Joint pain is a problem that plagues people of all ages. We used to associate it with the elderly, but more of us are developing some type of joint pain these days. Obviously, it can vary in severity – which is why the first step is to see a medical professional. Get a diagnosis for your joint pain so you know there’s nothing serious lingering beneath.
With that in mind, there are usually three stages to help you gain long-term pain relief for joint pain. We’ll go through each of them in this short guide, so you know what to do to feel better.
Stage 1: Instant pain relief
The first stage tackles immediate pain relief. This is what you do when your joints are sore and you want a respite from the nagging pain. You can take over-the-counter pain relief medication, like paracetamol or ibuprofen, but many people might not see relief.
Instead, a better approach is to use topical treatments that can be massaged into the area. Generally, hot pain relief gel for muscles and joints is recommended. The heat helps to encourage blood flow to the area, lubricating the joint and providing near-instant relief.
It’s a good idea to use your chosen method of pain relief before going to work or whenever the pain flares up. Will this cure your problem? No, but that’s what stages two and three are for.
Stage 2: Rest
The next stage is to rest your body. If you experience joint pain when doing certain activities, stop doing these activities! It’s even worth taking a week or some time off work to sit at home and rest.
Resting helps take the stress off your joints and allows the muscles and ligaments to repair, cooling down any inflammation in the area. Always be sure you drink lots of water too, this will help move things around your body and encourage the natural healing process. A large chunk of your muscles is made up of water, so if you’re dehydrated you’re likely to see more soreness.
Stage 3: Rehab for long-term relief
After the first two stages, you should be in a position where the pain is manageable. It hasn’t disappeared, which is why you need to move on to stage three.
Find some good rehabilitation exercises or stretches that help the joint and prevent future flare-ups from happening. For instance, with knee pain, it’s usually advised that you strengthen the muscles around the knee joint. This can offer more stability in the area and encourage more synovial fluid secretion which leads to healthier joints. As mentioned in the beginning, it’s advisable to speak to a medical professional about your joint pain. They will help you find physiotherapy to get the right exercises.
Stage 1 deals with immediate pain relief to help you get on with your day. Stage 2 gives your joints time to heal, so the pain doesn’t get any worse. Stage 3 is there to support long-term relief. You develop stronger and healthier joints, meaning you don’t see as many flare-ups – or any at all.