wrap it in a towel or washcloth.
HYDROTHERAPY Warm water will ease pressure on joints and muscles, so a nice warmth bath can do wonders for alleviating joint pain in your knees and hips. Immerse the affected area in the water and massage it in order to stimulate blood flow.
MASSAGE A massage is an excellent way to relieve joint pain in your knees and hips. Either have it done professionally, or do it at home. If you are doing it on your own, try massaging the affected area with a topical menthol rub to help ease the pain. In addition, remember when massaging your body, the direction of your strokes should always be toward the heart.
MEDICATIONS Certain medicines, such as ibuprofen, are great for joint pain relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will aid in relieving joint swelling and stiffness, and prescribed muscle relaxants can help in reducing muscle spasms.
NATURAL MIXTURES Natural herbal mixtures, such as herbal teas, are an excellent way to alleviate as well as prevent knee, hip, and other joint pains.
EXERCISE When selecting an exercise, choose one that allows you to move within the limits of your pain and does not cause further pain to the joints (such as your knees). That said, sometimes joint pain can be relived by minor exercise and stretching. However — and this is key — exercise can increase the strength and flexibility of your joints, thus preventing potential joint pain.
PHYSICAL THERAPY A physical therapist specializes in human movement, and can help you greatly with relieving your joint pain.
ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL TREATMENTS Alternative medical practices such as acupuncture and Bikram yoga can not only enhance the range of movement of your joints, but also help alleviate pain and prevent it.
IMMOBILIZE THE AREA If the pain is too great, attempt to immobilize the area with a splint or brace. This should not be done in all cases, but only if the pain of movement is too great to bear.
REST One of the best ways of alleviating joint pain is to get plenty of rest and relaxation. This will restore energy, as well as allow the body to repair itself naturally. Furthermore, resting in between periods of exercise will allow your body to cope with the demands being made on it, thus preventing potential joint pain.
If you are suffering from joint pain, it is absolutely vital that you schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible in order to properly assess and alleviate your joint pain.