Arthritis is the inflammation of joints and muscles in the body. This disease progresses with age and severity as there is not a known cure for arthritis at this time. Arthritis pain is caused by the swelling and stiffness of muscles surrounding the joints placing pressure on the joint. This stiffness can become debilitating at times without any treatment. While a cure isn’t on the horizon, there are techniques that can be performed at home to relieve the constant pain.
Mix up the temperature for pain relief.
Apply a heat bag or warm compress to the joint if the muscle is stiff. The heat bag should be wrapped in a towel or other material and never be applied directly to the skin. Heat should be applied at a comfortable level to avoid burns to the skin. Allow the heat to penetrate the muscle and remove the stiffness, leaving the heat bag in place for twenty to thirty minutes. Remove the heat bag and repeat every two to three hours.
Placing heat on inflamed joints can lead to further distress so avoid heat therapy when the joint is currently inflamed. Cold compresses can be applied for relief in that instance and can be applied directly to the painful area. Place a cold compress or bag of frozen vegetables on the area and allow it to sit for twenty minutes. Remove the cold compress and rest. Repeat the cold therapy every twenty minutes.
Pain Relief Ointments
Today, there are many different pain relief ointments on the market. Look for one that contains capsaicin, the heating element in peppers. This will penetrate the muscle and provide relief. Most arthritis ointments make the skin tingle on application, but the sensation will ease after a few minutes. The ointment should be massaged into the skin in a circular motion to provide the best relief from pain.
Exercise is good for the body, and arthritis too. While it is often not going to be the first thought when you are in pain, regular exercise will help to loosen the muscles and work the swelling and stiffness out. When there is less inflammation there is less pain. Choose water aerobics in a heated pool for less resistance. The water will allow your body to become buoyant, creating less friction on the joints. Yoga is also an excellent exercise for arthritis sufferers. It allows the body to perform gentle movements that build muscle tone in a low impact fashion.
Along with a proper exercise regime, a proper diet must be followed. Patients that are overweight will suffer more arthritis pain simply because the joints are performing much more work to carry the excess weight around. The knees, hips, and ankles are prime arthritis sites for overweight patients. Choose foods low in fat and high in protein. Eat lean protein meats and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight will aid in your pain relief.
Lastly, the power of hydrotherapy is wonderful. Taking a warm bath or sitting in a pulsating shower will loosen the muscles.
While arthritis cannot be cured, it can be managed and controlled with some effort. Use the above techniques together or alone to find the therapy that will work best for you. Talk with your health care professional about the other medicinal options that are available for arthritis relief also.
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