Millions of people in the country suffer from joint pain, due to which most of them have limitations in their activities. It can be extremely debilitating and frustrating when you suffer from conditions like psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Proactive self-care is crucial for managing and preventing such conditions so that pain in the joints can be averted and your daily activities aren’t disrupted. Some smart strategies can help you ease symptoms are
Follow the advice of a doctor
Although it may be tempting to start self-treating your pain, it is important that people with psoriatic arthritis need to be evaluated by the primary care doctor for all joint pains. Your doctor can help pinpoint the exact cause of pain and, if necessary, refer you to a rheumatologist. To manage pain due to psoriatic arthritis, patients have to partner with their doctor and be open to trial and error, combining modalities that include exercise and physical therapy.
Take help from books or the Internet
The Arthritis Foundation offers exercise recommendations and tips to create a personal pain management plan; their Better Living Toolkit helps with condition-specific resources. This can be found by updating the bookmarks bar on your browser with tools and resources that can help you manage symptoms on difficulties. You could also consider going through the book “Mayo Clinic Guide to Pain Relief,” which guides you to treatment and management tips from the Mayo Clinics Comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Center.
In the case of psoriatic arthritis, controlling inflammation is the primary treatment goal. Other pain management methods that are used in addition to therapies aimed at controlling inflammation may also help, such as having nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and following a diet rich in inflammation-fighting foods. Such foods would include salmon, dark leafy greens colorful veggies, low-fat products and, whole grains.
Use topical pain medications
To manage pain that occurs in the joints that are close to the surface of the skin, like the hands and knees, relief can be sought from topical meds that have active ingredients such as capsaicin, which reduce the nerve cells’ ability to send pain signals, salicylates, and counter irritants like camphor and menthol to produce sensations of heat and cold.
Heat and cold treatments
Heat and cold treatments help alleviate symptoms depending on the condition that is causing the joint pains. A heating pad, hot soak in the tub, or a steamy shower greatly help with treating sore joints. These methods are inexpensive and effective in relaxing muscles; particularly, in conditions that cause joint stiffness like in psoriatic arthritis. For some patients, an ice pack or a cold bath help ease joint pain as cold temperatures reduce swelling and dull acute pain.
Get good sleep
Getting plenty, or at least the normal amount, of sleep, is essential for good health as sleep deprivation increases the risk of depression, obesity, diabetes, and, of course, arthritis. To minimize discomfort at night, it is recommended to make sure that you are sleeping on a firm mattress to avoid back, hip and, knee pain. Take a good pain reliever that will be effective till morning. Go to bed at the same time every day and avoid electronics before bedtime for undisturbed sleep.