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Jan 2016 -

Ask the Pharmacist: How Can I Relieve Joint Pain?

 

Those who suffer with joint pain know just how debilitating and restricting it can be. Thankfully, there are a number of ways in which you can ease and treat this pain.

Whilst there are various prescription medications available, these should be taken following a consultation with your GP.

Therefore, we asked our Head Pharmacist Jagdeesh Cheema for some tips and tricks on other ways in which we can all prevent and relieve joint pain.

 

Hydrotherapy Treatment

Hydrotherapy treatment involves the practice of particular exercises whilst immersed in a warm swimming pool.

This is a relaxing yet effective treatment as the warm water alleviates the pressure on your joints, encourages blood flow around the body and stimulates endorphins. This helps to ease pain and relaxes the surrounding muscles.

Furthermore, your increased circulation allows blood flow to reach the joints, keeping them strong and healthy. The water also pushes against you whilst you move, building muscle strength to protect your joints.

 

Massage

Similarly, massaging the problem area will release tension within the muscles that surround the aching joint. This helps to reduce the pain, whilst also relieving stress.

 

Massage

Source: Zenspa1

Although the above treatments cannot ultimately cure your joint pain, they do help to ease it. Whether done professionally or at home, these treatments are both soothing and helpful.

 

Exercise

Many people who suffer from joint pain avoid exercise. They fear that it will aggravate their joints and increase their pain.

However, this is a misconception. Exercise is vital for building strength and improving the flexibility of your muscles and joints.

Still, it is important to ensure you don’t push yourself too hard. Overdoing the exercise can strain your muscles and increase pain within your joints.

woman stretching

Source: Free Stock Photos

Therefore, you need to find a healthy balance. We recommend you start with gentle exercises and build on this as your fitness level improves.

Effective exercises include:

Cardio

If you are struggling with intense pain, starting off with a gentle walk can help to flex your joints and ease the pain. In time, you can build strength and stamina.

Swimming

This can be an excellent form of exercise for those suffering with joint pain. Swimming does not require any weight-bearing on the joints. This low-impact sport will also help to increase flexibility.

Yoga/Pilates

This is another low-impact form of exercise. Yoga stretches and strengthens your muscles to take the pressure off your joints. To get started, check out these five simple yoga poses.

Are you still worried about exercise and joint pain?

Arthritis Research UK has written a great post detailing joint-specific exercises.

 

Acupuncture

For those who are struggling to manage their joint pain, acupuncture is an alternative pain relief treatment.

Acupuncture targets pain in the joints, whilst also reducing the surrounding inflammation to provide further relief and mobility.

This procedure involves the insertion of thin needles into the surface of the skin in the pain-affected area.

This is believed to correct any disproportion of energy-flow throughout your body. It relieves pain by informing your body of the area of pain, so it can target this area and begin to heal.

 

Improve your Diet

It’s believed that certain foods can help to ease joint pain. This is particularly true for those suffering with forms of arthritis.

Vitamin D is needed to maintain bone strength and keep our immune system healthy. One of the best ways to increase your supply of Vitamin D is through your diet.

You should eat foods rich in Omega-3 such as Salmon and Cod Liver Oil, along with milk, eggs and pork. This will provide you with the Vitamin D needed to keep your bones healthy and your immune system functioning as it should.

However, it is also important to keep fat content in mind and to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

salmon

Source: puamelia

Pain Relief Supplements

Tablets

There are numerous supplements available to provide pain relief for those with aching joints.

Pain relief tablets such as Ibuprofen can target the inflammation surrounding painful joints and offer up to 8 hours of pain relief per dosage.

Stronger pain relief supplements may also be available. However, these often need to be prescribed and will require a consultation with your GP.

Heat Patches

Additionally, for simple, inexpensive pain relief, look at heat patches. They can be very effective in targeting pain swiftly, and patches can be applied directly to the problem area.

The heat will boost circulation allowing blood to flow to your joints and ease the pain you are experiencing.

Freeze Patches

Alternatively, freeze patches also provide pain relief. Rather than boosting circulation, the cold temperature reduces your circulation, minimising swelling at the same time. This allows your joints to flex more easily and alleviates the pain.

 

Final Thoughts

There is no definitive cure for joint pain, but the above treatments will significantly reduce your pain.

By effectively relieving joint pain it will allow you to be more active.

So, why not try some of these methods out and see what works for you?