Are you suffering from chronic joint pain? With more than 20 percent of adults experiencing chronic pain, you’re not alone. Joint pain can be particularly difficult to manage, but there are many different treatment paths depending on the type and severity of pain. While some chronic pain patients find great relief from changing their lifestyle, others require more intensive interventions or holistic treatment plans. If you’re struggling to find relief, consider these four common strategies used to manage chronic joint pain.
Smoking, drinking, and poor nutrition are just some of the lifestyle factors that can contribute to chronic joint pain. Excess weight puts a lot of pressure on your joints, so reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce or eliminate your aching joints if you’re overweight. Getting adequate sleep each night, daily physical activity, and staying hydrated can also help alleviate joint pain.
Clinical Pain Management
If your chronic joint pain persists despite lifestyle interventions, clinical pain management may be the right option for you. A pain clinic can provide a holistic, individually tailored treatment plan that combines medication, physical therapy, and mental health treatment. Because many doctors have ceased prescribing certain pain medications, you will need to become a patient at a pain management clinic if you depend on these drugs to control your symptoms.
Is your chronic joint pain caused by an underlying condition like rheumatoid arthritis or another autoimmune disorder? In this case, a rheumatologist is the best medical professional to manage your condition. The treatments for autoimmune joint pain are different than traditional pain medications, so seeing a rheumatologist can provide you with more effective pain relief that has fewer unwanted side effects.
Although it shouldn’t generally be relied on as a first-line treatment, alternative medicine can be a very helpful adjunct therapy for patients who haven’t found relief through traditional medicine. Alternative treatments vary from vitamins and nutritional therapy to acupuncture, massage, and homeopathy. Keep in mind that insurance plans usually don’t cover the cost of alternative medicine, so you may have to pay out of pocket.
While there are many options for treating chronic joint pain, it’s important to begin by seeing your regular doctor. Your primary care physician can assess your pain and get your treatment started by referring you to appropriate specialists, clinics, or therapists. A thorough evaluation is an essential part of any chronic pain treatment plan because effective management depends on many factors unique to your personal situation.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.